Alive 'n Kickin'

Band members               Related acts

- Vito Albano -- drums, percussion (1969-71)
- Pepe Cardona -- vocals (1969-71)
- John Parisio -- lead guitar (1969-71)
- Bruce Sudano -- keyboards (1969-71)
- Sandy Todler -- vocals (1969-71)
- Thomas Wilson -- bass (1969-71) 



- Brooklyn Dreams (Bruce Sudano)

- Tommy James (solo efforts)
- Bruce Sudano (solo efforts)    



Genre: pop 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Alive 'n Kickin'

Company: Roulette

Catalog: SR 42052

Year: 1969

Country/State: USA

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: cut out niche, still in shrink wrap

Available: 2

GEMM catalog ID: 5450

Price: $30.00

Cost: $1.00


Led by singer Pepe Cardona Alive 'n Kickin' was a New York City based sextet showcasing the talents of drummer Vito Albano, vocalist Sandy Todler, guitarist John Parisio, keyboardist Bruce Sudano and bassist Thomas Wilson.  The group started their careers playing the city's club circuit getting their initial break when they attracted the attention of Tommy James of Shondells fame. Impressed by the band he offered to help them record a song he'd recently written but had been unable to record due to a severe case of stage fright.  Ironically, before the group could record 'Crystal Blue Persuasion' James withdrew the offer so that James and the Shondells could release it themselves.  Redeeming himself, James offered the band a replacement track entitled 'Tighter and Tighter'.

Feeling that the song was overly commercial, the band was initially reluctant to record the track.  They ultimately relented recording the song as their debut for Roulette Records.  Released as a single 'Tighter and Tighter' b/w 'Sunday Morning' (Roulette catalog number R-7078), the song eventually went top-10. 



As was standard marketing, Roulette rushed the band into the studio to record a supporting album.  Produced by James and Bob King, the cleverly-titled "Alive 'n Kickin'" proved a minor surprise. Anyone hearing 'Tighter and Tighter' (let along looking at the fun-in-the-sun album cover), would have justifiably concluded these guys were little more than a faceless top-40 pop band.  Wrong conclusion.  Powered by Todler's tough voice (her bluesy delivery occasionally baring a startling resemblance to Janis Joplin - check out 'Just Let It Come' or 'Kentucky Fire'), the set of largely original material rocked with a surprising amount of energy.  While it may not have made for the year's most original set, tracks such as 'Junction Creek' and 'Mississippi Mud' saw the group displaying a penchant for above average blues-rock.  That wasn't meant to imply these guys were going to knock Deep Purple off the hard rock throne. Largely penned by Sudano and Wilson, virtually everyone of these nine tracks retained a distinctive commercial sheen.  Elsewhere Roulette tapped the album for a follow-on single in the form of 'Just Let It Come' b/w 'Mother Carey's Chicken' (Roulette catalog number R-7087).

"Alive 'n Kickin'" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tighter, Tighter   (Tommy James - Bob King) - 2:43
2.) Junction Creek   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson - Pepe Cardona - Sandy Todler) - 4:00
3.) Jordan   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson) - 3:29
4.) Kentucky Fire   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson) - 5:10
5.) Sunday Morning   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson) - 0:30

(side 1)

1.) Just Let It Come   (A. Martin) - 3:09
2.) Mississippi Mud   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson) - 5:42
3.) Hitter Man   (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson - Pepe Cardona - Sandy Todler) - 4:34
4.) Mother Carey's Chicken  (Bruce Sudano - Thomas Wilson - Pepe Cardona) - 4:28

Two instantly forgotten follow-on non-LP singles followed:


- 1971's 'London Bridge' b/w 'You Gave Me Something' (Roulette catalog number R-7094) 

- 1971's 'Good Ole Lovin' Back Home' b/w 'Jordan' (Roulette catalog number R-7113) 


and by the end of the year the group had called it quits.


In 1976 Cardona, Albano and Wilson briefly reformed the band and began playing New York clubs doing top 40 covers.  Sudano reappeared as a member of Brooklyn Dreams and achieved a little bit of media attention when he married Donna Summer.


With singer Pepe Cardona and guitarist John Parisio as the lone original members the band is still active playing weddings, graduations, and parties in the New York area.  Interested in hiring them?  They get great reviews and have a small website at:




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