I'd like to thank you personally for the recognition you've given my vocal group the Deltones and our song 'Early Morning Rock'.
My name is Sammy Basile and I was one of the founding members of the Deltones in 1957. At 12, I would hang around the corner candy store with my close friend Tommy Burton. Tommy and I would harmonize to the sounds and vocals of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers and other groups whose records were on the candy store juke box. Tommy would sing bass and I would sing leads.
We grew up on the west of Chicago, now called K-Town, since all the streets in our neighborhood start with a "K," i.e. Kilborne, Karlov, Keeler, etc. We attended Marshall high school, located on the corners of 5th Ave, and Adams & Kedzie streets. It was the same high school Dee Clark attended; Dee was a few years ahead of us but would always appear at Marshall's "Jamboree's." It was there that Tom and I knew that we wanted on that stage to emulate the Doo-Wop music of the early and mid 50's.
During our freshmen year (1956) we met Ronnie Howard. Early in 1958, and Ronnie introduced us to a Ron Buonaro, and the Deltones was formed. Like all other vocal groups, we used to practice harmonizing in the school halls and bathrooms. The echos were tremendously powerful and clear in tone. Groups would Jam in these halls and try to outdo each other with the best harmonies and song.
"Early Morning Rock" was our first song and was recorded for Vee Jay Records at Chess Studios on south Michigan Ave.; both companies were across the street from on another.
I'll never forget I was singing lead on this tune, when it dawned on me that the famous Willie Dixon was doing the musical back up for us. (Willie Dixon also backed up Chuck Berry.) We were so excited when we realized who he was; it took us about 26 takes to record the song, lol. The flip side was a slow song that Ronnie Howard sang, titled "I'm Coming Home,
"Early Morning Rock" was used every night at 10 o'clock for two years (1958-1960) as the theme song for a Doo-Wop/Blues music radio show called Jam with Sam" (Sam Evens) in Chicago.
I did an article about my group for the UK magazine 'Well Now Dig This' in December of 2005.
I have a web page at samajama.com if you like to read the article.