By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

In 1956, Vito Picone, a teenager in Staten Island, NY, started his own vocal group, The Elegants. By 1958, the group’s signature song, “Little Star,” rocketed up the Billboard charts to become the #1 song in the nation. Soon, Vito and The Elegants began touring the country with some of the greatest names in rock ’n roll history. Later on, Vito continued to display his talents as an actor, appearing in a number of well-regarded films and television shows.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Vito Picone and talked with him about his…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Mona Bagatelle Shenker

Bobby Hart is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award-nominated songwriter who helped sell nearly 100 million recordings. Well known for his association with musician Tommy Boyce, the pair wrote, produced, and performed on recordings by The Monkees, the made-for-TV music group which in 1967 and 1968 outsold both The Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Bobby Hart and talked with him about his musical childhood, his rise to fame with Tommy Boyce, his time working with The Monkees, in addition to what he’s currently doing…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Sonny Maxon

Jimmy Clanton is known as one of the most popular teen idols of the 1950s and ’60s. Between 1958 and 1962, the “Swamp Pop Teenage Idol” had seven charted hits — including three which reached the Top 10 and four which were million sellers — in addition to starring in films and sharing the stage with a variety of well-known artists including Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Platters, and many more.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Clanton and asked him about his musical childhood, his rise to stardom, his experiences as…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Richie Furay is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who, in the mid-1960s, formed Buffalo Springfield with several other up-and-coming musicians including Stephen Stills and Neil Young. Buffalo Springfield’s biggest hit, “For What It’s Worth,” became an anthem for the 1960s, but the band’s three albums — all recorded in the span of just two years — consisted of additional outstanding material, notably Furay’s original composition, “Kind Woman.” …


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey will present Together We Rise, a free virtual concert on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 6:30 pm ET as part of a State Theatre New Jersey collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb and additional support from EY and Accenture. The pop and jazz singer is best known for her appearances on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent.

Mandy Harvey was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1988. Spending her younger years in Florida, she experienced hearing problems and underwent several surgeries to try to correct them. …


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Dennis Tufano is the original lead singer of The Buckinghams and whose voice you hear on such great 1960's hits as “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song),” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Don’t You Care,” “Susan,” and The Buckinghams’ 1967 #1 chart-topping smash, “Kind of a Drag.”

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Tufano and asked him about his musical childhood, his rise to fame with The Buckinghams, his work as a solo artist/songwriter/actor, in addition to what he’s been up to these days.

Spotlight Central: You grew up in Chicago in a musical family…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Singer/songwriter Joe “Bean” Esposito is currently the lead singer of The Brooklyn Bridge and a former member of The Brooklyn Dreams. His voice can be heard on hit recordings with Donna Summer and Brenda Russell, as well as in blockbuster movies including Flashdance and The Karate Kid. His original songs have been recorded by such artists as Aretha Franklin, Stephen Stills, and Diana Ross.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Esposito and asked him about his musical youth, his work with Eddie Hokenson and Bruce Sudano in The Brooklyn Dreams, his rise to…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

Mark Stein is well-known as a lead vocalist, keyboardist, composer, and arranger for the influential ‘60s-era psychedelic rock band, Vanilla Fudge. Spotlight Central recently caught up with Stein and asked him about his musical childhood, his rise to fame with Vanilla Fudge, his work with other celebrated musicians, in addition to what he’s been up to lately.

Spotlight Central: You’re a Jersey boy who was born in Bayonne, NJ. Were any of your family members musical?

Mark Stein: Yeah, I’m a Jersey boy! Actually, my mom and dad both loved music. My mom…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

The Mystics are a doo-wop group from Brooklyn, NY. The group’s biggest hit, “Hushabye,” climbed the charts in 1959, a disc called by critics “one of those perfect records” which exemplifies the doo-wop genre.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Al Contrera, an original member of The Mystics, and asked him about his musical childhood, his rise to fame with the group, his work with several notable singers, and what he’s been up to lately.

Spotlight Central: You’re from Brooklyn, NY. Did you grow up in a musical family?

Al Contrera: No, not…


By Spotlight Central. Photos by Love Imagery

The Lettermen are a world-renowned pop vocal trio founded in 1959. The group has recorded over 75 albums including two Top 10 pop singles, 16 Top 10 Adult Contemporary singles, and 18 international gold records. Vocalist Donovan Tea joined The Lettermen in 1984 and, next to now-retired founding member Tony Butala, is the longest-tenured member of the group.

Spotlight Central recently caught up with Donovan Tea and asked him about his musical childhood, his performances with various stars of the stage and screen, his work with The Lettermen, and what he’s been up…

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