#316: Believe Me by Royal Teens
Drummer Tom Austin was a founding member of The Royals in 1956 when he was 17 years old. He had been playing the drum since he was a child growing up in Fort Lee, Bergen County, New Jersey. Pianist Bob Gaudio was 14 years old when he became the group’s co-founder. Gaudio had been playing piano since he turned eight in 1950. Gaudio was born in November 1942 in Bergenfield, New Jersey. The two other members of the band were 14-year-old saxophonist, Billy Crandall, from Dumont, New Jersey, and 16-year-old Billy Dalton from Fort Lee. The Royals opened for a local New Jersey doo-wop group named The Three Friends who had a hit in New York and Baltimore in the winter of 1956-57 titled “Blanche”. After the Fort Lee concert, The Three Friends invited The Royals to come to New York to be the session musicians for their upcoming recording date in the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway. It was there The Royals met The Three Friends manager, Leo Rogers. On the strength of their musical skills, Rogers invited The Royals to be session musicians for numerous recording artists in the building. Rogers promised them that they’d have a shot at recording a record sometime later in 1957.