We are sad to report the passing of Dominick Randy Safuto, original lead singer of Randy and the Rainbows, in mid-October. Dominick had been performing with his brother Frank (also an original member of the group) until recently when he suffered a heart attack as he prepared for a routine medical procedure.
The group was formed in their hometown of Maspeth and Dominick was still living nearby in Queens at the time of his passing. The sounds of Randy and the Rainbows started back in 1959 when they first sang under the name of the Dialtones (with a female lead) and had a local hit called Till I Heard From You. In 1962 Dom Randy Safuto formed Randy and the Rainbows with his brother Frank Safuto, Ken Arcipowski and brothers Mike and Sal Zero. Six months later they had a hit record called Denise which sold 3 million copies.
In 1964 they had a follow-up record called, Why Do Kids Grow Up which sold 800,000 copies. Then from 1965 through 1967 they recorded Little Star, Happy Teenager and Quarter To Three. The group split into 2 with Mike Zero fronting Randy and the Rainbows and Safuto leading his own version of the group with him singing lead. In 1998 the original group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Randy and the Rainbows performed with Dick Clark, for various charities and telethons, at the Westbury Music Fair, Radio City Music Hall, the Nassau Coliseum and the Inaugural Ball. They toured with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, performed at the Fox Theater, at outdoor concerts and many great clubs in and around the metropolitan area and neighboring states.
Many people who grew up in Maspeth during the 1960s have fond memories of the doo-wop band that made the neighborhood proud. Rest in peace, Dominick Randy Safuto.