Dion DiMucci was born on July 18, 1939 in the Bronx borough of New York City. A fan of doo-wap, rock n’ roll and unusual for a lad growing up in the city, Dion was heavily influenced by country star Hank Williams Sr.
At eighteen years of age, he formed Dion & The Belmonts, a group of neighborhood friends named after Belmont Avenue in the Bronx. Signed to Laurie Records, one year later they would debut with their first Pop chart hit, “I Wonder Why” on the Hit Parade.
In 1959 the group had two top five hits with “A Teenager In Love” and “Where or When”. “Lonely Teenager” hit in 1960 with their first #1, “Runaround Sue,” topping the charts in 1961. Before the year ended, “The Wanderer” peaked at #2 nationally. Their three top ten hits in 1962, “Lovers Who Wonder,” “Little Diane” and “Love Came to Me” found the groups lead singer going solo and signing with Columbia Records for a giant #2 hit, “Ruby Baby” in 1963. Before the year ended “Donna the Prima Donna” and “Drip Drop” added two more top ten hits for Dion.
Five years later, Dion would have a top five giant hit with “Abraham, Martin and John”, an anthem that flooded the nations airwaves in response to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert Kennedy and civil right leader Martin Luther King.
Dion was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007.