Formed in Bellmore, Long Island, New York, USA, in 1961, doo-wop group the Imaginations consisted of Frank Mancuso (lead), Bobby Bloom (first tenor), Phil Agtuca (second tenor), Pete Agtuca (baritone) and Richard LeCausi (bass). In April 1961, Music Makers released the group’s ‘Goodnight Baby’, which featured King Curtis on saxophone. The Imaginations’ second studio engagement came as back-up singers for Darlene Day, and, with studio time remaining, they also recorded two of their own songs, ‘Guardian Angel’ and ‘Hey You’. When the tracks formed their second single, both sides attracted airplay, and the record was licensed to Duel Records, although too late, apparently, to allow it a chance to reach the national charts. Despite this, ‘Hey You’, primarily through repeated radio plays, became established as one of the most popular vocal group records in the New York area throughout the early 60s. However, that impetus was stalled when Mancuso joined the air forces, and Music Makers closed down. Bobby Caupin took over on lead as the group switched to a new title, the Ebonaires. A single was recorded (‘Chapel Bells’) but never released. Still not dispirited, Bobby Bloom took over on lead as the group then reverted to their former name for ‘Wait A Little Longer Son’, issued on new label Ballad Records. Again a release of genuine quality, it too was picked up for extended distribution, this time by Laurie Records. By 1963 the group had broken up, but they re-formed when producers Pete Antell and John Linde took an interest in their careers. Bloom, Phil Agtuca and LeCausi were then joined by John Governale (first tenor) and Pete Lanzetta (baritone) in the Expressions. As well as backing Tommy Boyce in the studio, the Expressions released a debut single in 1963, ‘On The Corner’ - a eulogy to the origins of doo-wop on street corners. However, it flopped, and the group broke up once again. Bloom, however, persevered as a solo artist, and was rewarded in 1970 when his ‘Montego Bay’ became a US number 8/UK number 3 hit. Further chart appearances showed diminishing returns, and Bloom died from an accidental shooting on 28 February 1974.
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