The sound is unmistakable from the very first note. The songs are songs you’ve loved for decades. The Duprees have taken some of the most beautifully written love songs and given them their own romantic interpretation, featuring their distinctive harmonies and mix of doo-wop vocals with big band arrangements. They’ve created a sound that is all their own, taking music from the 1940s and 1950s and giving the songs new life with a new twist.
The Duprees began in the early 1960s in Jersey City, New Jersey. The original group was discovered by George Paxton of Coed Records, who was impressed with their smooth vocal quality. He had them record the Jo Stafford hit, “You Belong to Me,” with big-band back-up and it became their first million-seller. More hits followed, including “My Own True Love,” a vocal adaptation of “Tara’s Theme” from Gone with the Wind, “Have You Heard?” “The Sand and the Sea” and “Let Them Talk.”
Personnel changes are inevitable in a band spanning more than 50 decades, but the sound has never changed. Tony Testa, one of the original guitarists for the Duprees during the early years, is the leader and emcee. He sings bass, baritone, and a unique top falsetto. Phil Granito has been with the band since 1987 and does a show-stopping Jackie Wilson medley. Jimmy Spinelli, a member since since 1989, is known for his high energy, and Tommy Petilli, the fourth member, was the last lead singer to perform with the original Duprees. His vocals are considered the essence of the heart, soul and voice of the Duprees.
While the group will present all the songs you know and love, there will also be a few contemporary tunes, like Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the sound or the showmanship.