Many groups or bands formed more than 20 years ago usually have dozens of members that have made up their lineup but what’s made The Magic Touch so consistent, successful and recognizable is that they’ve only had 8 different members in their history. The current lineup of Tom Kelleher, Bob Cardany, Brian Angarola, Tim Fuller & Phil Russo, have been together since 2003. Also many groups use fill-in’s or replacements for certain shows but The Magic Touch never does. If you see The Magic Touch in concert, you will only see these five guys gracing the stage. Here’s a quick introduction to the guys.
Tom Kelleher initially formed the group in 1988. Tom had sung with a group called the C-Notes back in 1959, and wrote their biggest hit “Last Saturday Night” which was recorded on the Arc label. In the late 1980’s he was looking to get back into the music business and recruited Bob Cardany, Tony Giorgi, Dennis Hurlie, and Jimmy Santrello to form the group which eventually became “The Magic Touch”. Tom took a "temporary leave" from the group in 1996 but returned in 2003. The Magic Touch has recorded several of Tom's original compositions on their different albums such as “Foolish Me”, “Would You Care”, “Father Of The Bride”, and “Kim Marie”. Tom’s great ear for harmony, humorous interludes on stage, and his incredible knowledge of 50’s & 60’s music are all significant attributes to the group.
Bob Cardany, another founding member of the group, sang with a group known as the Revelations during the ‘60’s under the tutelage of Dick Levester, musical director for The Mello Kings and The Earls. His distinguishing riff’s and walking bass lines can be heard in many of the group’s most popular numbers. Bob’s devotion to his craft and development through the years are the foundation to the groups evolution over the past decade. In addition to Bob’s musical talents, his sense of humor is always apparent during all Magic Touch shows.
Brian Angarola was just 19 years old at the time he joined the group in 1996. Brian was introduced to doo-wop and acapella music by his high school music teacher at New Rochelle High School. He helped form the group “Now & Then.” with three other classmates. The group eventually landed a recording contract on the same label as The Magic Touch, Starlight Discs. Brian soon hooked up with The Magic Touch through their mutual record producer. In addition to his soaring high background harmonies, Brian is one of the featured lead singers of the group. Brian is the main musical arranger for The Magic Touch and has mixed and mastered the groups last 2 albums. His great energy on stage gets everyone in the mood to have a great time.
Tim Fuller joined the group in 1999. Tim is a teacher at New Rochelle High School and was very familiar with Brian’s talents since not only was Brian a student of his, Now & Then often rehearsed in Tim’s classroom after school and during their breaks. Musically inclined from an early age he was a member of his church choir and his school’s glee club and played trombone in the school band and orchestra. His real passion, however, was always singing. As a young man he was heavily influenced by the likes of Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, the Chi-Lites, and the Temptations. Tim is one of the other featured lead singers of the group. His soulful voice and impeccable style brings an element of “smooth” to the group. Tim’s ear for harmonies and his drive for perfection is one of the main reasons for the groups success during his tenure.
Phil Russo is the latest member of the group joining in late 2003. He gained his vocal experience in the music business performing with such groups as the "Excellents", "Passions", "Velvetones" and "Ovations". Phil’s velvety voice completes the sound that is The Magic Touch. Even though Phil’s musical talents are always present in his performance, what makes him stand out is his demeanor with the crowds. He can be seen chatting with everyone at shows and is known by the other members of the group as “The Mayor”. Phil is originally from and still resides in the Bronx, New York.