The Four Townsmen
The Four Townsmen, known for their smooth Doo Wop harmonies had two regional hits singles “Sometimes (When I’m All Alone)” and “It Wasn’t So Long Before (Graduation Is Here)” on Art-Flow Records in 1960. They appeared with Paul Anka in Atlantic City, The Letterman, Bobby Vee, and Byran Highland, They also did a week of daily two-show performances at Atlantic City's Steel Pier. The original members Chuck Marshall (lead), Pete Kouklakis (tenor), Bob Kraushaar (baritone), and Lou Gadani (bass) got together in 1959 at Canonsburg high school to perform at talent shows. DJ Terry Lee of Canonsburh’s WARO gave them their first professional date and they quickly became a popular act at Pittsburgh area record hops runs by DJs Porky Chedwick, Clark Race, and Terry Lee. Odell Baily helped them obtain a recording session for their original song "It Wasn't So Long Before (Graduation is Here)" co-written by Marshall and friend Alan Mark. KDKA broke the single giving heavy rotation. Reissued in 1963 they received airplay in other cities. But they were no more recording and they disbanded in 1963.
The Four Townsmen reunited in 1999 for an appearance at the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, PA. They also appeared the Mellon Arena with Johnny Maestro, Kenny Vance and the Planotones, and Jerry Butler. They continue to perform at Doo Wop shows and clubs with two of the original members Lou Gadani and Pete Kouklakis. Lead singer, Chuck Marshall passed away in 1985 and Bobby Kraushaar, the original Baritone retired from performing. The have released three independent CD’s: “Reunited”, “Just Cruisin”, and “Under the Mistletoe”.
It Wasn't So Long Before
The Holidays were five teens who began singing together at Clairton High School in 1958. Like the Skyliners they were produced by Lennie Martin and launched by Lou Guarino on Robbee Records. Recording in a New York studio Lennie gave their records the distinctive wall of sound string arrangements that he originated with the Skyliners. They scored a regional hist with their first release on Robbee “Miss You” in 1960. They group returned to New York to record “Lonely Summer” in 1961. Signing with Pittsburgh promoter Nick Cenci they released the singles “My Girl” and “Carol” on Nix Records. With strong airplay in Pittsburgh they were a popular draw at Pittsburgh area record hops. The original members were Charlie "Corky" Hatfield (tenor), Frank Gori (bass/baritone), Barbara Jo Lippzer (alto), Francis "Franny" Grisnik (baritone/bass) and Ramon "Ray" Lancianese (tenor), the lead singer. They broke up in 1962. Their songs were reissued on the “Best of Robbee Records CD.In 1995, Hatfield and Gori reformed the Holidays, with several new members to record a Heid Productions CD of their Robbee Recordings called "The Holidays by Special Request." It included unreleased Robbee cuts "It's The Same Old Dream", "One Little Kiss," and “A Love I Never Had, written by Joe Rock and Jimmy Beaumont. The Holidays performed on the PBS/WQED TV “The Sound of Pittsburgh" showcase in 2001. In 2002 they release their first CD of original music "For Your Love." Recording at the New Holidays the released their second CD “Keepin’ the Sound Alive” in 2005 and their third CD Here and Now” in 2007. The New Holidays have performed Chubby Checker, Gary Puckett, Lou Cristie, The Marcels, The Skyliners, Bobby Rydell, The Vogues, and others on the Pittsburgh Doo Wop circuit.