I was born in Newark, New Jersey into an Italian family. By 1952, my parents purchased their first home, delicatessen included, at 161 Union Ave, Belleville, New Jersey. Belleville was and still is a beautiful little town. I attended grammar school #8, which was three doors from my house. That was also when I met Peggy Santiglia. Then, in 1954, Arleen Lanzotti came to town and we three became good friends.
In 1955, our 5th grade teacher Mrs. Arthur decided to have "Friday Talent Show." She put the three of us together to perform something. We decided to sing . . ."we are the Belleville girls, we wear our hair in curls," words we wrote to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-De-Ay.".
The teacher loved it, the kids loved it, and we won the talent show. Then we decided that we loved singing and writing together, so we formed a group and The Delicates were born. We took our name from my parent's delicatessen. By the time we were in the 8th grade we had recorded our first record; by the 9th grade we appeared on American Bandstand.