Dion Francis DiMucci (born July 18, 1939), better known
simply as Dion, is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist.
His music has incorporated elements of doo-wop, pop, rock, R&B,
folk and blues. Initially as the lead singer of Dion and the
Belmonts, and then during his solo career, Dion was one of the
most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British
Invasion era. He had 39 Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early
1960s as a solo performer, or with the Belmonts and the Del-Satins.
He is best remembered for the singles "Runaround Sue", "The Wanderer",
"Ruby Baby" and "Lovers Who Wander", among other hits. Their initial hit
was followed by "No One Knows" and "Don't Pity Me", which also charted
the Billboard Top 100. This success won a place for Dion and the Belmonts
on the ill-fated "The Winter Dance Party" tour with Buddy Holly, Ritchie
Valens, the Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson), Frankie Sardo and other
performers. On February 3, 1959 (after a concert stop in Clear Lake, Iowa,
Holly and others decided to charter a flight to the next venue rather than
travel on the tour bus. Dion was invited to accompany the group but decided
that he did not want to spend $36 for the flight, as it was the same monthly
rent his parents paid for his childhood apartment and he could not justify
the indulgence. The plane crashed, killing all on board: Holly, Valens,
Richardson and the pilot Roger Peterson. Dion and the Belmonts continued
on the tour, along with Frankie Sardo, while Bobby Vee performed in Holly's
place at the very next concert. Jimmy Clanton, Frankie Avalon and Fabian
were later added to replace the other now-deceased headliners. On this cold
bus trip Dion wrote Hug my Radiator.
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