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A Miracle Of How a Brooklyn Italian Met His Idol Dion
Charlie Maestri or CHARLIE DO WOP | Brooklyn,New York | 01/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How it all began.Growing up in the Ft.Greene section of Brooklyn and singing Quote[in the hallways to get that "sound"],I found myself & The Guys harmonizing to the old standards of our parents era.However,we tried to create our own style.As we all know we could not afford instruments.So as Dion put it,we banged on cardboard boxes to create a beat and we used our voices for instruments.As we all know that is really what our voices are.When I first heard Dion and The Belmonts version of Frankie Laine's Thats My Desire,I became a disciple of Dion's Music from that day to the present day.I was amazed of how Dion could take a "certain riff",and in no time a song was born.And boy could he bang out Hit after Hit.As we all know myself included there is always a devoted girlfriend who naturally became his Bride,Susan in March of 1963.As God works his Miracles,the same thing happened to me.I wed my Bride,Louise on April 21,1979.She has met Dion on numerous occasions,which now leads us into this article's title.Remember,Dion has been my idol all through the years.We have both had our ups and downs but through these times our belief and trust in The Lord has always guided the both of us in the proper direction.It's not easy.You must have patience and tolerance and alway's take one day at a time.All of us cannot predict what the future holds for us.When Dion returned to performing a lot of people expected him to do his act doing his Hits.Some people were disallusioned when he opened his act at Westbury Music Fair in 1973 singing his way or his version of The Way You Do The Things You,with a new band called StreetHeart.He also penned a Hit called StreetHeart.At that performance he did surprise everyone when a streetlight magically appeared.Dion began singing A Teenager In Love,however there was no one on stage able to do backround harmony.Dion did not even miss a note.As the band took their instrumental version,Dion asked would anyone like to come up on stage and try to do a backround around Him.Now you know it takes alot of heart as well as to overcome stage fright,however after singing myself all through the years,I felt as if The Lord above is giving me the opportunity to finally meet the one person that I've idolized since the beginning of his great career.I made my way down towards the stage and proceeded on stage.We spoke briefly, and from that Dion said to me,Charlie,you finish and sing Lead and I will do backround behind you.As you see God did work a small Miracle.Standing ovations and cheers rang out from the audience.Dion thanked me and told the audience that from hence forward my stage name was to be Charlie Do Wop,and anytime he is in Town,that there will always be someway He would find a niche onstage for me.That really touched me deeply.Since that night in 1973,He always through the Grace of God,kept his promise.The Italian singer from Brooklyn and The Italian from the Bronx have formed a common bond and a great relationship.Remember,all around us,God is always there to guide us.I do hope that all who read this True Story,that all dreams do come true.God Bless Us All.To all avid fans of Dion,I do thank all of you for all the kind words and acknowlegment that you have given me over the past 30 years.That nickname "CHARLIE DO WOP" really touches me.All of Dion's Albums to me are all 5STARS.He has shown all of us how he has moved through many musical changes.Dion truly has shown us that he is "KING OF THE NEW YORK STREETS"."
Michael Ofjord | Minneapolis, MN | 05/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though not all songs may not hit you with the same impact, this album is a remarkable revelation of Dion's inner life at the time. Like the back cover said on the original LP, it was as though Dion was trying to reveal his new life and perspective. Unlike a lot of introspective singer-songwriters, though, none of this comes across as self-indulgent dreck, but more like a fight to reveal what he has learned. Strings are prominent and there are often elaborate arrangements. Sonny Boy is a blues number that has strings, interestingly enough, but most numbers are more in the folk and pop vein. Dion himself wrote two songs on the original recording and both are strong. He also recorded songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell,(he makes "Both Sides Now" his own) Leonard Cohen and Stevie Wonder for this album. I was 14 or 15 when I bought the original LP, but this album has kept its power from when I bought it 35 years ago. I believe it is a very underrated recording that may rank as one of the better singer-songwriter albums ever. The CD's last selection is a number that doesn't fit with the rest of the songs, but is a fantastic blues number that is a Dion original."