The Dell Tones

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The Dell-Tones were initially signed to the Coral label, a subsidiary of Decca and home of the McGuire Sisters, among others, near the end of 1953, but nothing came of the partnership. After performing…
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The Dell-Tones were initially signed to the Coral label, a subsidiary of Decca and home of the McGuire Sisters, among others, near the end of 1953, but nothing came of the partnership. After performing a successful show on New Year's Eve at Harlem's Club Baby Grand, they then found themselves on the roster of Eddie Heller's Rainbow label (who were originally connected with the Derby label). Rainbow's Hell's Kitchen-based offices shared a storefront with Sonny's Deli. Despite the cramped quarters, the label had a promising roster of acts, including the Jets, the Five Crowns, the Esquire Boys, the Clovers, Lee Andrews & the Hearts, and, later, Mickey & Sylvia.

The Dell-Tones' first release on Rainbow, "I'm Not in Love With You" b/w " "Little Short Daddy," was issued in April 1954, and featured the the Kelly Owens Orchestra, but failed to ignite the charts, so they moved over to the burgeoning Baton Records the following year. Baton, operated by Sol Rabinowitz, had already made a name for itself with recordings by the Rivileers and the Hearts, and in 1955, issued one of the first R&B full-length albums (containing instrumentals by Frank "Floor Show" Culley). By now, the Dell-Tones had added the considerable talents of Della Simpson as lead singer, and their first outing, "Baby Say You Love Me" b/w "Don't Be Long" (Baton 212), also featured Maurice Simon's combo. They continued to perform and were booked on short national tours, culminating 1955 by appearing at the Apollo Theater with the Orioles. In 1956, they toured Canada and were booked for the summer in Atlantic City, but their next single, "My Special Love" b/w " "Believe It" (Baton 223) -- released in the Spring of 1956 -- failed to chart and after a final performance in Miami that June, the Dell-Tones disbanded shortly thereafter.