tommy mara and the crests

All posts tagged tommy mara and the crests

Richard Nader’s Doo Wop Celebration XXIV, IZOD

Published June 2, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_1002Me in front of the IZOD

SAM_1006My husband Dennis and I enjoying the show

SAM_1030Jay Siegel’s Tokens

SAM_1037Me with Deborah Nader

SAM_1048Gene “Duke of Earl” Chandler

I am so grateful to Deborah Nader ( giving my husband and I comp tickets to last night’s show!

It was a fabulous night to watch all the stars come out: Jay Black, Gene Chandler, John Kuse & The Excellents, Lenny Coco & The Chimes, The Duprees, Jay Siegel’s Tokens, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, Tommy Mara & The Crests, Twin Gold and the Whip-Tones (from Whippany, NJ).

I was thrilled to meet Jay Siegel during intermission. The Tokens have a special place in my heart because the year I was born, 1963, their song “The Lion Sleeps Tonite” was a hit, and my favorite hit of that year!

Other highlights of the show were when Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs sang “Little Darling” and an Elvis impersonator, Craig Newell, came out. And when Jay Black, at age 75, hit the high notes of “Cara Mia.” Every single act was excellent!

The show was 3.5 hours long, with a brief intermission.

I’m still on such a high from the show — so many great songs and acts, one right after another!

Jay Black, Tokens, Tommy Mara, and Much More at Izod, Saturday, June 1

Published May 1, 2013 by Maryanne

Jay Black & the AmericansJay Black

Once again, Richard Nader Entertainment, Inc. is presenting a dynamic show of oldies icons on Saturday, June 1, 2013, 7 p.m. at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

This will be a special celebration for Jay Black, as it’s the 50th anniversary of their hit “Only in America.” The iconic song was heard throughout New York during America’s bicentennial celebration in 1976.

Other amazing songs by Jay and the Americans include: “Cara Mia,” “This Magic Moment,” and “Come a Little Bit Closer.” Jay Black’s voice is as powerful today as it was back in the day.

Joining the star-filled extravaganza are Jay Siegel and The Tokens, best known for their 1963 hit, “The Lion Sleeps Tonite”; Brooklyn doo wop group, Lenny Cocco and the Chimes doing their hit “Once in Awhile”;  John Kuse and the Excellents, known for “Coney Island Baby”; The Duprees performing their goose-bump inducing hit, “You Belong to Me”; Gene Shandler doing “Duke of Earl”; Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs performing their chart buster hit, “Stay”; Tommy Mara and The Crests, doing “Sixteen Candles”; and Twin Gold.

Come see the artists who have made famous the songs that were known as “music to make love to.” Re-live the golden memories of songs that have forever staying power — for young and old fans alike!

For those who like to get the party started early, as the fun begins when the gates open at 3 p.m. for the classic car display, a tailgate party, and autograph session with the stars!

Tickets are available at or any Ticketmaster outlet.

For information go to or email

Here are some of the songs by the artists:

Jay and the Americans – Only in America

The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonite

Lenny Cocco and the Chimes “Once in Awhile”

 The Excellents – Coney Island Baby

The Duprees – “You Belong to Me”

Gene Chandler “Duke of Earl”

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs – “Stay”

Tommy Mara and The Crests – “16 Candles”

Interview with Tommy Mara “The Pavarotti of Doo Wop”

Published February 13, 2013 by Maryanne

Tommy MaraTommy Mara

Tommy Mara “The Pavarotti of Doo Wop”

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Some people are just born to sing and it sure didn’t take Tommy Mara long to find his voice.

As a boy, he sang classic hits such as “More” while his grandmother played piano. He’d sing whatever his grandmother wanted him to sing, and even wore a fedora.

But Mara didn’t limit himself to his grandmother’s favorite Frank Sinatra songs, as he quickly moved on to rock, playing drums and singing in a high school rock band. Music flowed naturally for Mara, as it went from being a hobby to a serious career. The Italian singer from Brooklyn easily made the transition from Battle of the Bands to wedding bands, and then being in all kinds of rock groups, including southern rock. But it was doo wop that “rang like a bell” for Mara and because of his dynamic vocals, he became known as “The Pavarotti of Doo Wop.”

Mara left Brooklyn to move to Florida and in the 1990s, he joined the Saints and changed the name to “Tommy and the Saints.”

And in 2000, Mara joined The Crests, which was formerly led by the late Johnny Maestro, who later sang lead for The Brooklyn Bridge. Mara called the act, “The Crests, featuring the Voice of Tommy Mara” because he didn’t want anyone to think he was portraying Johnny Maestro.

“No one can sing like Johnny Maestro,” he said.

Maestro and Mara met officially in 1995 and became inseparable. “If we weren’t working, we were together,” Mara said. The duo performed together in the “Dream Team,” which Mara considered a career highlight. The pair even had a recording studio together.

While Maestro was the original front man for The Crests, Mara has been fronting them for over 13 years, longer than Maestro. Performing with The Crests took Mara all over the world. “I’m the most well-known, unknown person,” he said. “I’m the famous un-famous guy. I’m the only guy without a legitimate record.” But a “legitimate record” may be a reality soon enough for Mara, as a new Crest album is in the works, and it will feature both Mara and the late Maestro on the songs.

However, this was not originally in Mara’s plans.

“As a friend, I didn’t want to reap off his [Maestro] passing. I didn’t want to make money off my goombah,” Mara said.

It’s obvious from Mara’s live performances that he isn’t doing it for money. “I do it for the love,” he said, “to make people feel like they’re twenty-one again. To watch their faces brings joy to me. It’s beautiful.”

Tommy Mara and The Crests will be the special guest of David Brenner on Saturday, March 16, 2013, 8 p.m. at Paper Mill Playhouse, in Millburn, New Jersey.

Tommy Mara and The Crests will also be performing “Richard Nader’s Doo Wop Celebration XXIV” Saturday, June 1, 2013, at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.