Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In 1958 Calvin Briggs,Neal Davis,ErnieVendetti and Emilio Giondomenico were know as The Vel-Tones.

This same year they recorded for Coy Records the sides_Playboy/Cal's Tune. later the label sold the masters to Kapp Records and this label released one single in 1959 with a different take than Coy.('Cal's Tune' on Coy has guitar and piano solos, while on Kapp it's a sax solo).

To Listen or Download please visit;

Left to right;Emilio Giondomenico,Ernie Vendetti,Calvin Briggs and Neal Davis.

Listen A Side...

Later in 1961 they recorded as THE FIRESIDERS on Swan Records...

-(I RememberOne And All)/No Ones Cares For Me.


Thanks to Bob Paxon for the additional information about this group and to Kev Davis son of former member of The Vel-Tones Neal Davis for the pictures of the group.

See on Youtube a tribute to Neal Davis r.i.p. 1939-2009.


Viaeanguli said...

Thank you for including the YouTube link to Neal Davis' R.I.P. tribute. It breaks my heart that one by one we are losing those pioneers of the White Doo Wop sound, but at least their tributes keep their contributions alive.

Scott (Houston, Texas)

Donna M Holstrom said...

My fiftieth H.S. Reunion is next year so have been talking of the "remember whens". The VelTones came to mind as I dated Ernie Vendetti back in '59 or '60. Ernie heard me singing in his car one time and was surprised that harmony was second nature to me. So, of course I sang along with them. Googled the group and this was the first site. Played their music several times.

Donna Trybala Holstrom

Mrgrateful1959 said...

Thanks for your sharing. I played the lead guitar parts on Playboy and Cal's Tune as a 16 or 17 yr old depending on when we recorded it. Your pictures are exactly as I remembered them in those years. It's interesting how we were able to fuse rockabilly and doo wop at that time. They helped me alot personally during that time. I'll always be grateful. - Frank

Shannon Neal Davis said...

Thank you for keeping the Vel-Tone's memory alive! I'm one of Neal's sons (#4 of 6), Shannon Neal Davis, and spent most of the last few years with my dad in his retirement years. Music was always his life and he kept singing and playing bass guitar up until 1995 with a north Texas band called "Against the Wind". He then discovered the joys of karaoke and loved inspiring others to get up and sing, including me. I have his voice and sing as much as I can!

For the last few years of Neal's life, he started recounting the years he spent singing with the Vel-Tones, but he was sad to have lost all of his albums. All he could do was describe the songs from memory and show me his spiral notebook full of lyrics. In 2008, we began searching online and started finding audio clips here and there.

As we made connections, people started sending him digital copies of the remaining albums. He was so happy! I restored around 13 songs and was amazed at how great the songs really were! My thoughts are exact with Mrgrateful1959 regarding the Rockabilly. I can definitely hear Brian Setzer playing many of the songs. I listened to Setzer for many years and loved his music. Dad knew I loved Rockabilly, but I didn't imagine that was so close to the Vel-Tone's style until I started hearing the old albums. Dad didn't tell me! It blew me away how dad's music was at the core of Rockabilly!

So, in 2009 and 2010, dad flew to meet Cal and Ernie for their high school reunion, but in August 2010, dad rapidly came down with tonsillar cancer and wasn't able to recover from it. He absolutely loved music! People he sang with still come around wherever I go, hoping to hear his voice when I sing and I'm happy I've been given that gift. Unfortunately, I didn't start singing until 6 days before he passed away. I did, however, walk into the hospital that night to tell him, "I sang tonight ... and I can sing, dad!" He was beyond happy. He raised his hands up, shaking them while trying to scream, "hallelujah". He used to talk of the day when his song "Playboy" went up against Danny and the Junior's "At the Hop" on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, though, we haven't been able to find any documentation on this. But the stories are all great to hear!

Thank you for keeping my dad's music alive! It's greatly appreciated!

Gloria Little said...

Wow! This is amazing. I was talking about this group recently and mentioned the fact that Calvin Briggs and I (Gloria Anderson) were dance partners back in the early days in Niagara Falls. We ruled the dance floor on many occasions.I believe if they had better support they were as good as and better than many of the groups of the day and would have made a big "splash" in the industry. This was a great time of recall for me. Thanks for the post and information regarding the group.