2008 Hall of Fame Inductees
Mary Santos Barros
Santos Barros was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts on
December 26, 1923. Her parents, Jose and Julia Santos were
natives of Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde. She was educated in the
New Bedford school system through the Technical High School.
She attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and
received a certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in Boston for participating in the Community Fellows
Program from 1980 to 1981.
On July 10, 1960, Mary was married to Jeronimo Barros, a
native of Boa Vista. They have eight children named Joao,
Julie, Naia, the Late Vincent, Nuno, Kwame, Joseph and Sal.
Her concerns for her own and other children led to Mary becoming
an advocate for equal education for all children. She was
active in the PTAs of her children's schools and often served
Mary Santos Barros retired from the Department of Social
Services. Previously, she was a factory worker at Aerovox
for seventeen years and at Campbell Curtains for fourteen
years. As a teenager, she worked as a domestic.
As a member of the Committee of Concerned Parents for New
Bedford schools, she served on the Executive Committee and
was instrumental in the building and naming of the Alfred
J. Gomes School, named after a Cape Verdean lawyer and leader,
which was dedicated on October 27, 1977. She became a voice
for Cape Verdean parents often taking immigrant parents to
school committee meetings and interpreting for them. She was
a member of the Board of Education for the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts from 1975 to 1979. She was recognized by them
"for her distinguished service through the establishment
of increased opportunities for all youth and exemplary parent
She promoted the hiring of Cape Verdean bus drivers in the
City of New Bedford. An active member of the NAACP, she served
in many capacities.
Mary is a parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption Church,
the first Cape Verdean Catholic Church in the United States
founded in 1905. She sang in the choir and represented the
church at the National Black Catholic Congress. A woman of
strong faith, her door is always open to anyone who has a
In New Bedford, she belonged to the Cape Verdean Veterans
Association Women's Auxiliary, the Cuckoo Club and the Merchant
Mariners' Social Club and Auxiliary.
She was a member of the Cape Verdean American Federation
and on the Board of Directors of TCHUBA, The American Committee
for Cape Verde. Mary was a strong supporter of the Ernestina
Recognizing that to accomplish certain objectives one has
to be politically involved, Mary ran for the City Council
of New Bedford and was elected to represent Ward 4 for two
terms. She was on the Housing and Health Committees. A believer
in political empowerment, Mary helped many people become American
citizens. She was also a State Committee Representative to
the State Democratic Party Convention. Mary has always been
a community advocate not only for Cape Verdeans, but also
for all minorities.
Mary's love of Cape Verde is demonstrated not only by her
participation in activities in the United States, but also
in Cape Verde. Having traveled to Cape Verde three times,
she became more aware of the needs and strengths of the land
of her parents. She has lobbied on behalf of Cape Verde on
the state and federal levels. When a hurricane struck Cape
Verde in 1982, Mary and others raised funds which were sent
to the people of Cape Verde. She regularly sent barrels and
money to members of her family and others.
Among the many recognitions Mary Santos Barros has received
are the New Bedford Noon Lions Club Award for Outstanding
Leadership for more than 20 years in 1998, the 1992 Recognition
Award of Downtown New Bedford Inc., and the renaming of the
T.A. Greene Elementary School as the Mary S. Barros Educational
Center where the New Bedford Head Start Program is currently
Mary Santos Barros is an exemplary model for all women having
distinguished herself as a loving daughter, wife, mother and
community leader. She is a mentor who encourages young people
to pursue education and personal goals and to become politically
active for the betterment of the community. She never sought
personal gains and worked tirelessly for the benefit of others.
Manuel Edward Costa,
Edward Costa, Sr. was born on March 9, 1918 in New Bedford,
Massachusetts. His parents, Eduardo Gomes Costa and Maria
Santos Oliveira Costa were born in Santo Antoi, Cape Verde
and came to the United States in the early 1900's. Manuel
had two brothers, Antone J. Oliveira, born in Cape Verde and
Epifanio Costa, born in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Manuel was raised in Port Chester, New York in the earlier
part of his life where he attended elementary and high school
and was honored for never missing a day of school throughout
his entire school years.
When his family moved to New Bedford, Manuel enrolled in
the Army Officers' school and later became a first Lieutenant
and served in the army for 3 years. He attended Lincoln University
and Brown University where he was a four-letter man in Basketball,
Football, Track and High Jumping. Later, he would graduate
from Bridgewater State Teachers College.
