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Cathy Jean & The Roommates

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The Roommates were originally a duo formed by 15-year olds Steve Susskind and Bob Minsky, of Russell Sage Junior High in Queens, New York. After coming second in a local talent show - behind another duo, Tom & Jerry, who later became better known as Simon & Garfunkel - they became a quartet, adding singers Jack Carlson and Felix Alvarez in 1960. The group released their first record, a cover of Kitty Wells’ hit “Making Believe”, on the Promo label. Their managers, Gene and Jody Malis, then set up their own label, Valmor. For their first release they recorded teenager Cathy Jean Giordano (born 8 September 1945, Brooklyn, New York) singing “Please Love Me Forever”, a song that had been a minor hit in 1958 for Tommy Edwards, and would become a hit again in 1967 for Bobby Vinton. Before releasing the record, the Malises overdubbed harmonies by the Roommates; Cathy Jean and the group had never met in person when the record was issued.Credited to Cathy Jean and the Roommates, and promoted by leading radio DJ “Murray the K”, the record rose to no. 12 in the Billboard pop chart in early 1961.

The Roommates then had success with their own record, “Glory of Love”, a song first recorded in 1936 by Benny Goodman and a R&B chart hit in 1951 for The Five Keys. The Roommates’ version reached no. 49 on the chart.

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