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Current 2016 Band Members

TONY JULIANO

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Tony Juliano is a founding member of Johnny's Dance Band. From 1969 through 1977, he led the group through all its incarnations: 4-piece party band at PCA; album session at Philly's Regent Sound; 6-piece early seventies group; and the amazing 7-piece version of JDB that built such a huge reputation. Tony has always been dedicated to the band's original concept, emphasizing totally unique songwriting, often of a satirical nature. He loves to quote a local reviewer, who once described JDB as, "a cross between The Mothers Of Invention and My Little Margie". His contributions to Johnny's Dance Band over the years have included: the concept; principal songwriting - 2/3 of the band's material; lead vocals; guitar; harmonica; congas; Latin percussion; keyboards; and quasi-choreography.

In the seventies, Tony did the signature WMMR parody station I.D.s, became an award winning jingle writer, with 48 ADDY Awards for multi-media advertising, as well as being a Sesame Street composer. In the eighties, he began a romance with the US Virgin Islands - living and working there, doing live solo and band performances, and being Producer and Program/Promotion Director for WVWI radio. When Tony returned stateside, he rang up his buddies Courtney and Bobby, and they "started all over again". He's been living in St. Petersburg, Florida lately. But Tony Juliano will do a Johnny's Dance Band gig at the drop of a hat. That's sorta what happened this time around.     (photo: Franco Prezio)


COURTNEY COLLETTI

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Courtney Colletti began hanging out with the original 4-piece Johnny's Dance Band in 1969. He had his own great group, but he longed to be in JDB. In 1973, he became a member, and was part of the most famous 7-piece ensemble from then until 1978. Courtney has always contributed so much: vocals, exquisite guitar work, bass, and flute. In addition, he writes beautiful songs as well as wacky satirical songs. He's a theatrical artist of the highest degree, portraying JDB's many characters with entertaining flair, albeit insane. Courtney uses funny dialects to put across ethnic parodies that have become favorites of JDB fans.

Throughout the years, his reputation as a consummate musician has spread perhaps wider than any other member of the group. He is always in demand, and has performed all over the country, in Europe and the Caribbean. Courtney's own bands, and bands he's formed with Tony and Bobby have kept him forever cranking his creative juices. He's always the first to say "Yes !" to a new Johnny's Dance Band project. He was there in the 30th Anniversary JDB, the 40th, the 2013-2014 band, and he's a part of it now. Courtney Colletti and Tony Juliano have been making music together for 47 years, so by now it's kinda ... telepathic. Courtney is devoted to preserving, perpetuating and extending the original JDB concept.     (photo: iRa Fine)


BOBBY LENTI

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Bobby Lenti was an incredibly important part of the most well-known 7-piece Johnny's Dance Band line-up. From 1974 to 1979, he added so many of his musical talents to the mix: fantastic guitar playing; gorgeous singing; wonderful stage presence; outstanding songwriting; plus creative arrangement and production ideas that really helped the group’s sound and success. In the mid-seventies, WMMR listeners voted him Best Local Guitarist in the Philadelphia area.

Brooklyn Bobby has never stopped his creative process, through his own bands since then, as a sideman in demand, and producing superior albums for himself and other artists. In the eighties and nineties, he also joined new bands with Tony and Courtney. Bobby joined the "reunion" versions of JDB, in 1999, 2009, and 2013, contributing keyboard as well as guitar, plus always more great songs. When asked to join the gang one more time, Bobby Lenti answered without hesitation, "I'm in ! This will be fun.”     (photo: Irma Copes)


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SU TEEARS

Su Teears began learning Johnny's Dance Band's repertoire when she was a young girl, too young to legally go to the nightclubs. But a friend played some bootleg recordings for her, and she was hooked. From then on, Su obtained any and all recordings, wanting to learn every nuance of the JDB show and schtick. Then, in 2013, she joined the so-called "reunion band", and her dream came true. Now, Su's back, and the group is very happy about it. If you haven't seen her portrayal of the characters that dwell within Johnny's Dance Band's music, then you really must make it your business to do so. Su Teears' singing is superb. She faithfully interprets and recreates the original female vocalist roles, intended by JDB's conceptual songwriters. She will win you over.
(photo: Howard Pitko)


STEVE DELANEY

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Steve Delaney is one of the newest Johnny's Dance Band recruits - but not new to the band members and their music. Since the early nineties, he's assumed the drum duties in most of Tony's band and studio projects. Over the years, Steve has expanded as a musician, adding to his areas of expertise: guitar, bass, and keyboards. Plus, he's a damn fine singer. His musical talents have taken him into the realm of the studio, where he has engineered, produced, and performed on some fantastic projects. Steve's reputation as an outstanding all-round musician has spread through the Philadelphia tri-state area, where he's led and performed with a number of successful bands. Tony asked Steve Delaney to be a part of the latest line-up, and he answered, "I'd consider it an honor and a privilege !" So there you go.



