The Elegant Four

The Elegant Four: Back row: Tom Cosgrove, Billy Dennis and Pete Santora. Front row: Dennis Sousa and John Tomany
Back row: Tom Cosgrove, Billy Dennis and Pete Santora. Front row: Dennis Sousa and John Tomany

Elegant Four Mercury 45 Time to Say GoodbyeFrom the Bronx, the Elegant Four were also known as the Elegants. Tom Crosgrove was lead guitarist and vocalist, and wrote both songs on their only 45. Other members included Bill Dennis and Pete Santora.

The chanted vocals and echoing chords give “Time to Say Goodbye” a downcast mood, brightening momentarily during the chorus where the singer gives the boot to the girl holding out on him.

On the flip is the uptempo “I’m Tired”, with more fine harmonies and a good guitar solo.

These songs were originally released on the Cousins label, produced by Mike Barbiero. It was picked up for a December ’65 release on Mercury, but doesn’t seem to have made much chart impact.

Sources: photo from Pete Santora’s site. Thanks to Tom for clarifying the photo IDs.

A couple other photos are available on Tom Walsh’s site Bronx Bands of the Past (warning: Angelfire sites like this one always have pop-up ads).

53 thoughts on “The Elegant Four”

  1. I’m pretty sure that that’s Dennis Sousa and John Tominny (Sp?. Bass guitar and Hammond organ respectively.
    I was a huge fan during my high school years. They played the local high school dances.
    Tom Walsh

  2. I’m pretty sure that’s Jeffrey Dahlmer in the front row left, with Mohamar Khaddaffi next to him…we were friends in junior high school, and Jeffrey always used to steal my lunch. His was icky…

  3. AHHHH, memories. Many a night my band “Tomorrows Children” and “The Elegants” would share the stage at The Big Toe on Jerome Avenue in the 60’s.

    I never realized just how heavy a B3 was until one night when we gave them a hand getting it home.

  4. Hey front row, please stop being a jerk! I can guarantee you that any member of The Elegants has more brains and talent in their little fingers then you now have or will ever have.

  5. I worked for cousins records and Knew the band very well. They were also the Wendigo on Cousins that did Gimme some Lovin.

  6. Hi guys, nice page, the correct spelling is TOMANY, the way you spelled it is pretty much how it is said though. That is my dad. Some of these guys just recently got together after 40 years to hang out, I will forward this page to him/them, maybe they have a bit more info to share that you could add.

  7. What a surprise to find this.Big shout out to all from sunny Vegas Baby! Was Pete in the cast of beatle mania? Funny,to think I want a chopped B-3, don’t think I could lift it at my age LOL =) John Tomany is married to my sister Cathy,Good standing in my book! And still have the original Cousins 45.

  8. Hi Tom Walsh! Yes, I recognize Dennis Souza – remember, he used to deliver our groceries when we were on Mt. Hope Place. I got this site from Tommy Berlinger, who is the son of our old superintendent – also on Mt. Hope Place. Funny to see your name here, but really, not surprised. Hope all is well. Take care.
    T.
    7/22/10

    1. Hi Theresa, this is John Sousa, Dennis Sousa’s younger brother. It’s good to see a posting from someone from my old neighborhood. I was the one that delivered groceries to you on Mt Hope Place. I am trying to figure out if you are one of the Bolton’s. I went out with Mary Ellen Scanlon for a couple of years. I knew Tommy Berlinger, as well as many other kids in the area. I loved going to the different places that the Elegents played at. Especially Tolentine High School. It was a memorable time in my life. It would be nice to revisit some old friends. Thanks for listening.

  9. Oh Yes The Big Toe, I remember It Well. I Played There many Times With My group The Five Sharks.Also The Launching Pad On Jerome Ave…Also Played Club maxims When I Sang With Another Local group Pecks Bad Boys
    Thanks For The Memories
    Steve Horn

  10. Hey Steve,

    The Five Sharks that you said that were in, was that the acapella group? If it is then we were friends many many years ago.

    1. Bob
      I was first tenor and sometime lead of The Five Sharks, were you the Bob who sometimes backed us up at The Big Toe?

