Jump to content
  • Sign Up
Blackpoolsoul

Tommy Frontera (Detroit) - who was he ?

Recommended Posts

I have been searching the web to try and find out who this gentleman may have been

He recorded a few singles

One on Palmer, 3 on Hi-Lite and one on REM Records to my knowledge

I found this on the web which may or may not be him

http://deathnotices.michigan.com/view-single.php?id=76561&token=

Some of his tunes were probably not the greatest records to exist, but he should perhaps be known about

Tommy palmer.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, The Tempest said:

 

Always loved it 

He was the man who sang amongst the best lyrics any song has ever had, this one. don't care if hes white, so an I 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember my last visit to the U.S. back in 2005, based in Bradenton Florida, I flew to Detroit in more "Homage than Hope" of finding any  Motor City obscurities, and although accruing quite a lot of average bits and pieces in Hamtrammk, following a visit to 2648 West Grand Boulevard etc. on my return to Florida, came across a small stocked shrift shop  in Bradenton (vinyl wise), which had only two items of interest, one being a nice copy of Tommy Frontera, for ten cents....

Still Have it and Still Love it.....God Bless You Tommy........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There were many Italian-American groups in Detroit that started singing in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Tommy Frontera( ), The Seminoles/Embers(Joey Finazzo/Sal Prado), The Calveys(Gino Romano), Mike (Valvano) & The Modifiers, The Sunliners (Ralph Terrana), Reflections (Tony Micale), The Laredos(Danny Zella).

Edited by RobbK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, the yank said:

This talent directory from late 1964 (Billboard 12/26/64 - page 110) shows Tommy as a Golden World (????) artist.

Does anyone have any more info on this ?

tommy.jpg

That looks legitimate to me.  I guess JoAnne Bratton and Ed Wingate signed Tommy to a Golden World contract in late 1964 on the strength of his recent local hit with Hi-Lite Records, "You're My Leading Lady".  Maybe they never got around to even record him, or recorded just a few cuts on him but didn't release anything on him after they hit it big with The Reflections' "Just Like Romeo and Juliet".  No point in having two similar acts fighting each other for air time.  I remember reading about Ed Wingate complaining when "Oh How Happy" was released.  He said something to the effect of:  "What?  ANOTHER White group?  Why are we releasing that?  We've already got The Reflections!"

I don't remember seeing any reference to Frontera being a Golden World artist from any of their inside documentation I saw among Ron Murphy's papers he got from his purchase of their back stock, or any of what was at Motown, or from anything published by collectors or researchers.  But many deals were made in the music business that never came to fruition for one reason or another.  But, it could certainly fit in Frontera's time line.  "Leading Lady" was done by later mid 1964.  That's when he was a "hot commodity" (enough to get interest from Golden World).  That was long before he signed with Palmer (1966).  There was lots of press and fanfare on David Ruffin leaving Motown, and joining a new back-up group (The Cavaliers), which never materialised, as he signed a new contract with Motown as a single artist.  I believe that Frontera was signed to Golden World and didn't get a release.  Had he been recorded, we likely would have heard his recordings (but that's not completely certain, as new, unknown recordings from the early 1960s are continuing to pop up through the years.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, tomangoes said:

Which of his records have been 'played regularly  ' on the Northern Soul scene apart from Leading Lady?

I can't say I'm a great fan of his singing voice...just my opinion.

Ed

Wasn't Tommy's Palmer record played some on The Scene?  But, I imagine it wasn't a hit.  It has those great Theodore-Coffey arrangements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/11/2018 at 19:16, Gilly said:

He was the man who sang amongst the best lyrics any song has ever had, this one. don't care if hes white, so an I 

Thirty years ago I was given a lift from Chicago to Detroit by a Detroit born record collector. Looking at some records I had bought, he informed me the TF was a big hit locally because high school lads had bought the record to give to their sweethearts; maybe why you can’t good copies of it – played to death or chucked in the trash!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!

Adverts



×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.