60s Music

One-hit wonder Paul Dino and his single “Ginnie Bell”

Paul DinoShort career summary

Paul Dino is a former American singer-songwriter and musician, who appeared fleetingly as a teen crooner in the early to mid-1960s. Dino was signed to Promo label, and his single “Ginnie Bell” debuted in January 1961, which eventually broke into the Top 40 that year. Dino took advantage of this success by appearing on shows such as Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Promo didn’t bother to follow up “Ginny Bell”s success however, and Dino would record for a number of labels until his days as a teen idol were over and a new status as a one-hit wonder would loom. Dino and his wife Justine Carrelli (a former regular dancer on American Bandstand) moved to Las Vegas, Nevada where they performed at lounge bookings before going into a successful real estate business.

Paul Dino’s short-lived singing career

One-hit wonder Paul Dino was born Paul Dino Bertuccini on March 2, 1939.

At the start of his career during the late 1950s he formed a band called The Nite Caps, and shortened his name as into professional-sounding Paul Dino. He also wrote his own songs and had several attempts to beckon various labels with his own material. Finally Addit/Promo label, owned by Bill Lasley, gave Dino a chance. He eventually worked and recorded the first three songs, but the big bosses at Promo asked for a fourth. So Dino wrote a song called “Ginnie Bell” – in a dash. Funnily enough, the big brasses liked the impromptu fourth song, and so picked it up for release.

 

Paul Dino’s short-lived singing career

One-hit wonder Paul Dino was born Paul Dino Bertuccini on March 2, 1939.

At the start of his career during the late 1950s he formed a band called The Nite Caps, and shortened his name as into professional-sounding Paul Dino. He also wrote his own songs and had several attempts to beckon various labels with his own material. Finally Addit/Promo label, owned by Bill Lasley, gave Dino a chance. He eventually worked and recorded the first three songs, but the big bosses at Promo asked for a fourth. So Dino wrote a song called “Ginnie Bell” – in a dash. Funnily enough, the big brasses liked the impromptu fourth song, and so picked it up for release.

Dino’s only hit single “Ginnie Bell”

“Ginnie Bell” was released as a single in December 1960, with another teenage-oriented song, “Bye-Bye” as the B-side. The label assiduously promoted the new song by running large ads on Billboard, where it was mistakenly prited as “Ginny Bell.” It left Dino in incredulity, because he thought why would the executives prefer “Ginny Bell,” in an off-the-cuff manner, over those three previous songs that he worked so hard to prepare? But the big bosses at Promo had smelled an imminent hit, and they would never be wrong. Besides, Promo knew the power of the teenage market, so they were going to bet on “Ginny Bell.”

“Ginny Bell” debuted on the Billboard charts on January 23, 1961. Eventually it climbed all the way to its peak position at #38 later that year.

On the strength of the song’s success, Dino performed on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, where he also met one of the show’s resident dancers Justine Carrelli, who was the 14 at that time. The blonde bombshell was also a model who had been featured on several magazines. She left the show afterward and married Dino, dampening the dreams of her male admirers.

Later life

Despite the success of “Ginnie Bell” on the charts, Promo didn’t bother to follow it up with another single and Dino would record for a number of labels like United Artists (his only major label), Flame and Entree. One of his songs, “Na-Na-No”, was produced by Phil Spector and recorded by Troy Shondell in 1962. With his days as a teen singer coming to an end, the Dinos moved to Las Vegas where they sang and performed at luxury lounges and hotel before entering into real estate business, where they flourished. Dino’s wife Justine had remained friends with Clark and his wife, Kari Wigton.

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