Dave, always a piano player and singer from childhood, fell in love with rock & roll and doowop in 1954 when the Alan Freed radio show came to New York. The Aquatones were formed in 1956 when Dave invited his friends Larry (Vannata) and Gene (McCarthy) over to his house to record a rock & roll song he’d written to promote their high school junior class play. After the Aquatones’ hit song and several more records, Dave kept busy playing with a bar band, the Chord’r Notes, during college. By the late 60s, Dave had become inactive in music except for recording some multi-part harmonies in his home studio, and an occasional band job with Larry. But after he connected with a whole bunch of doowop fans on the Internet in 1999, Dave discovered that LOTS of people liked 50s music and still remembered the Aquatones. That, plus a chance meeting with Colette and her fantastic voice, led to his re-forming of the Aquatones in 2000. His love of singing with a “real” group again inspired him to write more songs – and to get the group back into the studio to record their new CDs. Dave continues to be active in internet doowop clubs, and he loves to sing with other doowop singers (as well as the Aquatones) whenever the opportunity arises.
Colette has been singing since childhood, and singing professionally since her teens. She has appeared in the musical theatre for over 20 years, and has had leading roles in such plays as “West Side Story”, “The Sound of Music”, “The Secret Garden”, “The Music Man”, “Camelot”, and “The Little Mermaid”. She also sings with many types of vocal groups, including the Stephen Foster Singers and her church choir, and has even sung opera. She also occasionally sings “torch songs” (standard commercial ballads) with a band. It was at one of those performances that Dave heard her sing, noticed the similarity between her voice and that of Lynne Nixon, the Aquatones’ original lead singer – and that was the beginning of the “re-birth” of the Aquatones. Colette had never sung “doowop” music before, but is enjoying it tremendously. Her theatrical background has also been helpful in suggesting choreography for the group.
Rich’s musical background was primarily as a drummer with 70s rock bands. Although he sang background harmonies on many of the bands’ songs, he never considered himself a “singer” until a few years ago. Then, urged into singing in vocal trios and other groups by his church’s choir director, Rich was amazed to learn that it was unusual for men to be able to hit some of the high notes he can hit vocally! This ability to sing tenor, as well as falsetto, has given the Aquatones considerably more “flexibility” in their sound. Meanwhile, his ability to “style” a song as a lead singer has been steadily increasing, and the blending of his voice with Colette’s on duets has also captivated audiences. Rich enjoys many types of pop and other music, but like Colette, had never sung “doowop” before joining the Aquatones.
Paul, like Dave and Colette, has been singing all his life. His primary public vocal experience came as member of the barbershop harmony group, The Thoroughbreds. With this group, Paul gained experience competing with other barbershop groups (SPEBSQSA) on an international level, and sang with the Thoroughbreds when they won the 1969 International Championship of Barbershop Choruses. Paul has also sung with several gospel quartets in his career, and continues singing with his church choir. However, although he loves all types of vocal group harmony, he had never sung “doowop” before his current Aquatones experience. Paul’s ability to sing both baritone and deep bass is a great asset to the group’s vocal “flexibility”, since he can harmonize “up high” with Rich and Colette, or sing bass parts on Dave’s leads.