#769: No by Bulldog
Dean Cornish was born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1943. In his childhood, he moved with his single mother to Rochester, New York. At the age of nine he learned to play the ukulele. By the age of eleven Cornish was playing guitar and country songs. In an interview with the National Association of Music Merchants in January 2016, Cornish remembers seeing Elvis Presley on the Tommy Dorsey Show and getting the guitar of his choice by the late 50’s and learning to play songs by Duane Eddy. By his teens he was playing guitar and harmonica in local Rochester bands. In 1962, when he was 19, Gene formed a band called the Gene Cornish Nobles who recorded a couple of singles. In 1964 Cornish joined Joey Dee and the Starliters who had charted a #1 hit in January 1962 called the “Peppermint Twist.” While playing with Joey Dee, Gene met up with Felix Cavaliere and another musician, a drummer named Dino Danelli. The three became the nucleus of what would become The Young Rascals.