He married Ruth Davis Costa and they had two children, Manuel
"Butch" E. Costa, Jr. and Jeanne Maria Costa. Later,
Manuel remarried and fathered 6 more children, David Dance,
Donald Cleaves, Nicole, Jason, Aaron and Alexandra Costa.
During his life in New Bedford, Manuel was a mentor, teacher,
civil rights activist, writer, TV host, coach, politician,
social worker, gymnast instructor and the list goes on.
There was never a time when Manny wasn't helping someone
needy or someone who needed support because they were having
to fill out papers for immigration, having difficulty with
a teacher or school system, had to appear in court without
representation, needed housing, needed employment, needed
a loan from the bank needed to meet with authorities or when
an individual did not speak English or could not represent
In the early 40's, he began the 'House of Champions' taking
young men off the streets and teaching them the art of boxing.
Many of these young men were troubled and often found themselves
in front of a judge where Manny would speak for them. Many
of these young men won competitions and eventually changed
their lives around.
Manuel organized great basketball teams and through many
exhibition games, raised money to help these young individuals
to attend higher education and realize their dreams. He advocated
for higher education in the Cape Verdean community, often
writing letters to colleges helping those individuals to receive
He regularly wrote letters to the editor of the Standard
Times, especially, when something or someone affected the
community in a negative way. He picketed a law firm for a
whole year in hot and cold weather because they wronged a
fellow Cape Verdean.
He was relentless when it came to the rights of individuals,
especially, the Cape Verdean people and would protect the
rights of all people if they couldn't speak for themselves.
During the Christmas season, Manuel was often seen riding
through a poorer section of the city handing out gloves and
hats in the winter and ice cream and popsicles in the summer.
In 1998, Manuel was recognized by the City of New Bedford
for all his great deeds. The City of New Bedford renamed Cannon
Street (near Monte's playground), which is in the heart of
the Cape Verdean community, the 'Manuel E. Costa Memorial
One city official stated, "There will never be another
man like Manuel Costa in New Bedford that will do what he
did during his lifetime. It would take 12 men to fill his
Manuel Costa's employment included, Lieutenant in the Army,
Director of the Human Relations Commission, Director of the
Foster Grandparent Program, teacher, social worker, and the
first Cape Verdean candidate for ward councilor in New Bedford.
He was also a licensed mortician and also created what is
called today, the 'Tonkers Tumblers'. Manuel also played a
significant role in the struggle for Cabo Verde independence.
Manuel Edward Costa, Sr. passed on March 2, 1992. Since his
passing, his nephew, Edward "Buster" Costa and others
are part of a group that has honored Manuel by having the
'Manuel E. Costa, Sr. Scholarship Basketball Tournaments'
for thirteen years in his memory. Through this venue, and
through the support of the community, they have given thousands
of dollars to students for scholarships and also to the Boys
and Girls Club in New Bedford.
Antonio L. "Toney"
L. 'Toney' DaMoura was born on February 27, 1968 in the
Island of Santiago, Cape Verde Islands to Alice da Silva Goncalves
and the Late Antonio L. DaMoura.
Toney had an extensive and well respected career working
in the field of youth counseling and social work. In his spare
time, he donated of his spirit and knowledge to educate and
help those around him. He was one of the founders of the Cape
Verdean Student Association at the University of Rhode Island,
which has inspired similar organizations throughout Colleges
and Universities in the New England area. Toney held the educational
opportunities afforded him close to his heart, and always
encouraged the Community to do the same.
Toney has accomplished more in the years we were blessed
with his presence than in fact many of us will in a lifetime.
He was Producer, Editor, Director and Host of 'InterVideo'
for 12 years; a television program dedicated to educating
the community about the power of music on an international
He was Co-Producer and Guest Host on 'Nobidade TV',
the first show of its' kind providing programming which is
a social and political forum to bridge the gap between Cape
Verdeans in the mainland and those who have immigrated to
the United States.
Toney co-hosted and was a regular Disc Jockey on '90.3FM';
the radio program, 'Cape Verdean-Afro Beat',
which helps promote local artist and discusses issues currently
affecting the community. He was a strong motivating force
in the progressive changes which are taking place in the 'Cape
Verdean Heritage Subcommittee', through which he also
hosted the 'Annual Cape Verdean Independence Day Festival',
now celebrated in Rhode Island for over 30 years.
