Biography

The Tempos are known for their hit recording of the classic ballad “See You in September”. It reached #23 on the Billboard charts in 1959 and enjoyed renewed popularity in 1973 when it was featured in a hit movie and a hit soundtrack album.

Mike Lazo, Gene Schacter, and Bobby Vinton formed a singing trio The Hilites in 1954 that performed at local records hops. Drafted into the Army Lazo and Schachter sang at U.S.O. shows while stationed together in Korea. Returning to civilian life in 1957 Lazo and Schachter joined forces with two Duquense University music majors, song writer Jim Drake and saxophonist Tom Minito to form the Tempos. Singing rich harmonies the performed a local record hops where the came to attention of local artist manager/producer Jack Gold. Gold, who was managing Lou Christie at the time, persuaded David Kapp to sign them to his New York City based Kapp Records. Kapp released 3 singles by the Tempos: “Kingdom Of Love” / “That’s What You Do To Me” (1957), “Prettiest Girl In School” / “Never You Mind” (1957) and “Strollin’ With My Baby” / “I Got A Job” (1958).

Brill Building song writers Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards wrote the song “See You in September” on a Friday of June 1959. They pitched the song to Jack Gold that afternoon. He brought the rights to it for $500 and called the Tempos that evening to fly New York. The Tempos recorded the song the next day in New York, the record was on Monday, the testing pressing was done on Thursday, and its was getting airplay on WNEW on Friday. It was released on the short lived Climax Records label. The record broke in San Francisco, hit the national charts in July, and climbed to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of August. The Tempos performed on American Bandstand on October 12, 1959.

“See you in September” was their one national success. Climax released a follow-up single “The Crossroads of Love” / “What” later in 1959 that did not reach the charts. They continued to perform at Pittsburgh area dances, appear on local television dance programs, and record until 1965. They release the singles “Look Homeward Angel” / “Under 10 Flags” (Paris 1959), “My Barbara Ann” / “When You Loved Me” (Ascot 1965), and “My Barbara Ann (re-release) / “I Wish It Were Summer” (Ascot 1965).

The Tempos were rediscovered in 1973 when their recording of “See You in September” was featured in the hit movie and top selling soundtrack album “American Graffiti.”

Edited by unelegant on 20 Sep 2013, 16:03

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