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Johnny Contardo's press photo head shot.JPG

Johnny Contardo is best known as a former singer with the musical group, Sha Na Na which he left in 1983. In 1978, he appeared with Sha Na Na in the blockbuster hit movie musical Grease as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers. His performance of the song "Those Magic Changes" was featured in the movie and on the soundtrack for Grease.

Johnny's early years[edit]

Johnny Contardo (born December 23, 1951) was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. His first singing experience was at the age of 6, in a Boston church choir.

His mother took him into night clubs when he was a teen, to perform in front of an audience. She discovered that he had stage presence and personality, in addition to his singing talent.

After graduating from Brookline High School in 1969, Johnny attended the Boston Conservatory of Music, studying voice, acting, and dance.

At age 19, Johnny took a minor role in Boston production of the musical Hair. After six months, he played the lead role in the production. He then received an offer to be understudy for the lead role on Broadway, and an offer to join Sha Na Na.

In Sha Na Na and the following years[edit]

Johnnyballadsback.jpg

Johnny joined Sha Na Na in 1971. The television show Sha Na Na, aired from 1977 to 1981.

The show was primarily made up of 1950s song covers, and featured musical and non-musical guests, and comedy sketches. Johnny performed many ballads, doo-wop, and rock and roll songs on the program, showcasing his vocal range, including his rich tenor and titillating falsetto notes.

In 1983, he left the group and began a solo career. He appeared in a minor role in the movie Scarface, released two albums and did live performances.

Eventually, he left the business and worked in advertising for a number of years. He taught voice lessons, as well.

Current status[edit]

In 2005, Johnny returned to show business at the urging of his fans. He rehearsed in his garage, then made his comeback in a show in Florida, with headliner Frankie Avalon, who had also appeared in Grease.

Johnny's comment about his return to the business was, "My fans are unbelievable. They pushed me to do this. When I got on that stage again, it was like I never left Sha Na Na."

In June 2007, Johnny did a reunion performance with Jon "Bowzer" Bauman. He sang a few songs and a duet with Bowzer at Bowzer's Rock 'N' Roll Party Volume VI, held in Connecticut.

As of July 2008, Johnny is performing as a solo artist in concerts around the U.S. He holds an occasional Meet and Greet, which consists of a performance, followed by a gathering of his fans. At these events, there are photo opportunities, a chance to get Johnny's autograph, and to talk with him. Contardo also enjoys cooking and runs a catering business in California.

Johnny is also the co-founder of http://VocalPower.biz/. With VocalPower.biz, Johnny hopes to reach far more students and create an impact with the thousands of users he is teaching through the course.

In the early 1970s, guitarist Joe Jammer, who worked with many classic groups including Led Zeppelin, assembled a group of musicians to record an album of funk/rock tunes called "Headway," with Johnny on vocals. The album sat on the shelf for years, but was finally released in February 2015.

Awards[edit]

Johnny received a Grammy nomination, as well as a Platinum Album, for the soundtrack from the movie Grease. He also received a Gold album for The Golden Age of Rock n Roll.

Movie appearances[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Contardo — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

47 news items

TBO.com

TBO.com
Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:47:51 -0800

... by Jon “Bowzer” Bauman and featuring Herman's Hermits with Peter Noone, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon, Joey Dee, Bowzer & The Stingrays, Rocky & The Rollers and Sha Na Na reunion of Bowzer, Johnny Contardo and Henry Gross: ...

The Times of Israel

The Times of Israel
Wed, 11 Sep 2013 14:11:15 -0700

He was an unknown comic at the time, an unknown who happened to look exactly like one of Sha Na Na's lead singers, Johnny Contardo. “I'm introduced and I have no billing,” Crystal says during a recent interview. “'Please welcome another star of our ...
 
Wicked Local Norwood
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 12:38:08 -0700

Johnny Contardo, of Sha Na Na and ”Grease” fame, comes to The Norwood Theatre, 109 Central St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online at www.norwoodstage.com, over the phone at 781-551-9000 or at the box office. The First ...
 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:29:09 -0700

After running a downtown Milwaukee club, The Scene, that drew such acts as Jimi Hendrix to Milwaukee, she followed her second husband, Johnny Contardo, a former lead singer for the band Sha Na Na, to Hollywood in 1982. A 2002 Milwaukee Magazine ...

fiftyplusadvocate

fiftyplusadvocate
Wed, 25 Sep 2013 14:12:12 -0700

Billy Crystal remembers a show in Baltimore, around 1975, when he opened for the '50s revival act Sha Na Na. He was an unknown comic at the time, an unknown who happened to look exactly like one of Sha Na Na's lead singers, Johnny Contardo.

nwitimes.com

nwitimes.com
Mon, 22 Dec 2014 22:01:44 -0800

Singer Johnny Contardo, of Sha-Na-Na, is 63. Soap opera actor John Callahan ("Falcon Crest") is 61. Guitarist Dave Murray of Iron Maiden is 58. Actress Joan Severance is 56. Singer Terry Weeks is 51. Singer Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is 50. The first ...

MetroWest Daily News

MetroWest Daily News
Tue, 30 Jul 2013 12:41:16 -0700

One, Lennie Baker – a Whitman native who now makes his home in Halifax – will be on stage with him along with another old friend and former band mate, Johnny Contardo, for a mini-Sha Na Na reunion. Baker and Bauman both joined Sha Na Na in 1970, ...

nwitimes.com

nwitimes.com
Sun, 22 Dec 2013 22:07:12 -0800

Singer Johnny Contardo, of Sha-Na-Na, is 62. Soap opera actor John Callahan ("Falcon Crest") is 60. Guitarist Dave Murray of Iron Maiden is 57. Actress Joan Severance is 55. Singer Terry Weeks is 50. Singer Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is 49. The first ...
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