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The_Rondels_Top_PageSo it’s a Friday night in early 1957 and I’m excited to be at what I believe is my first high school dance “Record Hop.” A Disc Jockey playing the hit 45’s of the day The sound was loud and bouncing off the wood in the Weymouth High School gymnasium in Weymouth, Massachusetts. A new sound of guitars, drums, pumping bass and vocals bred energy for all the teenagers anxious to dance, a sound created by “Rock and Roll” The DJ replayed “Party Doll“ by Buddy Knox five times in three hours. He also played “Poor Butterfly” by Charlie Gracie, ”Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry, “Eddie My Love“ by The Teen Queens and “I’m Sticking With You“ by Jimmy Bowen. I had heard all these songs on Boston radio but this environment added another dimension of excitement. One that left me longing to create that environment and be a bigger part of it. It was an experience that lead to experimenting with the formation of bands. Teens from the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts; Weymouth, Quincy and Braintree called themselves as they evolved:The Rhythm Rockers, The Rainbows, and The Reveleers. Ultimately four teens from those bands, came together to form The Rondels. Lennie Petze, Jimmy Petze, Ray Pizzi and Lenny Collins started writing and recording as The Rondels in 1959. As luck would have it, a demo we recorded of an old standard song titled “Greensleeves” would find it’s way to the ears of a producer in New York city named “Bugs” Bower. Bugs was currently having huge success with an artist named Brian Hyland. Brian’s record of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” was a top five record at the time and destined to get to the number one position on all the music charts. After hearing our demo, Bugs asked the band to come to New York to record “Greensleeves” with him as the producer. That is how it all started for The Rondels.

Lennie Petze

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