    2. Bob we recorded sometimes as an acappella group and even sang in acappella shows but we performed in discos with a back up band as we did at The Big Toe.
      Eddie ,first tenor/lead The Five Sharks

  11. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!! The Big Toe ……….. great memories singing there with Steve Horn, Eddie Schwartz, Mark Dinep, and Henry Salas ………….The five Sharks….

  12. Say Hi to John for me. I was the lead guitar player for “The DuCaines” who also played many of the same high schools as The Elegant Four. We also purchased a Hammond B3. After I left for The US Marine Corp, I believe my drummer,Freddy and organ player, Tommy joined with Tom Cosgrove and his bass player for a while in Windigo. I heard Tom Cosgrove replaced Leslie West when he left The Vagrants. Can you verify this? I’m just curious since I lost contact with my old band members after returning from Vietnam.
    The DuCaines was just added the this web site, Garagehangover. Check us out.
    All the best,
    Art Lent

  13. Artie…Remember when you killed us at the battle of the bands at a place in Inwood? I don’t remember the name of the parish.
    The B3 was a big difference in the sound…Our Keyboard guy John Reinwald got his B3 about a month later…Can’t believe we lugged that thing for 25 bucks each.
    I actually played a bit with Freddie about 20 years ago in Manhattan at some studio…

  14. Must be St. Jude’s. They used to have Friday or Saturday Night dances. The church looked white from the lighting from across the Harlem River.

  15. Hi,
    I was looking at the site of garage bands and came across you name as the son ofMr.Tomany. I grew up with your father’s band I lived across the street from Bill Dennis. We listened to them practice everytime,and danced in the streets. BILL Dennis’s brother Raymond was my first boyfriend.we were abput 13 at the time. I still have the cross he gave me as a gift. Can you tell me how they are doing. It’s been about 46 years that the little gang from 175th street in the bronx were looking up at Bill’s window and seeing them play. Does your father still play? Are they still all together/Would love to know. They are all still a part of the best childhood memories of music and first love. Thank you and if you can I would really like to reach them

  16. I happened to come accross GargaeHangover and saw a picture of the Elengent Four and my brother Dennis who has passed away quite a few years ago. I have been in Contact with Tommy, and Billy and had them over my house for a get together. Thanks for the memories

  17. Theresa, if you lived on Mt Hope place, then it was me John, not my brother Dennis who used to deliver groceries to you. I worked for Resnick and coopermans grocery store on the corner of 177th and Walton Ave.

    I have fond memories of that time and am have been in cotact with Billy and Tommy over and Jay over the years.

  18. Hi Neil, I wonder if you are the same person from 177th and Morris Ave who played drums and later owned a fast food sandwhich shop in Manhattan. This is John Sousa, brother of Dennis Sousa of the Elegant 4. I just came accross this sight and saw all these names that seem to ring a bell somewhere in my brain. I used to hang out in the basement of Tommie Berlinger, and if I remember his father was an electrician for the railroad, and we once went down to the yards and actually drove a locomotive slowly down the tracks. Just one of the many fond memories of my teenage years.

    1. Hey John Sousa: Tom Berlinger here…the guy you mentioned in an earlier posting. My dad was the super at 105 Mount Hope in the 50’s thru 1967 before our family moved to Florida. I cannot believe that you remember going to my dad’s railroad yard and riding on the locomotives. That yard was located at 149th Street and Bruckner Boulevard in the south Bronx. Since I last saw you in ’67, I spent 44 years in Florida until retirement in the summer of 2011. At that point, my wife and I sold our house and made a permanent move to about 30 miles north of Denver. Would love to hear from you and find our more about you and Carol. Sorry to hear about Dennis’ passing.

      1. Hi Tom, can’t believe it has been so long since I last left a reply here. Don’t know when you will see this reply, but here it is. I live in Rockland County NY, and have been self employed as a locksmith for forty years, and I do not play much anymore, but still own a full set of drums, and practice once in a while. I was also in a group but played mostly in lower manhattan, and did a two month gig in the catskills one summer. My sister Carol is retired and lives in Florida with her husband Jim. Growing up in 175th street was was the greatest experience a teenager could have back in the sixties. I really enjoyed it and enjoyed following the Elegant Four around and listening to their music. Tolentine and The Launching Pad left me with great memories of that time in my life. Nice replying to you. Maybe we will text again.