The 39 year old earned a Bachelor and Master's Degree from
the University of Rhode Island in Arts & Sciences. He
was the beloved brother of 11 siblings, Maria da Silva, Joaquim
da Silva, Luis D. Lopes, Ana Tavares, Ernestina DaMoura Moreira,
Maria Carmen DaMoura, Maria dos Santos DaMoura, and Jose DaMoura,
Nelida DaMoura, Sandra DaMoura and Nelson DaMoura.
Toney DaMoura, a Leader of the Cape Verdean community passed
away peacefully on April 2, 2007. He is survived by his mother,
11 siblings, many cousins, nieces and nephews and dearly missed.
Although our community has suffered a tremendous loss, we
hope that Toney's spirit will live on in all that knew him.
It will live on in all the people who respected his efforts
to promote peace, higher learning, unity, and understanding
among all, but especially those who are socially disadvantaged.
Toney DaMoura will always be remembered by everyone within
the causes and groups he supported, as he touched hearts and
souls in a unique way. He always tried to instill peace in
our hearts. His Legacy will live on.
The Antonio L. DaMoura Scholarship Fund
A scholarship fund has been established in the name of Antonio
L. DaMoura after his passing. Tony Goncalves along with fellow
classmates and close friends, in order to honor Toney's passion
for higher learning, have set up this fund to aide students
who also desire to acquire knowledge and share it with their
community and the world.
We ask that you help to continue his legacy by supporting
our efforts. Anyone who is interested in contributing to this
fund can refer to an account which has been set up for 'The
Antonio L. DaMoura Scholarship Fund', in care of 'Nobidade
TV' at Citizens Bank, Account # 1807-557-6.
Joseph Candido Delgado
Candido Delgado was born October 28, 1881 on the Cape
Verde Island of Sao Nicolau. A devout Catholic, he entertained
desires for the priesthood. His family was unable financially
to send him to the seminary.
Joseph Delgado came to the United States in search of a better
life and settled in Norwich in 1912. He married Geralda Almeida
on May 24, 1913 and they resided at 165 Talman Street, Norwich,
Connecticut with their six children, .Anna Deas, Mary Norde,
Joseph Delgado, Candido Delgado, Anthony Delgado and Frank
He believed that everyone of the Catholic faith should do
something to please God. He had a dream one day, saw the Chapel
and built it according to the picture which was presented
to him in his dream. With his own money and manual labor,
he erected the one room Chapel which stood fifty feet from
his home. It took several years to construct and he kept the
secret for several months from his wife and children who believed
he was building a playhouse for them. They realized however,
what it would be as soon as they saw the form which the building
was taking during its construction.
Because of his devotion to Saint Anthony, he dedicated the
edifice to this great of Padua, Italy. The inscription over
the door of the Chapel reads, 'A Capella do Santo Antonio
foi baptisada no dia 4 de Julho do ano de 1926'.
Nestled between lofty hills in the easterly section of Norwich,
less than a five minute walk from the center of the city stood
St. Anthony's Chapel. The interior of the Chapel is 16 feet
long, 9 feet wide. Statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Saint
Anthony, Saint Anne and Saint Theresa surround the altar.
Mr. Delgado cut down a barber pole, painted over the red stripes
in white and used it as a base to hold the crucifix which
stands at the front of the Chapel.
Tiny framed drawings hung along the wall depict the Fourteen
Stations of the Cross. The statutes and drawings were donated
by friends as gifts. The Chapel, which is almost childlike,
has a quiet dignity.
Each morning and night, Mr. Delgado with his family would
offer prayers. Solely for devotion and meditation, the Chapel
was open to anyone who wished to spend time in prayer. The
Chapel accommodated 25 to 30 people and was not attended exclusively
by fellow Cape Verdeans, but also by Italians, French, Polish
and other ethnic groups which populated the East Side. This
little place of devotion had attracted those of the Roman
Catholic faith of Portuguese decent both in the immediate
neighborhood and from several surrounding towns. Neighboring
priests have visited the tiny Chapel and given their blessings.
Since the death of his wife, Geralda in 1934, Mr. Delgado
had resided alone and continued to worship at the Chapel day
A carpenter and barber by trade; he was also President of
the Norwich Laborers' and Hod Carriers Union and of the Santiago
Society, a Portuguese society with headquarters in Providence,
Rhode Island. He was one of the founders and incorporators
of the Cape Verdean Santiago Society in Norwich, Connecticut
While the Cape Verdean Santiago Society Club was being constructed,
meetings were held in Mr. Delgado's yard in front of the St.
