Sputzy Sparacino

Classic Soul Powered Singer who lead Gigolo, Modern Man, and the Soul Providers
Sputzy Sparacino has been one of Pittsburgh’s most popular vocalists for over 30 years as the powerful lead singer of the bands Artisty, Gigolo, Modern Man, and Sputzy & The Soul Providers. A guitarist and tenor vocalist he is noted for his ability to sing a wide range of soulful R&B and popular songs ranging from James Brown to Frank Sinatra. In the late 1970s  Sputzy performed in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno, and Japan as a member of the Four Coins and the duo Robyn & Sputzy. Sputzy wrote and performed two songs in the 1985 George Romero movie classic “Day of the Dead”. Sputzy and Gospel singer Delilah sang in duo on the soundtrack songs "The World Inside Your Eyes" and "If Tomorrow Comes".  His solo CD "Too Much Too Soon" released on the Saturn label in 1994 featured the single "Not Just Any Love Song"  that was heard on 70 radio station across the country.  He has performed the national anthem for Penguins, Steelers and Pirates.  Sputzy has opened for the Four Tops, James Brown, Chicago, Chuck Berry, The Turtles, Blood Sweat & Tears and others.

"If you've never caught Sputzy with his cover bands Modern Man or the Soul Providers, you're missing a talented soul stylist who puts the fire in this record with "Follow the Love" and "All in My Mind," sounding like a cross between Luther Vandross and Tom Jones".Pittsburgh Music Legands Review Scott Mervis Pittsburgh Post Gazette 

"Sputzy Sparacino is a big bad Italian tenor steeped in 100% soul power. Check out his You Tube video of the James Brown classic "This Is A Man's World" from the 2011 Rhythms Of Life benefit show, then come talk to me! ....as powerful a performance as anything I've ever seen." - Hermie Granati

"Sputzy is one of the finest singers on planet Earth ... period . He has an extremely distinctive , powerful, and soulful voice and is a true artist . He is the REAL thing . A Pittsburgh treasure." . -Tony JanFlone Jr.

Monessen Lessons

Jimmy S. Sparacino was born on December 28, 1954 in Monessen, Pennsylvania. He began playing guitar at age five when he was awe of his early hero Elvis Presley. His biggest musical influences were Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. His parents paid for voice lessons, but Sputzy sometimes spent his lesson money to buy the latest Ray and Aretha albums to study their styles. While still in high school he made his professional debut singing with Tommy Hawkins and the Holidays at Tony's Lounge in Monessen.  After high school he majored in music at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.

Hand Made Band

In Tennessee in 1973 Sputzy joined Russ Hall's band the Hand Made Band as the lead singer and one of the guitarists. They were one of the most popular bands in the Jackson Tennessee area appearing at the 500 seat the Port Jackson Club. In September of 1974 they appeared with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at the the Jackson, Tennessee Coliseum. Sputzy was a member of the Hand Made Band through early 1975.

Artistry

Sparacino returned to Pittsburgh in the summer of 1975 and formed the group Artistry with Greg and Tony Macaluso, Jack Daro, and Debbie DeMola.  They made their first appearance at the Hospitality Inn in Wilkins Township in June of 1975 working there for four weeks.  They then went on tour of Hospitality Inns in St Louis, Atlanta Cleveland, Cincinnati and Hartford.  They also played the Encore, the Hyatt House, and the Carousel in Pittsburgh. 


The Four Coins and Vegas Years

Sputzy left Artisty to join a new version of the Four Coins in 1978. The Fours Coins from Canonsburg, Pa. came to national fame in 1957 with their gold record hit song "Shangra-La."  The original members of the Four Coins all retired in the late 1970s.  Robert Bogesdorfer who had performed with the original members retained the rights to the Four Coins name and formed a new version of the group with himself, Ernie Pontiere, John Thompson, and Jimmie  Sparacino.  Greg Macaluso also left Artisty to become the Four Coins musical director.  Sputzy joined the Four Coins on Dec. 21 1978 at Tony's Lounge in his hometown of  Monessen.   Working with the Four Coins through 1979 Sputzy appeared at casinos in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Reno and toured the far east for four months.  They group also appeared  at the Holiday House in Pittsburgh in 1979 for two long engagements..