        1. Well…how’s this for a quick response? Great to hear from you and glad to know that you and Carol are both doing well. What city is Carol in? In the 44 years I spent in Florida, I lived in several locations. I’d hate to think that I was living nearby her location and failed to contact her because I didn’t know she was there. Congrats on the career as a locksmith! I spent 38 years in law enforcement in Florida before retiring and moving to Colorado. I’m still occasionally in touch with some of the old crowd. Jean Revis (was Wilson) lives near Wayne, NJ and the gal that used to be Theresa Bolton is living near Venice, Fla. and retired. Neil has lived near Danbury, CT for his entire adult life, and through Facebook, I found that Larry Herman is living near Gulfport, Mississippi, although I have not made contact with him. Stay safe and thank for responding.

  19. I hope you get to read this soon after it is posted. My response comes almost a year after your post. I was the organist in the Elegant Four (which later became ‘Wendigo’) for most of the time the band existed – though I was replaced for six months of that period in 1967, by Bill Killoran of “The Thanes”.

    We shared quite a bit in those days (’64-’68); first, the high school dances; The Launching Pad (I hated lifting a B-3 onto that little postage stamp of a stage – OVER the side rails – a dozen feet above the dance floor); and places like the Big Toe. The WMCA ‘Good Guy’ shows were fun, but certainly didn’t fatten your wallet, and yes, we ended up being the backup band for the singing groups in those shows. Then, it was on to the bars (with a cabaret card).
    I rejoined the band toward the end of 1967, but got my draft notice during the Tet offensive. Babyface Billy Dennis (drummer) got his draft notice that same week – and it had to have wrecked the band. I quickly sold my B-3 for half of what I paid for it. I had only nine days’ notice to report. I ended up in the USAF for four years – which included a year’s VN war tour at Korat. Returning to NY (Queens) in 1972, I could find none of the people from my days with the band. I rejoined the Air Force in 1974, and spent ten of the next eleven years overseas. Try finding anyone after you’ve been out of the country that long!

    Some time after 2000, I connected with Pete Santora on the internet, and he has filled in a lot of the history I was missing. Tommy Cosgrove created a new Bronx band (“Brethren”) composed of friends whose bands also had broken up – and yes, he did join the Vagrants not long afterward. Pete says Tom also toured with Todd Rungren, and arranged/produced a number of third-party recordings. For a real eye-opener, Google “Tom Cosgrove music”, and read the “Free Creek” article at the top of the list. Tommy isn’t the only one still in the business; type “http://petesantora.com” into your browser’s URL window, for Pete’s new website. It is quite impressive.

  20. Hi John,
    I just happen to check the Elegant Four web site and found your message to me. GREAT to hear from you. I remember you well. I believe you started with a Vox and then got the B3. Check out the DuCaines page on this same Garagehangover site and you’ll get my bands past history. The site also has the songs I wrote and recorded with the DuCaines. I left the band and joined the US Marines in 1968 and fought in Vietnam. (Two Purple Hearts) I still play guitar a few times a week at home and have a small recording studio in the house in Florida. It’s just for my own fun and enjoyment.
    The Elegant Four were great! I believe our organ player purchased his B3 soon after you. Great sound but a pain to carry to jobs. The DuCaines also played as the house band for a few WMCA good guy shows.
    Thanks for the information on Tom Cosgrove.I remember him telling me how he got the name Windigo from a comic book.
    I lost contact with all my band members after I finished service in the Marines.
    My son Jason plays drums, guitar and bass for fun. He enjoys the stories and has my band pictures hanging in his home.
    All the best

  21. John, I’m deeply saddened by the news that Dennis is gone. I remember being in your place with Dennis and your father. It had to be a LOT of years ago, because you were watching that (puppet) science-fiction show, “The Thunderbirds”, on TV!
    Yes, I was the guy on the keyboard back then (next to Dennis in the photo above.)

