Credit Card Processing

The Rondels Store


The Rondels Back Beat No. 1The Rondels produced a eight singles between 1961 and 1964 and had a Top 100 hit in 1961 with Back Beat No. 1.  Based in Boston, Massachusetts  The Rondels and were originally known as The Rhythm Rockers who had a regional hit with Madness on Square Records in 1960 and a later single as The Northern Lites.

The early stages of the Rhythm Rockers started in 1954 when Lennie Petze saw a TV performance by Elvis Presley on The Jackie Gleason Show. He was very interested in music and his influences included Johnnie Ray, Little Richard and Gene Autry. But it was the king himself, Elvis Presley who had the biggest impact on Lennie.

In the summer of 1954, Lennie did odd jobs so that  he could earn enough money to buy his first guitar, an acoustic Silvertone from Sears & Roebuck.  Seeing Elvis on TV literally changed the future course of his life.   Growing up in Weymouth, MA, Lennie Petze’s  home was filled with music. His older sisters played piano and his father picked away on a banjo. Lennie enjoyed singing while my sisters played all the hits of the day on the piano.

His cousin Jimmy Petze lived next door. Jimmy was more like his brother.   Jimmy’s mother was he mother’s sister and his father was Lennie’s father’s brother. Lennie and Jimmy then met Nicky Latteo at a school variety show. They started playing together and were sounding so good that they  decided to enter a talent contest at the school. They won the contest and The Rhythm Rockers were born. Then Eddie Grispi, had joined the band on drums. They were together for a year playing as a quartet but three guitars and drums left a lot to be desired. Then they met an amazing Saxophone player names Ray Pizzi. He was so good it was scary!

Ray joined he group and Eddie left. The Rondels then became Lennie Petze, Jimmy Petze, Ray Pizzi and Lenny Collins. they were four teens from the suburbs of Boston, Weymouth, Quincy and Braintree Massachusetts who called themselves various name as they evolved:The Rhythm Rockers, The Rainbows, and The Reveleers. Ultimately four teens from those bands, came together to become The Rondels. Lennie Petze, Jimmy Petze, Ray Pizzi and Lenny Collins started writing and recording as The Rondels in 1959.
A demo we recorded of an old standard song titled “Greensleeves” would find it’s way to the ears of a producer in New York city named “Bugs” Bower. Bugs was currently having huge success with an artist named Brian Hyland.
Brian’s record of ‘Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” was a top five record at the time and destined to get to the number one position on all the music charts. After hearing our demo, Bugs asked the band to come to New York to record “Greensleeves” with him as the producer. Greensleeves was originally the A side but it was soon flipped and the group’s original song “Back Beat Number 1” took off and climbed the Billboard charts.

The Rondels - Official Online Music Store