The line-up of this close-harmony 50s US vocal group, whose initial success was achieved by making cover versions of black R&B records, comprised Marge Rosse (b. New Milford, New Jersey, USA; lead), Bea Rosse (b. New Milford, New Jersey, USA; low harmony) and Geri Rosse (b. New Milford, New Jersey, USA; harmony). Their mother was a choral director and organist. After leaving high school they joined an all-girl troupe and went on an eight-month tour. Later, they were joined by their brother Frank on guitar, and appeared on radio and in theatres and clubs. After Frank was killed in World War II, the girls re-formed in 1944 as a trio and worked for several years on Perry Comoâ€™s radio and television shows; they also backed him on several records, including the US number 1 hits â€˜Youâ€™re Adorableâ€™ and â€˜Hoop-Dee-Dooâ€™. Signed to RCA - Victor Records in 1949, they had several minor hits in the early 50s, including â€˜Tennessee Waltzâ€™, â€˜Let Me Inâ€™ (with Texas Jim Robertson) and â€˜Cold, Cold Heartâ€™. In 1954 the group switched to Dot Records, a label that specialized in making cover versions of established hits, and came under the influence of Dotâ€™s musical director, Billy Vaughn, who, with his orchestra, provided the backing for most of their successful records. Early that year, they made the US charts with â€˜Happy Days And Lonely Nightsâ€™, a 1929 song by Fred Fisher and Billy Rose, and in December 1954 they went to number 1 with â€˜Hearts Of Stoneâ€™. The original version was the debut disc of the R&B Cincinnati group Otis Williams And The Charms. Other successful cover versions of black artistsâ€™ records included â€˜Rock Loveâ€™, â€˜Rollinâ€™ Stoneâ€™ (original by the Marigolds) and â€˜Eddie My Loveâ€™ (originally by the Teen Queens). Other â€˜whiteâ€™ cover versions included Boyd Bennett And His Rocketsâ€™ â€˜Seventeenâ€™, which the Fontanes took to number 3 in the US chart, and â€˜Daddy-Oâ€™, a song said to have been inspired by a character in the 1955 movie Blackboard Jungle, and which was originally a US Top 20 hit for Bonnie Lou. The Fontanesâ€™ 1957 version of â€˜Banana Boat Songâ€™ also made the Top 20, but was prevented from rising higher by a version by the Tarriers; another version, by Steve Lawrence, was his first chart entry. By the late 50s, with more and more black artists reaching the charts themselves, the Fontanes faded from their position as one of the top girl groups of the 50s. Their last two hits, â€˜Chanson Dâ€™Amourâ€™ and â€˜Jealous Heartâ€™, came in 1958.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
© 2014 Rovi Corporation.