The Mello-Kings were a doo-wop vocal group who had a hit in 1957 with Tonite, Tonite. Although the record did not reach the top positions in the US charts, it is considered one of the most influential recordings of its genre.
The group originated in 1956 as “The Mellotones” at a high school in Mount Vernon, New York. Members were the brothers Jerry and Bob Scholl as well as Eddie Quinn, Neil Arena and Larry Esposito. Their manager was pianist Dick Levister. They were signed to a recording contract with the Herald Records label. Since there was already another group with the same name, their name was changed to “The Mello-Kings”.
Tonite, Tonite was written by Billy Myles, the house composer for Herald Records. The record was released in 1957 and was a regional hit, reaching #77 on the US charts, where it was listed for 10 weeks. A 1961 re-release managed another brief run at #95. It would remain the group’s only hit to be reissued on quite a few compilations.
- US catalogue number: Herald 502; Whitburn, Joel : Top Pop Singles 1955-1993. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin : Record Research Ltd, 1994, p. 399
- Warner, Jay: The Billboard Book Of American Singing Groups. A History 1940-1990. New York City / New York: Billboard Books, 1992, p. 254f