Renay" most notably famous for her 1964
Hit Recording, "NAVY
BLUE" was born Renee Diane
Kushner in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (where many other famous
recording stars such as, Bobby Rydell, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Dee Dee Sharp,
and Chubby Checker) just to name a few, also hailed from the South
As a point of personal
Mother told Diane
BLUE" became a
hit, that when she was pregnant with Diane,
she went to see a Fortune Teller, who told her "that she was
going to have a Girl Child, who would
one day be a STAR!"
As soon as
started talking, she started singing along with any song she would
hear on the radio or record player that was playing in her parents home.
time she was 12 years old, she started taking voice lessons with a
well known vocal teacher/coach in Philadelphia, by the name of Artie
Singer. Artie Singer at that time, was managing a hot new
Philadelphia recording group called "Danny
& the Juniors",
who had a major hit record at the time entitled "At
vocal teacher told her that she had the talent and makings of a future recording
artist, and when she gets a little older, she should try and cut a record!
begged her parents to let her cut a Test Demo in a real recording
studio in Philadelphia, so that she could prove to them that she had the
talent to pursue a career as a professional recording artist.
by the time Diane
was 14, she entered into a recording studio, and with the assistance of 4
Boys (who were her friends and with whom she also often sang with, Diane
sang lead and they sang the Do Wop Background for her, hanging out on the
street corners at night, in South Philly), she recorded several songs, but her
favorite cut was "ZING
WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART"!
parents heard the outcome of this Demo Session, they were shocked at the
outcome of what they heard, and thought that Diane's
vocal coach was right in telling her when she was only 12, that when she gets
older, she should pursue a career as a recording artist.
parents had a well
known and successful jewelry business in center city Philadelphia, and one of
their very good customer's was the cousin of a very successful record
producer/song writer named Pete De Angelis, who worked with Frankie
Avalon, Al Martino, and many other successful recording artists.
request of Diane's
asked his good customer if he could arrange for a meeting, whereby Diane
would meet with record producer/song writer Pete De Angelis and
sing for him, so that he could give Diane's
parents his honest opinion, as to whether or not he thought that she had the
vocal talent to pursue a recording career.
within a short period of time, on a Sunday afternoon, Diane's
parents drove her over the Walt Whitman bridge that connected Philadelphia to
New Jersey, where Pete De Angelis lived. Diane's
parents sat down on a sofa, Pete De Angelis sat at his piano and Diane
began to sing several standard songs of her own choosing as Pete followed
along on his piano.
minutes, after Diane
several songs for Pete, he turned to her parents and said, "Mr.
& Mrs. Kushner, your daughter has a wonderful and very marketable
singing voice and I can get her a record contract, without any trouble!"
Angelis was able to obtain a recording contract for "Diane
with the ATCO RECORD COMPANY. He produced her very first professional
recording session, for which he wrote several songs that she recorded in
addition to recording a well known standard song titled "LITTLE
It was Diane's
record release in 1962, she was only 16 years old at the time.
second ATCO recording session, the President of ATCO RECORDS at
the time who was Jerry Wexler, decided to call in one of the best
and hottest record producers at the time, "BOB
to write material and produce Diane's
next session. That session resulted in her second single release "TENDER".
both of Diane's
releases on ATCO, received airplay and charted on many area radio
stations' play lists, neither songs hit the big Billboard, or Cashbox
charts high enough to warrant ATCO to want to pick up their option to
renew her recording contract for another two single releases, and they dropped Diane's
the best thing that could have happened to her, because after she left ATCO,
personally signed her on as one of his recording artists, that he both wrote
songs and produced for her.
is HISTORY, the very first recording session that "BOB
produced and wrote songs for "Diane
to sing, now that she was under contract to him personally, resulted in the
production and release of "NAVY
The song hit the Top 10 Billboard Chart with a Red Bullet
in the week of February 19th, 1964, "Diane
was not yet 18 years old and was still in High School.
thereafter, followed an album release also titled "NAVY
from which "Diane
fourth single release titled "KISS
was on. It did well on the Billboard Chart, but could not top the success of "NAVY
never had another hit as major as "NAVY
again, she continued to record many other single releases, such as "GROWIN
UP TOO FAST", "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROKEN HEART",
and the tough girl punk classic most notably titled and remembered as "WATCH
a part of the Girl Group Phenomenon of Pop Music in the early 60's,
when Rock n' Roll was still in it's infancy. There will
never again be an era of Rock n' Roll music like that of
the 50s & 60s, when it all began.
only had one major hit recording, "NAVY
both her song and "Diane
will always be remembered as a part of Rock n' Roll history
when it was in the makings!