Where Is He Now: Tony DeFranco (Singer).
Name: Tony DeFranco
Born: August 31, 1959, Port Colborne, Ontario
Claim To Fame: He was the lead singer of the 1970s pop music group the DeFranco Family, whose biggest hits include "Abra-Ca-Dabra" and "Heartbeat (It's a Love Beat)."
Family Life: Tony's siblings who performed with him in the
Defranco Family consist of Benny (guitarist), Marisa
(keyboardist), Nino (guitarist), and Merlina (drummer).
Info: Tony has performed with his siblings ever since he
was four-years-old. Although he didn't plan on being a singer, a five-dollar bribe from his mom to sing on stage at a Toronto banquet changed his mind. Following an enthusiastic response from the audience, the family decided to include singing into their act, with Tony at the forefront.
Their popularity grew thanks to a friend who submitted a photo of them to Tiger Beat Magazine. The publisher of the publication, Charles Laufer, liked the look of the family so much that he financed photo shoots and a demo, and
featured them prominently in Tiger Beat. He brought the demo to 20th Century Records chief Russ Regan, who offered the DeFrancos a contract.
With Walt Meskell on board as their new producer, the DeFrancos, with Tony on lead vocals, scored big for their first time in the summer of 1973 with "Heartbeat, It's a Lovebeat." It wasn't long before television spots followed, including an appearance on American Bandstand with Dick
The next year, the group released another hit, "Abracadabra," and their second album Save the Last Dance hit shelves soon after. However, creative differences began causing problems
with the family and label management, and their recording career came to a stall by the end of 1974. The group officially left the business in 1979, and all of the siblings made their homes in California.
Trivia: The DeFranco Family appeared on Dick Clark's
American Bandstand nine times.
The group appeared in almost every issue of a number of the teen magazines between 1973-1977, such as Tiger Beat and Flip.
Where Is He Now: Tony is now a successful real estate agent
with Sotheby International Realty in the Westlake Village, California area. He has worked for the company since 2003, consistently earning the distinction of a Company Top Producer. Tony still remains close with his siblings, and performs with his sister Marisa on occasion.