The Senior Tones winter practice session

… no matter the weather, the Senior Tones sing up a storm

by Debbi Collar

They’re as relaxed on stage as they are at practice in Howie Conley’s garage.

Surrounded by motorcycles, snowploughs and other garage paraphernalia, four other members of the Senior Tones entertained this reporter while at the same time, auditioning, at that time, their newest member of the band, Frank Henderson. Snowflakes danced to rehearsal tunes such as "Bye, Bye, Love", and "Let It Be Me."

The Doo Wop Group is scheduled to be in Melrose, at the Milano Senior Center. Members include Winthrop native and current Saugus resident, Howie Conley, as well as a host of other performers, Joey "BeeBop" Barilone, John Clement, John Dececca and  Frank Henderson.  

Two others who are musicians in their own right, John Camillia (keyboard) and Tommy Repucci (saxophone) sometimes play before the Senior Tones act as audiences dine.

The Senior Tones formed following a suggestion by Conley’s wife,”Cookie”.
As the couple walked along in the Hampton Beach, NH area they heard an entertainer performing a Louie Armstrong song “What A Wonderful World.“ Following a comment by Conley as he stated he wished he could do the same, his wife said she thought he could and in 2000, he did.

The group itself came together as some of them at one time, played hockey
together at the Kasabuski Arena (Saugus) and the talk moved on to the making of the Senior Tones. Original group members, John Dececca and Howie Conley, (Winthrop Hall of Fame Sports Figure ) still play hockey.

At one time, Conley worked for American airlines and was sent down to
perform at the 2000 dedication of the New Orleans Airport. There he did his impersonation of Louie Armstrong. Other members of the group also hold other jobs such as Groveland Fire Chief and a mechanical engineer as well as some already in the entertainment circuit.

The Senior Tones perform for a number of senior luncheons as well as other
enues throughout the year.

At a recent show, two women in their 90s followed The Senior Tones taking
“The Ride” from Swampscott to a performance in mid winter, on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Quite a tribute to the Senior Tones.

The Senior tones will soon be appearing at The Milano Senior Center in late
summer. Save the date – it is August 13th, 2014 from 12:00-2:00.

A $5.00 ticket includes the entertainment and lunch.

Contact the Milano Senior Center in Melrose for reservations         

The Senior Tones perform throughout the year. Further information on
upcoming shows can be seen on their website.

August 1, 2014

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