THE ADDRISI BROTHERS
Dick (Richard) Addrisi, born 4 July 1941, Winthrop, Massachusetts. Don (Donald) Addrisi, born 14 December 1938, Winthrop, Massachusetts. Died 13 November 1984, California.
Born near Boston of Hispanic descent, Dick and Don Addrisi were destined to become entertainers. Their parents were the Flying Addrisis, a famous travelling trapeze act. Around 1957 the family moved to Los Angeles, where the brothers auditioned for the Mickey Mouse Club. Not being as cute as Annette, they lost the audition, but got involved instead in the L.A. music scene, especially as practiced by other Hispanics like Ritchie Valens, Chan Romero and the Carlos Brothers (the Del-Fi connection). They attended college while continuing to pursue their show biz ambitions. To this end, they studied composition and arranging techniques and the two became songwriters/performers. In 1958, they were the youngest act to play Las Vegas. That year they also had their first record release : "I'll Be True"/"Everybody Happy" on an obscure local label, Brad Records.
Following the death of Ritchie Valens on February 3rd, 1959, the Addrisis were signed by Del-Fi label owner Bob Keane. The Del-Fi recordings of the brothers, recorded at Goldstar with the same session crew that had backed Ritchie Valens, can be described as a Latino version of the Everly Brothers : two-part harmony with Latin rhythms. The material veered from Everly style rock 'n' roll to somewhat more cloying teen-pop numbers. Their first Del-Fi single, "Cherrystone" peaked at # 62 in Billboard in June 1959 (UK release on London HL 8922). It would be thirteen years before they charted again as recording artists.
By 1960, the brothers had already left Del-Fi and would enter of decade of unsuccessful recordings on a variety of labels, including Imperial and Warner Bros. In 1962, Barry DeVorzon and Billy Sherman, who ran the Valiant label, signed them as songwriters for $ 25 a week. Later on, they were also given the responsibility for discovering new talent. They auditioned (and rejected) pre-Monkees Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, but they did sign the Association, a pop group that would score two number ones ("Cherish" and "Windy") and a # 2, "Never My Love". The latter was written by the Addrisi Brothers and it has become one of the played songs of all time on US radio. The tune has been recorded by more than 300 different acts. During 1970-71 they were probably most visible as authors and singers of the title theme to the ABC series "Nanny And the Professor". They re-emerged as recording artists in their own right in 1972, with a hit single for Columbia, "We've Got To Get It On Again" (# 25). Four more chart hits followed in 1977-79, three of them on Buddah. Their harmony singing was still as good as ever. They continued working together until Don's death from cancer in 1984. Dick still writes for movies and television. More than a footnote, less than a chapter, the Addrisi Brothers are a page of rock history that deserves a place in this feature.
CD: Cherrystone (Del-Fi, 1997). 19 tracks, a mix of singles (from Del-Fi and Brad), demos and unreleased cuts. These early tracks reveal a talent for crafting pop songs in more than a couple of styles.
More info: http://www.benmclane.com/addrisi.htm
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