After Sputzy's left the Four Coins, he formed the duo  Robyn & Sputzy.  A Vegas Lounge Act they performed at the Sahara, Hilton, MGM Grand, Flamingo and Tropicana from 1979 to 1981.

Gigalo

Sparacino returned to Pittsburgh and formed the band Gigalo.  After rehearsing for six months Gigolo made their first appearance on April 14, 1982 at the Holiday Inn West.  Sputzy's band mates in Gigolo were Joey Argiro on bass, Ray DeLisio on keyboards, Armand De Genova on co-keyboards, Ernie Pontiere on trombone, keyboards and percussion, and Larry McClusky on drums and percussion.  They quickly became the hottest R&B dance band in Pittsburgh packing Heaven in downtown Pittsburgh, the VIP clubs, The Willows in Industry , The Airport Ramada Inn ballroom, and the The Video Standard in New Castle.  Lenny Litman of the Pittsburgh Press said they were loaded with talent and showmanship.  Their show consisted of high energy dance songs by Rick James, the Chi-lites, Cameo, the Gap Band, Michael Jackson, and others. Gigalo also opened concerts for the Jets, the Whispers, and the Weather Girls.

Modern Man

Sputzy left Gigolo in 1984 to join the band Modern Man as lead singer and guitarist.  In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette Sputzy said he left Gigolo as they were not interested in recording.  He first heard Modern Man in a studio and was impressed by their musicianship.  The original Modern Man trio had released a few singles and the album "Brainstorm".  

Sputzy replaced Gary Hohman, Modern Man's original lead singer.  An R&B dance band Modern Man formed in mid 1983 as a trio by guitarist Buddy Hall, bassist Gary Gentile and keyboardist / lead singer Jim Blazer    They performed Top 40 covers, some original songs, and R&B tunes by Teddy Pendergrass and others.   The lineup changed with Gary Hohman joining as lead singer, Talmadge Pearsall on keyboards/ vocals and Tommy Bellin replacing Gary Gentile on bass.

During Sputzy's stint with Modern Man the original members left. Mark Matteo replaced Buddy Hall's place as lead guitarist, Joey Argiro became the bassist, Gary Carolla replaced Jim Blazer' on keyboard and Tom Tornow became the drummer. Sputyz remained as the star of the band. Modern Man released several singles and an album with Sputzy as the lead singer. They released the singles “Sexcited / Island Girl” (1985), “Rejected” (1986), “Call the Law” (1986) “Tribute to Teddy Medley (1986) on Saturn Records and the single “All Day And Night / Call The Law” on Prime Time Records in 1988. The "Sexcited" single received airplay of WAMO and WYDD. Modern Man performed at the VIP Clubs, Confetti, the Meadows race track and other popular Pittsburgh area dance clubs. Modern Man was named Pittsburgh's "Best Top 40 Band" by the Pittsburgh Music Awards in 1988 and 1989.

Day of the Dead Soundtrack

John Harrision, a musician and film maker who was an assistant director on George Ramero’s “Day of the Dead” recruited Sputzy and Modern Man to write and record music for the movie’s sound track. Harrison had been the bass player for guitarist Roy Buchanan. John Harrison, Sputzy Sparacino, and Modern Man keyboardist Jim Blazer together co-wrote five songs for the original soundtrack. Talmadge Pearsall also a Modern Man keyboardist was an additional co-writer on the song "The World Inside Your Eyes".  Produced by John Sutton and engineered by Don Garvin the soundtrack was recorded at Jeree Studio in New Brighton, Pa. The members of Modern Man performed all of the songs along with appearances by Don Garvin on bass and Rick Granati on percussion. Sputzy sang the lead on the song” If Tomorrow Comes" and sang in duet with Gospel singer Delilah on the song "The World Inside Your Eyes". 

