Roulettes (Lower Manhattan) – I See A Star (Lead Lillie Acosta)/ Come On Baby, ’58 (Champ 102)
The Singing Roulettes (Lower Manhattan) (Lead Lillie Acosta) – Hasten Jason/ Wouldn’t Be Goin [sic] Steady, ’59 (Scepter 1204)
**Please see comment by A. Rivera, daughter of Lillie Acosta/ Lydia Rivera.
Billy & The Patios – Love Is A Story/ You Name It, ’61 (Lite 9002)
– Scribbling On The Wall/ Thinking Hoping Wishing, ’61 (Dee*Dee 501)
- * used/45cat.com comments.
– Thinking, Hoping, And Wishing/ If You’d Only Be My Love, ’62 (Goldisc G6)
Billy Galante – Is It A Sin/ I Won’t Take A Chance (Broken 6117)
- No scans. See 2nd comment. Picture of Billy Galante.
The lead of the Roulettes on “I See A Star” on Champ Records and “Hasten Jason” on Scepter Records was Lillie Acosta and not Billy Gallant (Galente). I realized this some 40 years ago when I listened to “Hasten Jason” and the words were something like this: “I got a guy his name is Jim, he likes to make the telephone ring – he calls all day, he calls all night – you should hear him call in the middle of the night.” I then played “I See A Star” and found it to be the same voice. For decades I told collectors this including Val Shively and all told me I was nuts.
I spoke to Billy Gallant, about 7-8 years ago and he told me that he heard Lillie Acosta singing on the streets of lower Manhattan with the Crests and loved her voice ’cause he knew no one would be able to identify Lillie as a girl. The Crests let Billy have her for his group and she became the lead on their first two records as by the Roulettes.
Theres alway been a bit of confusion over who wrote “Sweetest One” by the Crests on Joyce records. The label lists “Browne (Al) -Mastrangeo (Johnny) as the writers. Johnny Maestro, in an interview said he didn’t write it, but Billy Dawn Smith did. When I spoke to Billy Dawn Smith he said he didn’t write “Sweetest One.” So who did write it? I got the scoop from Billy Gallant just before he died. It was Billy Gallant (Galente) who wrote the song and he gave it to Al Browne for the Crests.
I listened to all sides on Champ and Scepter. A-side female lead (Lillie Acosta) and male (assume Billy Gallant (Galente) on Champ B-side. Female lead on both sides of Scepter (b-side sounds like Lillie Acosta). Thanks for this ‘fun’ story.
Also, ’Sweetest One’ (Crests) writing mystery solved. Thanks.
Lillie Acosta was my mother Lydia Rivera after she married my father . She passes away on February 19th 2005 to a long battle of cancer . She would sing I see a star to me every night before bed and now I do the same for my daughter whom I named after my mother . We call her Lily Girl ❤️ I would love to connect because she was the absolute most amazing mom in the world. She always shared her love for her group and always sang to us as kids. I still have an original record here it’s taped together from its old age and I have photos as well.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. May your mom RIP and your daughter carry on the love of her music.
“I See A Star’ is credited to both the Roulettes and ‘The Singing Roulettes,’ with Lillie Acosta/Lydia Rivera as the Lead.
Please contact to A. Rivera for a mention or to add another story to these songs.
He spoke of your mom all the time.
Assume is the right word as Billy Galante’s brother was in the group too and did a lead or two for Billy’s groups. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which ones – but the important info which blew everyones mind was the lead of the Roulettes was a girl. I swear to you even recently someone told me I was nuts when I told them that a girl sang lead on “I See A Star” and “Hasten Jason.” I do believe Billy’s brother is the lead on Champ Records b side “Come On Baby.”
There’s another group record that Billy Galante did on Broken Records #6117 “Is It A Sin”/”I Won’t Take A Chance” which is unknown to most. Billy also under other names recorded some singles that are considered “Teen” as they are not doowop.
Since the titles on Broken #6117 are frequently listed in the Complete Book Of Doowop, they’ve been added to the Billy Gallant post.
I also have a ‘Roulettes’ post and have carried forward the Lilly Acosta credit with a ref back to Billy Gallant.
Billy Galante was my brother and yes his brother was Bobby the smallest one in the front and Billy was the middle guy.
After all these years it’s always good to clear up information that has been passed down as fact by collectors that just isn’t so.