    While I completely lost track of everyone from the band early in 1968 (when I was drafted), over the years I heard little bits of their history – but never a word about Dennis (until now). It is definitely NOT the news I was looking for. Please email me ( dweezild AT flex.com ). I have almost a dozen digital photos of Dennis on stage with the band, spanning about four years. I’d really appreciate it if you could tell me more about Dennis’ life after 1968.
    I’m sorry for your loss.

  22. Hi John,
    My name is Diane. I was a fan of your brother;s band the elegent four. I was just a kid who lived across the street from bill dennis.We listened to them play and reherse every time. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It is a part of my childhood gone. Do you know how the other band members are? Bill’s brother Raymond was my first boyfriend. We were just 13. Do you know anything about how he is? Your brother and his band bought music into our young lives that stayed with us till today,becasue of him and his group The kids of 175th street had a wonderful childhood filled with music.

    Thank you,Diane

  23. John…I remember you very well…you had a sister Carol and Dennis was the bass player in the Elegant 4.Sad hearing that Dennis passed away….when was that….where are you located?
    Tom Berlinger lives in Denver now

    1. Dennis was my father a great one also. I could not pick up his touch in music but I learned how to fix
      anything. He passed on oct. 3 2003 in houston

      Jason sousa 34

  24. Hi Neil,
    I think I remember who you are. Did you play drums for the group? I beleive your lead guitar player went to Power Memorial High School with me and introduced me to my first wife. We doubled dated on my first date with her. What is his name? I believe you were also a ham radio operator.
    Check out my group on garagehangover. The DuCaines
    Let me know if I’m right.
    Art Lent
    arthur_lent@bellsouth.net

  25. Art…I was the drummer in the Vibratones…Eddie herman was lead guitar and John Reinwald was keyboards..Both went to power…I assume you married barbara Soto….I think she lived on Tremont near ps 28…Can’t believe freddie is gone…I play with him about 20+ years ago in a studio in NY..

    Neil

  26. Hi Neil, Thanks for the names of the Vibratone members from Power. Email me any group pictures you may have at the email I listed on the site. You can see the DuCaines pictures on our garagehangover site. I did marry Barbara and we stayed married for 23 years. My son Jason is a drummer. I’m remarried and living in Florida. I was crushed to hear about Freddy. I met up with him in the late 1970’s in downtown New York. I believe he was working for Off Track Betting and was married and living in New Jersey. I was transferred to Florida within a month after and I lost touch with Freddy.
    Freddy was a great guy, friend and drummer. What a loss. You can hear Freddy playing on the songs on the DuCaines garagehangeover site.
    Say hi to the other Vibratones.

  27. Tommy was my best friend,before I joined the Marines in 1965.That’s when I lost in touch with him. Would like to get in touch with him.

  28. Became (re)interested in Tom Cosgrove after buying a CD of a Brethren album that was a favorite many years ago. Watched a video of a (recent?) performance of his that totally sounds like TG of Brethren. Wondering what else he did over the years

  29. I chanced upon this page about the Elegants. My older brother, Eddy Ray, was in the Deltairs during that time in the Bronx. Those two bands often shared the stage at Tolentine. Raymond Dennis and I were very young and had to stay up in the balcony, shooting spitballs at the Elegants when they were on stage sometimes. Eddy and Tommy Cosgrove were good friends, and I spent lots of time over at Tommy’s apartment. Eddy went on to be in the house band (name? the band names run together) that played at Maxim’s for a year or more, then on to bands in Florida, Dallas, and Vegas. He passed away in 2005. I know that Jon Benware had also passed on long before that – Bennett, too, more recently. I was lucky enough to see Tommy in Brethren at the Filmore East. What a show! I still play ‘Midnight Train’ and his version of ‘Don’t Talk Now’ sometimes. I used to play ‘Everybody in the Congregation’, but I lost my music for that one. Recently saw Dr John, and that reminded me of Tommy, too. Thanks for the memories.

