Ella Fitzgerald and the Orlons album covers (photos courtesy of Dan Romanello, from his private collection)
Dan Romanello began listening to WFUV back when he was a kid collecting records. Now he hosts Group Harmony Review, the nation's longest running rhythm and blues radio program. Romanello says the mission of his program is "to preserve the 1950's R&B vocal group sound, including its roots in the 1940's and its transition into the 1960's. I enjoy every minute of it."
Romanello has proudly hosted the program since 1983. "As a volunteer," he says, "I consider it an opportunity to help something I love, a reward in itself." He credits listener feedback and support for helping him to "meet the challenges of preserving this music half a century later, and also creating an esprit de corps."
David Hinckley, radio columnist for the New York Daily News, is a fan of the program. "Group Harmony review and The Big Broadcast seem curiously close kin to me because they both offer rich American musical forms that are far too often neglected elsewhere in popular media. To me they also feel like kin to much of what's heard on WFUV because no great music exists independently of other great music. Dan Romanello's vocal group harmony music and Rich Conaty's popular tunes are two of the rare radio programs for which I shut down all other visual and aural media and just settle down to listen."
An employee of an insurance company during the week, Romanello brings both a knowledge of and a passion for the music, much of which he heard growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950's, where the street corner sound was everywhere. He still lives in NYC with his wife of 39 years, Julianne.