Joseph C. Delgado passed in 1967 at the age of 85 years.
Since 1926 and until the day of his death, the Chapel was
never locked. The Chapel, which has fulfilled a dream, has
become a symbol of the arrival, establishment and settlement
of the Cape Verdeans in the City of Norwich and a symbol of
pride for the man who left such a priceless legacy.
The Cape Verdean Santiago Society and its members completed
the restoration of the Chapel in July 1977. On August 6, 2003,
St. Anthony's Chapel was listed on the State Register of Historic
Places by the Connecticut Historical Commission.
Captain John Theophilo
John Theophilo Gonsalves was born December 16, 1858 on
the island of Brava, Cape Verde Islands. He may have been
among the first Cape Verdean businessman who arrived in New
England during the mid-nineteenth century.
Captain Gonsalves owned properties in Fairhaven, Harwich
and Provincetown and became an American citizen on November
He was the father of the Late, Maria Santos Gonsalves Rodrigues.
Maria was raised in Brava, Cape Verde Islands. She had five
sons named Joaquin, Joseph, Daniel, John and Frank Rodrigues
and one daughter named Anna Rodrigues Askew.
He answered the "call of the sea" at the age of
eleven and sailing vessels became his school, his college,
his university; Ships Captains and First Mates became his
He was Captain Boy at the age of eleven and took to the seas
with three hard years on the Bark Roman where he learned the
ABC's of the whaling industry. He was Cook on the Bark Laetitia
for three years and Boatwain on the Sea Queen for three years.
He was Second Mate on Schooner Quickstep, Schooner Amelia
and on the Schooner Rising Sun from Provincetown. He was Second
Mate and Navigator on the Schooner Fannie Bond and served
as Master for twelve years on the Schooner Rising Sun.
The following is a list of ships on which he served from
Cabin Boy to Master:
Charles H. Hodgdon
Cape Horn Pigeon*
Eleanor B. Cornwell*
William A. Graber*
Eunice H. Adams*
Charles W. Morgan*
Little Lizzie (Packet Ship)*
Onward (Packet Ship)*
|*Ships on which Captain Gonsalves
served as Master.
Captain Gonsalves was the last Master of the Charles W. Morgan,
the last wooden whaling vessel. The maiden voyage of the Charles
W. Morgan from September 6, 1841 to January 1, 1845 (3 years,
4 months), returned with 2,400 barrels of whale oil.
It is noteworthy in comparison, the last voyage, from September
9, 1920 to May 28, 1921 (9 months) commanded by Captain Gonsalves
with a full Cape Verdean crew, many inexperienced, returned
with 2,702 barrels of whale oil at a time when the whaling
industry was near its end. With the price down from 73 cents
a gallon to 30 cents a gallon, the total value of that cargo
The sea is character-building, as noted in the actions Captain
Gonsalves needed to take in addressing day to day problems
since often; it might be a matter of life or death. Each voyage
had its challenges.
He rode out three severe hurricanes off Cape Hatteras, where
boats and deck gear disappeared. The first on the E.B.
Cornwell; the second and third were on the Rising Sun.
He had many boats stove up by whales, but he never lost a
Captain Gonsalves's most exciting and perhaps, near fatal
voyage was aboard the A.M. Nicholson in June 1918.
A German submariner came alongside and shot across his bow
at two different times. Captain Gonsalves said, "Don't
sink the vessel. We are poor fisherman looking for sperm whale."
The German Captain let him go. He sailed into port alongside
the Ellen Swift. He returned to port with more than $30,000.00
worth of sperm oil.
Many long, detailed articles, as early as 1904, were written
in the newspaper, The New Bedford Standard, noting
his elongated career from cabin boy at age 11 to Captain/Master
of the Charles W. Morgan, his incredible escape from
Arctic ice, hurricanes, a German U-boat, and mutiny.
As noted in an article written on March 15, 1928 of The
New Bedford Standard, "word came to relatives in
the area that Captain John Theophilo Gonsalves had passed
away in the Cape Verde Islands".
In the line which is written daily in a whaler's log book,
"So ends this day"!
