Monday, February 22, 2016

The Tommy Vastola Songbook

18 killer tracks from the pen of the mobster who had a particular fondness for the music business
RockLector CLCD 010

tracklist :
Andy Rose - Classroom Cutie.mp3                            
Andy Rose - Dance On Pretty Clown.mp3                      
Andy Rose - I'm Waiting For You.mp3                        
Andy Rose - No Need To Go To Kansas City.mp3               
Andy Rose - The Promise (Aka My Devotion).mp3              
Barbie Gaye - Rock and roll baby .mp3                      
Chip Fisher - Sugar Bowl Rock.mp3                          
Dave Appel & The Applejacks - The Rock And Roll Story.mp3  
Ronnie Mitchell - Darling You Don t Send Me No More.mp3    
The Cleftones - I Was Dreaming.mp3                         
The Cleftones - You Baby You.mp3                           
The Valentines - Falling For You.mp3                       
The Valentines - I Love You Darling.mp3                    
The Valentines - Lily Maebelle.mp3                         
The Valentines - Sweetheart Of Mine.mp3                    
The Wrens - Hey Girl.mp3                                   
The Wrens - Love's Something Thats Made For Two.mp3        
The Wrens - What Makes You Do The Things That You Do.mp3   

   Tommy Vastola had a particular fondness for the music business, no doubt due to his long and deep friendship with Morris Levy, his childhood friend.   Roulette Records Morris Levy's rapid rise was probably rooted in the early control of Alan Freed in New York through a circuitous route that included Tommy Vastola's appointment as Freed's manager in October 1955.   In the fifties, Vastola managed various artists (The Cleftones among others).   In 1957, he was promotion head of the newly formed Aamco Records who released hundreds of albums and not selling many, but that's was the idea, "losing money" for a tax evasion purpose.

   In 1961, Vastola took over handling the career of Jackie Wilson previously managed by his friend Nat Tarnopol, who ran Brunswick Records in partnership with Decca records, and who turned over  Wilson's affairs to the gangsters after he decided to devote himself full-time to running the label where Wilson also recorded.  Before long, Vastola's influence over the label extended to him cutting deals with other artist managers to sign acts to Brunswick and helping himself to kickbacks from the advance

   In 1961, Vastola also picked up a piece of Queen Booking, an artist agency started by Dinah Washington and run by her former maid, Ruth Bowen.  The agency was one of the few black-owned operations in the business and booked dates for a wide variety of high-priced rhythm and blues talent.

   In the eigthies, he operated Video Warehouse, a videocassette piracy operation in West Long Branch, New Jersey, which was one of his latest "business".   Vastola have since retired. 


  1. I just googled his name....FASCINATING reading! Thanks for sharing this excellent collection.

  2. Outstanding post! And the Roulette Records connection makes perfect sense. Still looking for so many Roulette LPs, so much good obscure music...

  3. Also want to mention that I am starting at the very beginning of your blog and although your links on Box are active and you can play them you can't download them, just so you know.
    Best regards,
    Dirk Bill

    1. Thanks Dirk Bill. I don't use Box anymore. Some problems with them that I wasn't able to resolve.

    2. Where can I buy this album?

    3. You cannot buy this album! It's my own compilation and it is FREE. See new download link soon...

  4. How can you make these accusations that you make?