Shytones Group Picture
Rewind the clock to 1957, Brooklyn New York, and specifically, the Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights section. The Shytones were one of many groups that grew up loving vocal harmony and singing on the street corners. They had a great sound, but too short of a career. The Shytones never made it big selling records, but they were celebrities in their own neighborhood, and at the local hops and shows. Pictured to the right, from left to right, in the top row are Frank Barrata, Bill Sangiovanni, and Fred Alvarez. The bottom row from left to right are Al Scavuzzo, Ben Passantino, and Rich Peluso. They cut just a few records, but with a group name change and a few different labels with the same songs, we will follow the trail of recorded history. Additional information is available by listening to my interview with original Shytones member, Bill Sangiovanni, right here! It was recorded in the summer of 2005.

Pictured to the left is legendary New York DJ Jocko Henderson, left, with Leo Rogers. Rogers owned many small labels on the east coast, including the Shytones releases. Often he would invent a label and put out a record or two. If it tanked, he could just fashion another label and try again. Most of his records didn't get out of the eastern seaboard, but he could really recognize talent, and certainly contributed to many great vocal performances on disc.
Shytones - Annette Spot Promo
Here are the combinations of the first record from the Shytones. Annette was the plug side - Bill Sangiovanni with the writing credits, and it was first issued with Bandstand Rock. Click the "White Bucks record for a label shot of "Bandstand Rock." Then it was paired with White Bucks (Shown). As you can see promotional copies were also pressed of at least "Annette"/"Bandstand Rock." Sweeteen had publishing on both flips and once again, Bill had the writing credits for Bandstand Rock, while Al Scavuzzo penned White Bucks.
Shytones - White Bucks Spot Pink
Shytones - Bandstand Rock Spot Pink
This is another variation where White Bucks was actually paired with Bandstand Rock, on a stock pink label. This came from a radio station, so it was sent to them, probably as a promo, but not labeled as such.
Shytones - A Lover's Quarrel Goodspin
Shytones - Just For You Goodspin
Here is the original issue of the Shytones last record using that name, before it changed to the Hi Tones. Goodspin likely did not have had any additional issues. It was one of many labels that Leo Rogers created just for the groups he recorded. Lover's Quarrel is backed with Just For You on this 1958 release.
Hi Tones - Lover's Quarrel Fonsca Dark Blue
Hi Tones - Just For You Fonsca Dark Blue
Here is what I now believe to be the first pressing on the Fonsca label. It is number 201 and has the address near the top of the label. The group is now called the Hi-Tones. The blue is not quite as light in appearance like the label pictures to follow, but still has the tones. The pressing quality is poor when compared to the other issues. Notice that the publishing changed from Marble Music to Alltec.
Hi Tones - Lover's Quarrel Fonsca White Promo
Hi Tones -Just For You Fonsca White Promo
This is a promo copy of the Hi-Tones record that includes the Distributed by Roulette statement near the bottom. This must have been issued once the record started selling locally. A deal was struck with Roulette, and they re-pressed it on a promo label to get to the radio stations up and down the eastern seaboard. The pressing quality is much better on this disc, and Kahl Music was added to the publishing information.
Hi Tones - Lover's Quarrel Fonsca White Promo 2
Hi Tones -Just For You Fonsca White Promo 2
OK, so yet another variation! The difference here is that this 45 states "Promotion Copy", compared with "Radio Station Copy" on the previous disc. The Roulette distribution is the the same, as is the other label information.
Hi Tones - Lover's Quarrel Fonsca Stock Light Blue
Hi Tones -Just For You Fonsca Stock Light Blue
This is the stock Blue label issue of Fonsca. The blue is not quite as dark in appearance like the previous pictures, but still has the tones. The font similar to the promo, and the placement of the information is identical. These were the copies you would purchase at your local record store.
Hi Tones - No More Pain Fonsco
Hi Tones - I Don't Know Why Fonsco
This is a stock copy of the last release by the Hi-Tones called "No More Pain" flipped with "I Don't Know Why." Released in 1961, it is actually a gray color. It should be noted that the lead singer on the record is Sal Covais who was also originally from Bensonhurst. The record company is now Fonsco.
Trentons - All Alone Shepherd
Trentons - Star Bright Shepherd
Quite an unusual release, the Trentons are actually the Shytones, at least on one side of the record. "All Alone" is actually Lover's Quarrel. Star Bright is an instrumental only. The Shepherd label was from Hollywood, California - a long ways from Brooklyn! Some shady dealings had to be taking place with this illegitimate issue. Notice they have taken over publishing with their Shep Music, not to mention the writers credits! Issued in 1962
Shytones Discography
The Shytones discography is shown above. Releases are to the best of my knowledge.
Updates: The Shytones performed at many local hops and dances, and even got the chance to perform at one of Murray The K's big rock and roll show. They had some airplay on a couple of local stations, and were even a pick hit of the week on WINS. The group broke up when Al Scavuzzo tragically passed away on his 21st birthday. Talking with Bill Sangiovanni who currently lives in Connecticut, he has lost track of the other members of the Shytones. They may be scattered around the country. What we do understand is that whether you knew them as the Shytones or the Hi-Tones, they were another great example of group harmony by kids that just wanted to sing and perform. They got their shot and have great memories amongst themselves, and some wonderful songs remain for all of us to enjoy. My very special thanks to Father Bill Sangiovanni for his help and use of some material on this page. Without it, this page would not be possible.
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