Joaquim do Livramento
do Livramento was born in Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde Islands
on January 25, 1891. He was raised by his grandparents Joseph
and Olympia do Livramento. He was educated at a seminary in
Cape Verde which, he agreed with his grandfather to attend,
however, without intent of priesthood.
Mr. Livramento came to America around 1917 and resided in
New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was the husband of Clara (Britto)
do Livramento and the father of eight children; Mary Fortes,
Elizabeth Duarte, Lillian Ramos, Irene Livramento, Estelle
Livramento, Edwin Livramento, Arthur Livramento and Walter
He worked as a Textile Operator at the Fiske Mill. He was
a charter member of the Cape Verdean Ultra Marine Band Club
in New Bedford. He was a member of Our Lady of Assumption
Church in New Bedford, the first Roman Catholic Cape Verdean
church in the nation.
Mr. Livramento had many talents, one of which has left behind
a melodic and unmoving legacy in the Cape Verdean community
today, his lifelong passion, second to his family-music. He
was a composer, lyricist and musician. He played the French
horn, piano, guitar and mandolin. Most of his compositions
are still played today by Cape Verdean musicians.
The most popular and favorite of many, is a song that was
inspired by his son, Arthur when he was a young man in the
armed forces. While serving in World War II, Arthur wrote
to his father and requested that he write a song telling a
story of the profound love of his mother, hence, 'Amor
de Mia'. Recorded and sung today by many artists, young
Mr. Livramento had an admiration and brotherly love for his
people. He was known for assisting immigrants of the Cape
Verde Islands (who had limited knowledge of speaking, reading
and/or writing in English) in translating and composing letters
to and from loved ones in Cape Verde, and more importantly,
assisting them in completing immigrations documents. He did
so joyfully and free of charge. Some family members referred
to him as "The Family Scribe".
He was an intelligent man with a tremendously cerebral vocabulary
and his penmanship was a work of art.
on June 6, 1956 in Assomada, Santiago, Norberto Tavares
is the son of a well-known local musician, Aristides Tavares,
who played violin and other string instruments. After his
father's untimely death when Norberto was nine, Norberto learned
how to play guitar, keyboards and accordion on his own. He
was encouraged by a local priest to play the organ as a boy
and practiced on the instrument in the Catholic Church in
Assomada. Norberto began making a name for himself as a songwriter
in his early teens.
Norberto left Cape Verde for Portugal in 1973. Accompanying
himself on guitar, Norberto composed his own funana and batuko
songs, styles he knew well from his upbringing in a musical
Badiu family from Santa Caterina. He formed a band called
Black Power in Lisbon with other musicians from Cape Verde.
Norberto released his first album of 'electric funana and
batuko' in 1975, slightly before Katchas made his version
of funana widely popular with Bulimundo. Norberto produced
several more recordings in Portugal and toured widely with
his band, before immigrating to the United States in 1979.
He returned to Cape Verde with Tropical Power in 1990 for
the first time in 17 years and performed for large enthusiastic
crowds in Santiago, influencing the first multiparty general
election in the process by encouraging people to vote. Several
of his solo albums, 'Jornada di un Badiu' (1989) and
'Hino di Unificacon' (1993) are distributed in compact
disc format by Melodie in France.
While never turning away from the music's roots in Santiago,
Norberto's songs have had themes expressing hopes for an improved
Cape Verde society, one which transcends its racial, economic
and ethnic differences and works together in building a better
nation; ideals very much relevant to Cape Verdeans after independence.
This type of theme is clearly expressed in one of Norberto
Tavares's most popular songs, 'Nos Cabo Verde di Speranca'
(1976), which has become an unofficial Cape Verdean national
Norberto's songs also provide illustrations of typical themes
in both popular and acoustic funana using pastoral imagery.
His poetic vignettes of life in rural Santiago are often his
public's favorites, perhaps because they remind listeners
of the joys of a simpler existence. Indeed, some of his songs
including 'Mariazinha', from the album, 'Volta pa
Fonti' (1979), 'Return to the Source' has become
part of the folk repertoire in Santiago. Other songs deal
with his concerns about the fair treatment of elderly people,
women and children.
Norberto returned to Cape Verde in 2005 to perform at the
Festival de Gambo in Santiago to celebrate 30 years of Independence
in Cape Verde, as well as his 30 year career as a recording
artist. Throughout his long career, Norberto has challenged
the people of Cape Verde to make democracy work and to acknowledge
social problems. His contributions to independent Cape Verde
are only starting to be fully appreciated by his people and
written into the history of the nation.
