2017 - Individual Artist
Angelo was 5 years old in 1951 when the Toby and Suzie Tent Show came to his hometown of Keosauqua, Ia. He entered the talent contest with his new ukulele and sang “Little Brown Jug”. He won first place, $15.00. He was rich and that started his love of music and money.
Most of his family played music, dad played banjo, Uncle Carl played fiddle, Grandma played piano. He would go along when they played for square dances, almost every Saturday night. He finally got an acoustic guitar and would play and sing at the dances.
High school came and his dad took him to the furniture store in Kirksville, MO. Where they also sold guitars and amps. He picked out a brand new 1962 Sunburst Telecaster and a Gibson amplifier called the “Duel Sonic”.
Three of his high school friends and he formed a band called “The Sonix” after the amp. They had a great time playing for sock hops and local dances. They liked the Ventures, Chuck Berry, Jan and Dean and soul music. They probably had 20 songs.
After high school, he went to college at the University of Iowa. He soon met some students who played music and they formed a band called “The Tombstones”. They played frat parties and local bars around Iowa City. They had way too much fun and got paid for it!
The summer of ’65 they took the “Tombstones” to Arnolds Park, Ia. on Lake Okoboji. They played 5 nights a week in a rowdy college bar. They spent their days on the lake and the nights playing rock and roll. It was a great summer. They summer quickly came to an end and he decided to join the Air Force. He took his guitar overseas and played in bands in Turkey, Greece and Key West.
After the Air Force, he started a band with his sister Donna, brother Tony and brother in law Donny. They were called “The Family”. They traveled throughout the Midwest playing the Holiday Inns and Roadway Ins. The road was a lot of work and then returned home to regroup. Donny and Angelo joined a group called “The Other Side”. They went back on the road until Donny got drafted and went to Vietnam.
He then formed a band called “Penthouse” in the early 1970s. They went back on the road until he opened a nightclub called “The Penthouse Club”. They played there and also promoted local bands providing them a venue to play. He sold the club in 1979 and took the “Penthouse Band” back on the road all around the Midwest. They had a great time until they started getting married and having children. They all found jobs and continued playing in various local bands.
He’s played with “River City Rhythm”, “The Life Band”, “South Prairie” and most recently “Rivertown”. He’s had to give up singing because he has Parkinson’s disease and his voice is weak. He also struggles with some chords on the guitar, but he has the love of friends and family and music as a gift.