|Santo & Johnny, Sleepwalkin' in Brooklyn|
Santo & Johnny Farina were two brothers from Brooklyn, New York who had a huge number one instrumental hit in 1959 with "Sleepwalk" followed by several somewhat lesser hits. Santo took up the steel guitar at the age of nine and Johnny started playing the 'regular' guitar at the age of twelve. The brothers wrote "Sleepwalk" in 1959 and recorded it at Trinity Music in New York. The disc was leased to Canadian American Records and in August 1959 became their first hit, it reached the number one spot on the pop charts.
Santo & Johnny also had a sister named Ann Farina. She often helped them writing songs. Sleep Walk was followed with five lesser entries on the charts from 1959 to 1964, the most successful of which was "Tear Drop". They had some hit albums that featured their unique sound, including "Santo & Johhny" (1960), "Encore" (1960) and "Hawaii" (1961).
More popular internationally than at home, Santo and Johnny continued to record well into the following decade, typically landing on little-known Italian labels. The duo finally disbanded in 1976, with Santo continuing on as a solo act.
The instrumental song "Sleepwalk" was covered by the british band The Black Cat in 1979. Though the song was never officially issued, it is widely available on bootlegs. The band always played the song (often as an opener) on live gigs and this caused "Sleepwalk" to become known by a younger generation of rockers in the U.K. and the European continent.
Santo & Johnny Chart Hits:
Sleepwalk (August, 1959) Canadian American 103
The BlackCat, 1999