A singing career that has lasted over 5 decades ended last night when Johnny Maestro 71 died from cancer. The lead singer of the Crests had one of the most successful integrated doo wop groups in the 1950s, the Crests waxed the classic ballad “16 Candles” in 1959. Formed in 1956, Johnny Maestro’s (b. May 7, 1939) warm tenor made “16 Candles” a national smash, and pop/R&B hybrids like “The Angels Listened In” and “Step by Step” also did well. Maestro went solo in 1960, scoring the next year with “Model Girl” on Coed, while the Crests attempted to survive on their own. Maestro eventually reclaimed stardom as leader of Brooklyn Bridge,, an 11-piece aggregation that hit with “Worst That Could Happen” in 1968. source Bill Dahl, All Music Guide
I knew Johnny Maestro having first met him in 1982 when our singing group the Heartaches opened for him at Richard Nader’s Doo-Wop show at the New Yorks’ Felt Forum. He was very kind to us, a group of unkowns and made us feel very welcomed at such a large venue. Our group went on to play several other venues with Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge througout the 1980s.
In the music world Johnny Maestro will be missed for his talent and friendship.
such notable hits as “The Angels Listened In” and also he was lead singer of the the Brooklyn Bridge with hits throughout the 1960s with songs “The Worst that Could Happen”