The Ribitones, from Brooklyn, New York, USA, were formed in 1978 by Freddy ‘Frogs’ Toscano, a veteran of Fourth Dimension, an offbeat vocal pop group who had recorded for Columbia Records in the 60s. He then became a member of several jazz and fusion bands in the intervening years, but the Ribitones was intended as a vehicle to allow him to return to his early rock ‘n’ roll roots. To this end he recruited Lou Benevento (lead), Fil Spina (baritone), Anthony Carbone (first tenor) and Carmine De Sena (second tenor) initially, until Jim Pace and Frank Russo replaced De Sena and Spina. Russo, Benevento and Carbone had already worked together on the streets of Brooklyn in the early 60s singing amateur doo-wop harmonies. This new collaboration sparked into life with the 1979 release of ‘Most Of All’, an a cappella treatment of the old Moonglows standard, backed with a version of the El Dorados’ ‘At My Front Door’ - rechristened ‘Crazy Little Mama’. It was about this time that critics started to cite the Ribitones as the original ‘rock-apella’ group, owing to their use of a rhythm guitar behind a strong vocal presence. A second single by the group was credited to Freddy Frogs And The BMTS when Toscano re-released ‘Crazy Little Mama’ on his own Off The Wall Records (it became a surprise minor hit in the UK). However, by 1984 the group was no more, as Toscano formed an offshoot group with Lou Ligreori (ex-Riffs), Mike Paquette (ex-Dedications) and Larry Critelli and Bill Walsh (both ex-Velvet Riffs).
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