Categorized | Music News

Guy Villari

Posted on 28 September 2017 by Brian Walsh

Guy Villari, lead singer of the Regents, who gave us the original “Barbara-Ann” (#13-1961) and “Runaround” (#28-1961), died Friday (September 22) at his home in Middletown, New York. He was 74. The Bronx group had recorded as the Montereys (with Ernie Maresca) and the Desires before becoming the Regents (named after their recording studio and Guy’s brand of cigarettes). “Barbara-Ann” was recorded in 1958 but they were unable to find a label to release it and disbanded. Three years later, a local New York label picked up the recording and it became a hit there and soon was leased to Gee Records for national distribution. The Ernie-written “Rounaround” followed, but two subsequent releases failed to chart and the group broke up again. Guy revived the Regents in 1973 and 1995 and continued to tour until his death.

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