JOEY STOUT

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Joey Stout was a last-minute addition to the newest Johnny's Dance Band. But he's been working with the members of the group since the eighties. Joey has performed in most of their independent band projects, with lots of musical assignments, such as: guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, and vocals. He's one of the most in demand rock 'n roll "hired guns" in the Philadelphia area. Over the years, Joey also worked as JDB's soundman - at some of their most important shows, like World Cafe Live.

Tony began recording original album projects at Joey's studios in 1993, and continued choosing him as production assistant on every TJ project since. Joey's passion is rockin' blues, and he's widely known for these skills. He's performed up and down the east coast, proving it all night to audiences far and wide. When asked if he'd play bass, sing and add his gigantic talents to Johnny's Dance Band, Joey Stout responded, "It would be an honor."


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Bandleaders' Autobiographies circa 2014

COURTNEY COLLETTI

"I'm from the Jersey suburbs, 25 miles from Manhattan. When I was nine, I got a radio with an earphone for my birthday. Every night I was up listening to music when I should have been sleeping. I couldn't stop! I was hooked! School photos show bags under my eyes! I'm still a "sponge" for all of it! My music life started at age 8, when I took violin. I learned to read music. I was good, so I got to conduct the school orchestra. Folk music was popular. My best friend played banjo, so I learned guitar at age 14. I couldn't wait to come home and practice! I still like to practice! 

Courtney Colletti

My first band was a folk group. Then I taught myself bass and joined my firs trock band during high school. I "fell" into the New York party business when I was nineteen, and played with killer musicians who were nice enough to mentor me. That's where I first heard all the ethnic, Latin and jazz music that I still love. In the seventies, I had an acoustic group named "BEANS" that recorded one album for United Artists. Then, I was invited into JOHNNY'S DANCE BAND. It was about as close as anyone can get to making it big, while doing your own music in your own way.

This life has been a trip! I've played everything from biker bars to Presidential Inaugural Balls, been flown to Europe for a billionaire's daughter's wedding, and to the Caribbean for Orthodox Jewish Passover shows. After all these years, I'm still a full-time musician! So, now, I get to be in JOHNNY'S DANCE BAND again. Cool !

Being back in JDB is different, yet the same as it was in the seventies. The differences are easy to spot. The band is now six instead of seven. Three of us are original members. I'm playing lead guitar & flute, my first role in 1973. I front the band on many of my own songs. I get to create wacky characters, do stand-up, and contribute a wide range of music styles. We're also older, mellower, and we get along well. The ways that things are the same is a wonderful surprise. Our old band had incredible energy, and now it's back in full force!
(Photo © 2013 Franco Prezio)

Tony still leads the band onstage. Besides being the conceptualizer and principal songwriter, he’s the person who pushes us forward and handles the nuts and bolts of band life. There wouldn't be a JOHNNY'S DANCE BAND without Tony. It's truly his "baby". Offstage, Tony and I are co-leaders of the group.
 I love the way Tony and I have always moved together onstage. We gravitate towards movement that supports the songs. It adds a lot to the show. It's part of what elevates us from just playing and singing to creating a more entertaining and visual stage act."

We're back!                                                                                                          

                                                                                                    

TONY JULIANO

It started at home. His mom, Edee, was ironing in the living room, singing to her favorite songs on “Your Hit Parade” or “American Bandstand”. Little Tony played on the floor with his toy cars and trucks, singing along with mom. They sang the songs of Harry Belafonte, Bill Haley and His Comets, The McGuire Sisters, Johnny Ray and other artists of the day. It was the early fifties.

