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Directories: Musicians: It's My Party!

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Basic info
Name It's My Party!
Formed On 1985
# of Members Many
Homepage www.itsmypartyonline.com
 
Contact/Booking info
Name John Giotto
Phone 585 249-9325
E-mail john@itsmypartyonline.com
Misc

Description
IT’S MY PARTY! is a teen singing trio, backed by an eight-piece ensemble, and should not be confused with karaoke vocal groups. IT’S MY PARTY! provides perfect family entertainment, transporting the audience to a simpler place in time, when music was fun.

Styled after the '60s girl groups, IT'S MY PARTY! delivers a show, not merely a string of songs. The girls’ attire includes tailored period dresses and hairstyles, the gentlemen don thin-lapelled black suits. Well-choreographed, even segues are interesting as the group presents in first person narrative, circa 1963-66.

The IT'S MY PARTY! repertoire consists of classic hits from the girl group era, tasty esoteric covers, and the group's original material. Having performed in major US markets as well as “Hometown U.S.A.”, the group looks forward to enhancing your event.

Roster
Three female vocalists backed by a rock quartet: bass, guitar, drums, keyboards, enhanced with a horn section and percussionist

Influences
'60s girl groups, the Brill Building Sound, Brian Wilson, Phil Spector, Carol King, Ellie Greenwich, Richard Gottherer

History
One fine day, John Giotto walked into the Lakeshore Record Exchange in Rochester, NY. As a budding record collector, Giotto began to cultivate a friendship with then owner Ron Stein. Stein, an early rock and roll aficionado, suggested the girl groups of the 1960s to Giotto. Try this. The record was The Chiffons' Greatest Hits.

Giotto loved the innocence and sincerity of these girl groups and wondered what the chances were of recreating that sound. He was both working musician and live sound engineer and had recently added session work to his credentials as a drummer and home studio operator.

So begins, well over a dozen years ago, the saga of IT'S MY PARTY! Giotto started the first incarnation with three female singers. Originally though, the women were in their early twenties and the music, none of it original, was more a combination of the '60s sound with the Go-Gos and Bangles of the 1980s. After a couple of years, Giotto felt something was missing. Here were adult women singing about teenage topics. As good as they were, somehow it lacked the ring of authenticity.

Re-enter Stein, by now a de facto manager for the group. At the time, Irondequoit High School was running a musical, Leader of the Pack, with music by Ellie Greenwich, patron goddess of the girl group sound. Stein thought that recruiting some of the singers from the show would give the edge Giotto needed.

It worked, and the project definitely was gelling. A pilgrimage to Ms. Greenwich's home didn't hurt either, and garnered some valuable advice for the producer. Then, after a seven-song cassette and the inevitability of the aging process, the original IT'S MY PARTY! went dormant. Fast forward to 1995. Giotto wanted to try again and revived the act. Giotto is in some ways IT'S MY PARTY! in the sense that Roland Orzabal is Tears for Fears. Given the nature of the genre as producer-driven, it's not very surprising.

Visually and aurally, IT'S MY PARTY! is a real treat. Though the costumes and sound are precise, one never gets the impression that this is some Beatlemania-style pastiche. It helps too that the girls are genuinely into the music, music supplied from a wealth of obscure '60's girl group covers, and by songwriters providing material for the act in the spirit of the genre.


The first IT'S MY PARTY! single, the charming "Can't" on Giotto's own Mister Cat Records, climbed to number one on the venerable Whole Lotta Shakin' show on WITR in April of 1998. In support of that release, the group performed at several festivals (including Rochester's Lilac Festival), schools and parties, where children lined up after shows to meet the girls. Subsequent reviews were positive. Jim Santo of Demo Universe wrote; "Spectoresque girl-group pop, and you don't hear much of that nowadays, do you. This CD single -- hard panned for maximum stereo fun -- makes me want to do the mashed potato!" Martin Natchez of The Flint Journal opined, "...all the members are under the age of 15, but they sound much older and have been expertly trained in recreating the authentic girl-group sound without a hint of phoniness."

The group followed "Can't" with the December 1998 release of "That Boy John," a maxi-single including the glorious title track, an obscure Ellie Greenwich composition (reportedly one of her favorites). And finally, Can I Get to Know You Better?, the group's much anticipated full-length release in September of 2000. The group is presently regrouping in the studio for their next full-length release.

So why, in this angst-driven era of Korn, is a trio of high school girls delivering a most non-trendy batch of songs without a trace of irony? A former member of the group was quick to respond, "The music doesn't lock into a decade, it addresses teenage girl concerns to this day: boys, broken hearts, relationships. Many groups nowadays are all into depression and rarely does a song address happiness or hope. Here there's a melody that still brings a smile to your face."

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