Randy & the Rainbows
(Read all about Randy & the Rainbows after the video)
Randy & the Rainbows are an American doo wop group from Maspeth, New York. The group was formed in 1962 in a neighborhood of Queens, and featured two pairs of siblings, along with a fifth member. The Safuto brothers had previously sung in the group The Dialtones. They recorded with the producers of The Tokens, releasing the single "Denise" in 1963. The song spent 17 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 10, while reaching No. 18 on Billboard's "Hot R&B Singles", and No. 5 on Canada's CHUM Hit Parade. "Denise" was written by Neil Levenson, and was inspired by his childhood friend, Denise Lefrak. The song later became a European hit for Blondie, with the title changed to "Denis". Randy & The Rainbows' follow-up single, "Why Do Kids Grow Up", barely scraped the pop charts at No. 97, and the group never charted again.
The original 1962 line-up was made up of:
- Dominick "Randy" Safuto
- Frank Safuto
- Mike Zero
- Sal Zero
- Ken Arcipowski
Founder band member, Ken Arcipowski, died on March 23, 2011. He was 66.
They continued to perform under several other names (Madison Street, Triangle, Them and Us), and toured in subsequent years with The Spinners, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Tony Orlando, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Freddie Roman, Jay Black, Pat Cooper, The Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, and The Four Seasons. They released a new album, entitled Play Ball, in 2001 on producer Jimmy Wisner's label WizWorks.
Even if you don't know the group by name, if you're the tiniest bit familiar with doo wop you'll still probably recognize Randy & the Rainbows' hit single "Denise." A Top Ten hit, it's one of those feel-good songs that continue to turn up on compilations of the best music from the 1960s.
Randy & the Rainbows formed in the Queens section of New York City in 1962. The group included two pairs of siblings, brothers Sal Zero and Mike Zero and brothers Frank Safuto and Dominick "Randy" Safuto. Ken Arcipowski rounded out the quintet. The group evolved from the Dialtones, which in 1959 included the Safutos, Rosalie Calindo, and Eddie Scalla, the Safutos' cousin. After recording during the early '60s for Goldisc, the Safutos hooked up with Arcipowski and the Zeros in 1962 to become Randy & the Rainbows. Backed by the production team that also handled the Tokens, the group put out "Denise" in 1963.
As Randy & the Rainbows, the group never again repeated the success they found with "Denise." They changed names several times and continued to perform at different times as Madison Street, Triangle, and Them and Us. Over the years, the group has shared the stage with such artists as the Spinners, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Tony Orlando, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Freddie Roman, Jay Black, and Pat Cooper. They have also toured with the Beach Boys, Dionne Warwick, and the Four Seasons.