Rock and Roll History
There’s a Moon out Tonight
The Capris – 1960
All of the original members were Italian Americans from the borough of Queens in New York, United States.
Started by first tenor Mike Mincieli, the original group coalesced in 1958 – also including Nick Santo (Santamaria) lead baritone, second tenor Frank Reina, baritone Vinnie Narcardo, and bass John Cassese. Their name was taken from the Lincoln Capri. In 1958, they recorded two songs for Planet Records, “Indian Girl,” and “There’s a Moon Out Tonight.”
When the record sold badly, they disbanded and went their separate ways. Alan Fredericks, a late night radio disc jockey continued to play their song, piquing the interest of Jerry Greene, an employee of the Times Square Record Store. Greene purchased the master and re-issued the record on Lost Nite Records. WINS 1010’s disc jockey Murray the K played the song often, and it sold well.
Realizing that their manufacturing and distribution capacity could not meet the demands of a hit record, Greene and Lost Nite sold their interest to Old Town Records, which had the capacity to meet the needs of the 1961 number three national hit.
For a time, the Capris toured and performed in major venues all over the United States, but none of their follow up records sold well, and by 1963, members of the original group started to leave the ensemble. Some continued to perform locally as the Capris, but with no national profile.