Artists Profile: Cathy Jean and the Roommates


Introduction to Cathy Jean and the Roommates

Cathy Jean and the Roommates (sometimes spelled as “Roomates”) are a US vocal group who started their career during the 60 music era. They rose to relative fame through their only hit single “Please Love Me Forever” which landed on the Top 20 of the Billboard pop chart. They weren’t able to have any major hits further so they became as a “one hit wonder.” However, they have continued performing. The lineup has shifted lots of times but original lead singer Cathy Jean Giordano (born in 1945) still fronts the group as of present. They’re still actively performing for the oldies music/nostalgia circuit.

Formation of Cathy Jean and the Roommates

The American vocal group Cathy Jean and the Roommates were formed in the early 60’s music era in Brooklyn, New York. It initially began with the duo The Roommates, consisting of Steve Susskind (born on October 3, 1945 in Springfield, Massachusetts – died on January 21, 2005 in Sunland, California) and Bob Minsky who were only in their high school in Queens when they met. The duo later became a quartet, recruiting Jack Carlson and Felix Alvarez in 1960. The four-piece group was subsequently signed later that year on Promo imprint, owned by husband-and-wife managers Gene and Jody Malis.  The group issued their version of the Kitty Wells’ original hit “Making Believe” on that label.

But the single didn’t fly off, so the Malises shifted their focus instead on another fledgling label Valmor. They recruited 14-year old Cathy Jean Giordano (born in Brooklyn, New York on September 8, 1945) for whom they planned a song to record, entitled “Please Love Me Forever.”

“Please Love Me Forever” — Cathy Jean and the Roommates’ lone hit single

The song “Please Love Me Together” was initially released as Giordano’s debut single. Prior to the release, the harmonies were ovedubbed by the Roommates as the Malises instructed the group, without Giordano’s presence during the recording. Giordano eventually joined the Roommates and they were officially credited as Cathy Jean and the Roomates. With the promotion from the most popular radio DJ by that time, “Murray the K, “Please Love Me Forever” successfully entered the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at #12 in 1961. The song was Cathy Jean and the Roommates’ one and only hit single. Bobby Vinton’s version became a hit in 1967.

The group’s other activities

Later that year the Roommates released their own version of “Glory of Love,” which reached #49 on the pop charts. The song was first released by Benny Goodman in 1936, and then by the Five Keys in 1951 (which became a certified R&B chart smash).

They also accompanied Giordano on her next singles and they was followed by the release of Cathy Jean and the Roommates’ self-titled album in 1962. Around that time, The Roommates released several recordings for Cameo and Philips imprints. Without gaining hits, the group parted ways in 1965, right around the time that Giordano quit the music industry.

From late 1960’s to 1973, Giordano became visible for a while, performing on her revival shows. Billed as “The Roommates,” the group was re-formed with personnel changes, comprising of Artie Loria, Tommy White, Carmine Graziano and Nick Cardell.

In later years, Steve Susskind was successful on his acting career. On January 21, 2005, he perished in a car accident. Bob Minsky, meanwhile, died on August 25, 2006. Loria died in October 2010; he had attained success at performing and recording stints with several oldies music acts Larry Chance and the Earls, the Belmonts and the Doo Wop All Stars.

Cathy Jean and the Roommates’ discography (may be partial)

Valmor (USA):

EP’s and singles:

A: “Please Love Me Forever”
B: “Canadian Sunset”

7” promo only:

“Please Love Me Forever”

Parlophone (UK)

EP’s and singles:

A: “Please Love Me Forever”
B: “Canadian Sunset”

Eric (USA)

A: “Band of Gold”
B: “Please Love Me Forever”

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