Ernie Maresca, who hit the top ten with Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) and wrote many of Dion’s biggest hits, died on Wednesday at his home in Southern Florida. He was 76.
Maresca was born in the Bronx and in 1957, formed the group the Monterays who recorded demos for a number of local labels. They became the Desires when they were signed by Seville Records but none of their recordings found success. They eventually broke up but reformed later, without Maresca, to become The Regents.
In 1958, Dion heard a song that Maresca had written called No One Knows, recording it with his group the Belmonts. The record went to number 12 on the R&B and 19 on the Pop charts and launched Ernie’s songwriting career.
The success moved Maresca to concentrate on songwriting where her turned out a series of major hits for Dion including Runaround Sue, The Wanderer, Lovers Who Wander and Donna the Prima Donna.
In 1961, he returned to recording after being offered a contract with Seville Records. Although he had little interest in returning to recording, the company put him in the studio to record his song Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) which went to number 6 on the Hot 100 and 25 on the R&B Singles.
While he continued to write and occasionally record through the rest of the 60’s, he eventually settled down as the head of publicity for Laurie Records. He later was a consultant to EMI on the Laurie catalog.
Maresca’s top twenty hits as a singer and songwriter:
No One Knows (Dion & the Belmonts / 1958 / #19 Pop / #12 R&B)
Runaround Sue (Dion / 1961 / #1 Pop / #4 R&B / #11 U.K.)
The Wanderer (Dion / 1961 / #2 Pop / #10 U.K.)
Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) (Ernie Maresca / 1962 / #6 Pop / #25 R&B)
Lovers Who Wander (Dion / 1962 / #3 Pop / #16 R&B)
Donna the Prima Donna (Dion / 1963 / #6 Pop / #17 R&B)
The Wanderer (Dion / 1976 / #16 U.K.)
Runaround Sue (Leif Garrett / 1977 / #13 Pop / #48 Adult Contemporary)
Runaround Sue (Racey / 1980 / #13 U.K.)
Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out) (Racey / 1980 / #19 U.K.)
The Wanderer (Status Quo / 1984 / #7 U.K.)
The Wanderer (Eddie Rabbitt / 1988 / #1 Country)
That Sounds Good to Me (Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers / #4 U.K.)
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