    1. Hi John~~ Your brother was a good friend of mine, back in the 60s I don’t remember you~~~ but then again I spent most of that time in a fog…..been otta that fog for decades….. I played with the original Elegents ( yes, it was spelled with 2 “e’s” so there wouldn’t be a conflict with the Elegants of “Where are you little star” fame )……..There was myself, then I asked Billy Dennis if he wanted to start a band…..to my surprise he said yes……then I asked Dennis Sousa from 177th st between Morris and Walton Ave to join and he said yes……so we had a band.the Elegents, The Deltairs were our arch enemies….lol…..The Deltairs included your brother Eddy (RIP)…..Jon Benware ( RIP) Tommy Cosgrove (lives in Mamaroneck, NY) and Robbie Kimmel (RIP) eventually Tommy joined up with us in the Elegents……and I got swallowed up in the fog….I caught up with almost everyone from back in the day, in 2002 (3? 4? 5? )we played a couple of gigs……..a dream come true for this geriatric ex- Elegent!!!!

      ……Eddy took a sewing needle and did a beautiful job of scratching my name into my forearm…still lightly visible today….and I’m 67 years old……..LOLOL …all the best! Jay Dieckmann ( live on Long Island……..a town called Shirley )

  30. I’m sorry, it wasn’t Tolentine. It was Our Lady of Solace with the balcony, spitballs, Deltairs, etc. The memories get fuzzy sometimes. Besides, I was about 9 or 10. Eddy Ray had to take care of me, which is why I was often there at the dances.

  31. I first heard the Elegant 4 when I was in High School and I was hooked! I am a guitarist, who grew up in the Bronx, in the Throggs Neck section. I heard about Tom Cosgrove, while in High School and all of my guitarist friends said that he was the guy to listen to! Boy, were they right!
    I’ve known Tom for well over 40 years and we all still very good friends. He was and still is an excellent guitarist and singer and brings taste and showmanship to every band and musical unit he has every been part of! I have been blessed with his friendship and have been in awe of his talent and musicianship. They were a great band and will long be remembered by me and all of my fellow guitarists who grew up in the Bronx during the 60’s! The three great guitarist at that time were Tom Cosgrove, Lenny Camillari and Donny Alfaro.

  32. I seem to remember playing with them on the same bill on some venues like The Launching Pad, a great group .There was also a great band I never hear mentioned that played there and other places such as The Big Toe Disco on Mount Eden and Jerome Avenue called The Seven of US.
    Eddie Black, first tenor /lead The Five Sharks

  33. Hello to John Ray and John Dieckmann,
    I was searching the internet to try to locate a long lost connection, Jon Benware, and came upon this wonderful site. I was saddened to hear that Jon has passed and just wondered if either of you would be able to share any news of his life. It has been almost 40 years since I knew him. Much gratitude.

    1. I knew John Benware, he hung out with me and the Manton brothers ,we used to kid him because a guy we knew Tommy Reader looked just like John they could have been twins.Sorry to hear that he passed .
      Eddie, The Five Sharks

  34. My vocal group played there often with a back up band .We were The Five Sharks.The best band I remember hearing there were The Seven of Us,though many good bands played there. There was also a place on Burnside Avenue west of Jerome Avenue called The Launching Pad which featured a raised stage up in the air,it was owned by a teacher from Roosevelt High named Mr. Llibel If you were old enough or had fake proof there was Maxims on Burnside and Jerome Avenue which featured The Earls singing group famous for their hit Remember Then as the house band and many name acts appearing there.
    Eddie Black, first tenor/lead The Five Sharks

  35. Hi,
    The Elegant 4 backed my group The Rueteens/Jimmy and the Crestones on 6 of our records and at Palisades Park with Cousin Brucie back in the 60s. Dennis Sousa also worked with me at Modells/Cousins. They were a great band
    And I have a few outages from Tommy yelling at DJ Clark and some rehersals.

    Jimmy Appollo.

  36. Hey Jimmy , The Rueteen,and Jimmy and The Crestones great groups,Jimmy when you came to Arthur Murreys when your first tenor was in The Navy and we backed you on I Don’t Cry Over Girls the band that was backing us was called The Trenchcoats, they became The Blues Magoos a year later with a hit song called We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet.

  37. hi my name is Diane I grew up across the street from billy dennis. Heard them practice all the time, I was just a kid and went out with Billy’s brother Raymond. Does anyone know how Raymond is? I also went to school with Tommy Berlinger at St, Margaret Mary in the Bx. I would love to know how Raymond and Billy are doing after all these years Thank You

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