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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (3) | Trivia (1) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 24 March 1922Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Birth NameDavid Appell

Mini Bio (3)

Composer, conductor, arranger, songwriter and publisher. In World War II, he composed and arranged for US Navy bands, later arranging for dance orchestras. He led his own trio on radio and television, and became a publisher, joining ASCAP in 1955. His chief musical collaborators included Kal Mann, Bernie Lowe, and Max Freedman.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

An arranger / bandleader / guitarist / songwriter / producer, Dave Appell will probably be associated first of all with the Cameo-Parkway label, as he played a substantial part in its history. Appell worked as an arranger for several big bands during his wartime service, including Jimmie Lunceford's black orchestra. During the early 1950s his Dave Appell Quartet was the studio band for comedian Ernie Kovacs' first TV program in Philadelphia. Changing the name of his group to 'The Applejacks', he recorded for Decca Records and appeared prominently in the 1956 Alan Freed film Don't Knock the Rock (1956). Next Appell and the Applejacks were playing in Las Vegas, but they soon began to pine for their hometown and returned to Philly, where they began working for Cameo Records, a label founded by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe over a Christmas party in 1956. Appell became a jack-of-all-trades at Cameo, doing background vocals, session work as a guitarist, engineering and arranging. One of the first things he and his group did for Cameo was backing John Zacherle (aka "Zacherley") on his Top 10 hit "Dinner With Drac" in 1957. The Applejacks also broke into the national charts under their own name, with the instrumentals "Mexican Hat Rock" (#16), a jumped-up version of the old "Mexican Hat Dance", and "Rocka-Conga" (#38), both in 1958. Appell went on to become the leader of Cameo-Parkway's house band, backing such artists as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Dovells and DeeDee Sharp. He arranged many of these artists' hits and in many cases wrote them, such as "Let's Twist Again", "Bristol Stomp" and "Mashed Potato Time". These were the years of "the twist" and other dance crazes, in which Appell played a vital role in launching. Appell left Cameo in 1964. In the 1970s he had great success with his productions for Tony Orlando & Dawn, including the #1 hits "Knock Three Times" (1970) and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" (1973), on Bell Records. Appell's co-producer was Hank Medress, who had been a founding member of The Tokens in 1956 and also sang in the reformed Tokens of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" fame.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: mike14

Dave Appell started arranging for big bands in the mid 1940s, including Benny Carter and Earl "Fatha" Hines. Appell formed a group called "Dave Appell and the Applejacks" and went on to become the Music Director on the "Ernie Kovacs Show" in Philadelphia. In 1958, Kal Mann and Appell met at the Cameo/Parkway Records in Philadelphia. There they produced many records and collaborated on such hits as "Let's Twist Again" and "The Twist" (Chubby Checker); "Bristol Stomp" (Dovells); and "South Street" (Orlons).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous Feller

Trivia (1)

Was the longtime A&R (Artists & Repertoire) man at Philadelphia's Cameo-Parkway Records, the label that had Bobby Rydell, The Dovells and The Orlons, among others.

Personal Quotes (2)

[in 2001, on longtime songwriting partner Kal Mann] He was a very talented writer. He had his finger on the pulse of what was going on in those days. Very simple lyrics, about romancing and dancing . . . And the teenagers dug it at the time . . . a very prolific, imaginative guy . . . He was very, very commercial in his treatment of music. Though he was much older than the audience he was writing for, he was very contemporary.
[in 2003, about the secret of his songwriting success] Take a song that had come off copyright and re-work it. "Ida" became "Wild One" for Bobby Rydell. "South Street"? That's the old 'Stephen Foster (iiI)' (QV) classic "Camptown Races". I always liked that tune.

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