FROM THIS, TO THIS . . . . . . . . .
This is Sal Cuomo. an original member of The Regents, Sal was very instrumental in forming the group in 1959. Along with Ernie Maresca and Chuck Fassert, Sal invited me to join their group, then called The "Monterays". In time, Ernie was replaced by Tony Gravagna and Don Jacobucci. The new group changed their name to "The Regents".
When the group broke up, Sal started driving a taxicab for a living. After the death of his girlfriend, Sal became a recluse. He stayed in his apartment, rarely leaving it.
It's a shame that Sal's life came to this. The following story was televised on WPIX's "Help Me Howard". This is a copy of the blog from WPIX's website . . . . . . .
Back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, "The Regents" were an up-and-coming doo-wop group from New York City. The group formed in the Bronx in 1959, with Sal Cuomo as first tenor.
They are best known for writing and recording the hit "Barbara Ann" in 1961, which reached # 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was # 2 when later covered by "The Beach Boys" in 1965.
Their follow-up song "Runaround", went to # 28 on the pop charts and # 30 in R&B. They produced two more records, but after a royalties dispute with their record company, the group broke up in the 1960's.
Sal stayed in the Bronx, but these days he is 70 years old, in poor health and living alone in a rent subsidized apartment.
For a long time he's been having trouble with a broken door to the front of his apartment and not having any luck getting it fixed.
He told Howard, "When I first moved in here, this door was already broken down with a crowbar...".
According to Sal, police broke the door down looking for a someone else. Even though he tried to fix the door with duct tape, he's been freezing living on his own with the broken door.
Sal says "There's no heat in the hallways. there's air coming thru the vents, but now it's insane, because I can't stop the air and now the frame is even broken. I've been complaining to Section 8 for years!"
Because the door hasn't been fixed, Section 8 stopped subsidizing Sal's rent and he was now facing eviction.
He told Howard, "Management said they were putting in a door. Instead I got an eviction notice! I never seen the door yet. Then they told me you gotta wait until the superintendant Mr. Conte comes back, he's on vacation. Finally I get a letter from the Marshalls office, they're evicting me!"
Finally Help Me Howard got a call about Sal's predicament and he began tracking down the building management. Ry Management handles the building, but after getting nowhere with their Bronx office, Howard headed to their Manhattan office where Howard explained the situation to their security team, who then told him to talk to their P.R. Department. Eventually Howard got a call from P.R. And Ry promised to fix the door, "IF" Sal promised to put his pants on. Because of a painful leg problem, Sal had a tendency to go without any pants when he was home.
The very next day Sal had his new door and called to thank Howard for all his help.