Elvis wailed “Heartbreak Hotel” & “Hound Dog'”. His sexuality threatened the older generation so much ... that The “Ed Sullivan Show” cut him off at the waist. As Tony watched, Tony knew: he must get a guitar and do that too. It was 1956.

Cool stuff happened in the fifth grade. Tony's music teacher, Mrs. Kelton (who resembled Andy Taylor's Aunt Bea), actually let him sing rock 'n roll songs in front of the class - acappella. Then, he and a friend put on white sportcoats and guitars, which they only held. They lip-synched “All I Have To Do Is Dream” for The Strawberry Festival Concert at church. In the grade school talent show, TJ donned top hat, tails and cane, as he mimed and danced to “Me And My Shadow”. These performances went over big.

But, the real milestone was his first paying gig, at a school “canteen” dance. With Tony on drums, and two classmates on piano and guitar (for real), “The Magentas” rocked the house. They named themselves after the color of their shirts. It was 1958, and Tony Juliano was 11. His folks got him a $25 Stella acoustic guitar & sent him to a local music store for lessons. Tony continues...

"The instructor gave me nothing but scales, exercises and theory. It was nothing that I cared about. I wanted to ROCK. So, I quit guitar and didn’t pick it up again until ... age 16, when I met my best friend Frankie, who could play. He showed me 3 or 4 chords and finger picking. I learned one song, and performed it in The All School Show, my senior year at Upper Darby High. I was voted King of The Show. Also in that talent show was schoolmate, Todd Rundgren. Then I performed in a “Hootenanny” with another unknown from Upper Darby High School ... Jim Croce. It was 1965.

I was also a founding member of “The Durhams”, an acappella rhythm and blues (a.k.a. Doo Wop) singing group. We became the pet project of Jerry Blavat, who had us perform on his WDAS radio show, at his Chez Vous and Wagners Ballroom dances, and his nationally syndicated ABC TV show “The Discophonic Scene”. One night, we piled into my ’52 Ford, and drove to Hackensack, NJ in the rain. At the Relic Rack record store, home of Relic Records, the five of us stood around one microphone and recorded 17 tracks. Many were released on Relic’s “Best Of Acappella” album series. Our fast version of “Sincerely” was a single, and for a time, was #9 on the All Time acappella chart, whatever that was. The Durhams now have a cult following. We're featured in the annual “Billboard Book of American Singing Groups”.   
                              (photo © Anne Jackson)                                                                                                

While at Temple University, I formed a hippie rock ‘n roll band and did mainly frat parties. I hung out at a girls’ dorm where my girlfriend lived. There, I met Chris Darway, whose girlfriend lived in the same dorm. He was a PCA student and former member of the hit national group “The Critters”. Chris saw me perform and asked me to sing lead vocals and play guitar,  in a band that had just started. Since Chris had serious big-time experience, I gave up the frat parties and said “yes”. Thus, was born ... JOHNNY’S DANCE BAND. It was 1969. ( See the JDB History Page ).
Johnny's Dance Band became the single greatest artistic achievement of my life. 

I left JDB in 1977 and met my wife Dyann in 1982. She is my savior, because she made me realize I was born to make music. She brought me back from a sad hiatus, and returned me to my life's work. We lived in St. Thomas for several years. There, I had a calypso-rockabilly trio, and was the Promotion/Production/Program Director for WVWI "Radio One”.
I won 48 Addy Awards in creative multi-media advertising. Returning home in 1988, I continued performing, writing and recording with new and old musician friends like Courtney and Bobby. We had a great Funky Calypso band called "Down Island Dogs". There's a camaraderie among us that can only come after many years of going through the rock 'n roll wars together. During the next two decades, I cultivated relationships with many new musical partners, including Joey Stout, Steve Delaney and Su Teears.

Fast Forward to 2016. The members of the newest reincarnation of Johnny’s Dance Band are kinda buzzed from all the positive feedback we’ve been experiencing since we decided to get together. This rebirth was totally unplanned. The original JDB of the seventies was pre-videos. There is no moving picture record of the inspired lunacy we created, and brought to many tens of thousands of loyal supporters throughout that decade. Our new group will do our best to faithfully restore that spirit of original, totally unique, good old rock ‘n roll ... laced with satire, parody, cabaret theatrics, vaudevillian schtick and quasi-choreography. It’s what we love doing, and it's what our fans have always seemed to love as well.”

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