The Three Chuckles Biography

Formed in Brooklyn, New York, USA, vocal/instrumental doo-wop group the Three Chuckles took their name from the fact that they began life as a comedy troupe. Tommy Romano (tenor and guitar) and Russ Gilberto (lead vocals and bass guitar) met while playing baseball, and soon added accordion player Phil Benti. After lengthy touring, Benti departed, and they took on 15-year-old Teddy Randazzo (Alessandro Carmelo Randazzo, 13 May 1935, New York City, New York, USA, d. 21 November 2003, Orlando, Florida, USA) as replacement.

After further local concerts the group were spotted at a bowling alley in Detroit in 1953 by Ray Gayhan. Through him they secured a recording contract with Great Lakes Records’ subsidiary, Boulevard Records. Two songs were recorded, ‘At Last You Understand’ and ‘Runaround’, the latter written for them by Cirino Colacrais. It was this side that caused all the interest, and significant local airplay led to the band being snapped up for wider distribution by RCA Records. ‘Runaround’ subsequently peaked at number 20 in the Billboard charts, going on to sell over a million copies.

The Three Chuckles used this exposure to secure prestigious television slots on shows hosted by Perry Como, Steve Allen and others, before being recruited by disc jockey Alan Freed for his 1955 movie, Rock, Rock, Rock, in which Romano played the male lead. A second celluloid appearance came in 1958 with The Girl Can’t Help It, before the group retired to the studio to complete their first album. This was a steady seller, but their success on the singles front had now declined, with only ‘Times Two, I Love You’ and ‘And The Angels Sing’, the latter part of a new contract with Vik Records, making the charts. Randazzo then left for a solo career (subsequently writing hits for Little Anthony And The Imperials), and although he was replaced by Jackie Farrell, no further Three Chuckles recordings were issued.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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