The movie, which was shot in Pittsburgh and Florida, was released in July of 1985.  It has grossed over $34 million since its release.  The soundtrack was released on LP and cassette in 1985 by Saturn Records. It was re-issued in 2002 by Numenorean Records as a limited 3,000 edition CD. The new edition contained the five songs from original album plus five additional music and effects tracks from the film. It also included a 12 page booklet with notes about the score from director George Romero and John Harrison.

Big Break

In October of 1990 Sputzy appeared on the talent show "Big Break" that was hosted by Natalie Cole. The producers of Big Break heard him perform James Ingram's "It's Real" at the Confetti club in Pittsburgh and invited him to sing it on their show.

Sputzy and the Soul Providers

Modern Man broke up in January of 1991.   Sparacino quit to pursue work in commercials and to record in Los Angeles in hopes of landing a record deal.  Sputzy saw business in the dance clubs falling off  due to a recession and decided to pursue a recording career.   Three members of Modern Man  formed the group the Nation, with Shari Higdon replacing Sputzy as lead singer.  

In 1991 Sputzy formed his own R&B dance band Sputzy & The Soul Providers.  Expanding their market beyond the club scene the Soul Providers performed weddings, corporate events, country clubs, and private parties.  Sputzy expand his song list to include classics like "Summer Breeze" by Sinatra.  The Soul Providers were very much in demand and commanded strong booking fees.  They also opened shows for Jeffrey Osborne, Chicago, The Monkees, The Turtles, Hall & Oates, Chuck Berry, James Brown, The Four Tops, Average White Band, Lou Christie, Bo Diddley, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Ronnie Spector.

Tell Me How to Rip You Off

Jimmy Sparacino Man brought a young female singer that he was producing to record at the Granati Brothers Mulberry Street Recorders Studio in 1991. The singer recorded a song that Joey and David Granati had written titled “Tell Me How to Make You Smile”. Sputzy contributed lyrics earning co-writing credits. Later in 1991 Sputzy's former Modern Man band mate Gary Carolla called looking for songs to record, He was producing an album for new comer Aaron Cater. Sputzy played “Tell Me How to Make You Smile” for Gary who liked it. The song was featured on Aaron Carter’’s million selling debut CD in 1992. But Joey, David, and Sputzy made no money in song royalties. Aaron Carter’s manager Lou Pearlman bankrupted the Trans Continental Record company and was sentenced to 25 years in jail for money laundering and fraud.

Too Much Too Soon Solo Album

In 1994 Sputzy signed with Tom Cossie's Saturn Record label to release the album "Too Much Too Soon".  The 11 song CD included the ballads "Forever", "Anyone Who Had A Heart", and "Not Just Any Love Song" , along with the R&B/Rock tunes "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", "See-Saw", "You Can Leave Your Hat On",& "Double Agent 'O Soul".   The single "Not Just Any Love Song"   was heard on 70 radio station across the country.

Chapel of Blues

In 2001 Sputzy was and investor in the west end club “The Chapel of Blues” and performed was a singer in its house band "No Bad Ju Ju". The Chapel of Blues was location in a 1900-era former Roman Catholic Church.  The club was a hit packing in weekend crowds.  No Bad JuJu recorded its first album "Live at the Chapel of Blues" in 2002.  The popular Balcony Big Band moved there in April of 2002 during regular Monday night show.  But the club closed suddenly in June of 2003.

PGH

In 2013 Sputzy formed the group PGH with blues singer Shari Richards, and renown guitar Tony Janflone Jr. The idea for the group happened wth Sparacino, Janflone, and Richard played together at a benefit concert in 2012. PGH band also features keyboardist Jeremy Olson, bassist George Elliott, drummer Joe Kluchar, percussionist Derrick Edwards and the horn section of Curtis Swift (saxophone), Mark Custer (trumpet) and Bob Matchett (trombone). The group plays R&B tunes by Sam Cooke, the Neville Brothers, Etta James and The Commodores.  They have appeared at the Meadows Race Track, Jergyl, and other venues.
It's A Man's World
Day of the Dead Soundtrack
Hand Made Band 1974
The Four Coins 1979
Gigolo 1984
Modern Man
Too Much Too Soon CD -1994
I'm Strong Like Bruno San Martino