The Delicates

 (L to R) Denise, Peggy and Arleen.
The "Joe Franklin TV Show", New York in 1959.

  • Real Name: Denise Ferri
  • Birth Date: June 2nd, 1944
  • Birth Place: Belleville, N.J., USA
  • Peggy Santiglia
  • May 4th.1944
  • Belleville, N.J., USA
  • Arleen Lanzotti
  • January 20th 1944
  • Belleville, N.J., USA
  • Despite their name, "The Delicates" were one of the first girl groups to adopt a trace of what these days Americans call "an attitude". There was something about the sound that these young ladies produced that could only have come out of a New York studio. It gave their performances an unmistakable edge which probably influenced another New York girl group, the "Shangri-Las", a few years later. Despite this, they are occasionally confused with a lesser known West Coast girl group of the same name who were around at about the same time- something that has at least confused your writer in the past!
    The girls who were to become the "Delicates" had been friends since the age of eight and they were still only 14 years old- and already accustomed to singing together at Belleville High School- when they decided to form the group. They were adopted by the great edifice of popular songwriting known as the "Brill Building" and were frequently employed as backing singers as well as recording in their own right. Their first UK release, "Black And White Thunderbird" was written by the girls themselves and has become regarded as a 'must have' by many collectors of rock and roll, or afficianodos of the girl group sound. Although this record, on the Unart label, managed the US top 100, it certainly never got a placing in any version of the UK singles chart. Consequently, the original disc is very hard to find although the number has benefited from re-issues from time to time- including a 1999 release on a Rhino Records (4 X CD) boxed set: "Hot Rods and Custom Classics".
    At the time of the Thunderbird's original release, the girls were also appearing regularly on the "Swingin' Soiree" shows of the, now near legendary, DJ- "Murray the K" featured on 1010 WINS, New York. In fact the Delicates had written his opening and closing themes:and also his "Submarine Race Watcher's Theme". Murray also gave rise to their mysteriously entitled second release on Unart, "Meusurray". For the benefit of those of us not familiar with WINS, I should explain that this was another theme put together for Murray which concerned a language he'd invented where the first letter of every word was immediately followed by "eus". Hence, the lyric goes: "put 'eus' after every first letter- come on cats let's put 'em together"..and so on.

    During this early phase in their performing careers, Arleen decided to quit although Denise and Peggy went on to sign with Roulette Records where they sang as a duet continuing to call themselves the Delicates. After this, they teamed up with Bernadette Carroll for work on commercials and as a vocal backing group for other artists. The girls were highly regarded in this role and there was a great deal of demand for their services- they were employed on the discs of many famous artists. These included Patty Duke, Al Martino, Don Costa, Neil Sedaka, as well as fellow Belleville artists Frankie Valli and Connie Francis. Their most significant contribution was probably in helping to compose the arrangements and backing for Lou Christie's "Lightning Strikes"- a single which reached #1 in the USA and stalled just outside the UK top 10 early in 1966. Bernadette also produced several singles as a soloist- the best known of which is "Party Girl"- her only single to enjoy a release in the UK.

    Although the Delicates had only a short lifetime their members became involved in other musical alliances including the 'Angels'.

    Thanks are due to Dee Ferri for her much appreciated help in the preparation of the above notes- Webmaster.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm Discographies

    • Listings include 45 singles releases only
    • UK Collector's Items are shown In Red

    The Delicates UK 45rpm Discography

    London HLT8953 1959 Black and White Thunderbird/ Ronnie is My Lover
    London HLT9176 1960 Too Young To Date/ The Kiss

    The Delicates US 45rpm Discography

    Tender 818 1959 The Johnny Bunny/ My First Date
    UNART 2017 1959 Black and White Thunderbird/ Ronnie is My Lover
    UNART 2024 1959 Meusurray/ Ring a Ding
    United Artists 210 1960 Flip Flip/ Your Happiest Years
    United Artists 228 1960 Too Young To Date/ The Kiss
    Roulette 4321 1961 Little Ship/ Not Tomorrow
    Roulette 4360 1961 Little Boy Of Mine/ Dickie Went And Did It
    Roulette 4387 1961 I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)/ Strange Love

    Bernadette Carroll UK 45rpm Discography

    Stateside SS311 1964 Party Girl/ I Don't Wanna Know

    Bernadette Carroll US 45rpm Discography

    Julia 1106 1962 My Heart Stood Still/ Sweet Sugar Sweet
    Laurie 3217 1964 Nicky/ All The Way Home. I Cried
    Laurie 3238 1964 Party Girl/ I Don't Wanna Know
    Laurie 3268 1964 Happy Birthday/ Homecoming Party
    Laurie 3278 1965 The Hero/ One Little Lie
    Laurie 3311 1965 Don't Hurt Me/ Circus Girl
    Laurie 3320 1965 He's Just A Playboy/ Try Your Luck

     You can also find more on the Delicates at including a more wonderful photographs.