Norberto now lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts where he
makes his living as a musician. Norberto has continued to
produce high quality recordings in his studio in America.
Although he has lived in the United States for many years
now, his songs still reflect the concerns and interests of
the people of Santiago. His people remain close to his heart.
Norberto often uses his music to express his dissatisfaction
with social conditions in Cape Verde. Because of this, he
has developed a reputation as a political activist, although
he considers himself a critic of unjust social conditions
rather than a supporter of a specific political party. Norberto
has performed in Cape Verdean communities in America and in
Europe with his band, Tropical Power.
Norberto Tavares is a songwriter, popular performing artist,
social activist and bandleader who has made a career in the
United States as well as in his home country, Santiago, Cape
Verde. Norberto has made a significant contribution to the
Cape Verdean diaspora funana movement of the 1970s and 1980s.
He has remained one of the most popular and influential songwriter/performer
from Santiago in contemporary Cape Verdean music. Norberto
is particularly admired for his distinctive style of funana,
for the messages in his songs and for his superb musicianship.
Through much of the nation's political turmoil in the last
few decades, Norberto Tavares has been an ambassador of Cape
Verde's musical traditions and, through his music, a champion
of social justice and the rights of the poor.
The movie, 'Journey of the Badiu: The Story of Cape Verdean-American
Musician, Norberto Tavares', was written and directed
by F&M music professor, Susan Hurley-Glowa who met Norberto
while studying among the Cape Verdean population in New England.
The movie details the styles of Cape Verdean music, such as
the unique forms of morna and funana. The accordion and guitar
are the most common instruments, although other instruments
are used and hand percussion is quite common. But Norberto
Tavares, as other island musicians have attested, takes the
traditional forms in new directions - always with a political
subtext in his lyrics.
For ethnomusicologist, Hurley-Glowa, the project started
16 years ago, when she met Norberto in Rhode Island. "I
wasn't aware of just how important Norberto was until the
last four or five years", she said. "Then I started
to realize he is an important national hero."
The Tune Weavers
from the late '50's, The Tune Weavers are the first
Cape Verdean Doo Wopp Group. All members reside in the Massachusetts
Lead singer and writer, Margot Sylvia holds the remarkable
honor as the first Cape Verdean woman given 'The Citation
of Achievement Award' which was equivalent to a Grammy
Award in 1957. The Grammy Awards were not created until two
years later in 1959.
The Tune Weavers were inducted to the 'Doo Wopp Hall of
Fame' at Symphony Hall in Boston on March 30, 2003.
The two original Tune Weavers, John Sylvia and Charlotte
Davis Rose re-formed the group adding singers,
Burt Pina and Alice Fernandes as a new life
has begun for 'The Tune Weavers', who now perform to cheering
crowds at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Rhode Island,
the Cape Cod Melody Tent and Webster Indian Ranch in Massachusetts
as well as in Florida.
The Tune Weavers earned a place in rock and roll history
with their classic ballad, 'Happy, Happy Birthday Baby',
but the group itself was really a pop-jazz outfit.
Margot Sylvia and her brother Gilbert Lopez performed
around Boston as a duet in the mid-'50s. They were eventually
joined by Margo's husband, John Sylvia and her cousin, Charlotte
Davis doing a repertoire of R&B songs and jazz vocals.
They went by the name, 'The Tone Weavers' until one night
a waiter at a club was told by his boss to introduce the act.
He was so nervous about standing up in front of a crowd that
he introduced them as 'The Tune Weavers' and they decided
to keep it. They performed songs by The Four Freshmen and
the Jackie Gleason Orchestra, two of their influences.
In late 1956, the foursome, Margo age 20, lead, Charlotte
age 20, obbligato, Gil age 22, tenor, and John age 21, bass,
came to the attention of former bandleader Frank Paul, whose
brother-in-law had raved about the group.
Frank, who had his own small record label, Casa Grande,
(named after his old band), finally agreed to hear them and
went to his brother-in-law's home where they were set to audition.
After they played some tapes and sang some a cappella tunes,
Margo and company sang a song she wrote at age of 16 called
'Happy, Happy Birthday Baby'. Frank came to life and
said, "That's the one we're going to record".
On March 7, 1957, The Tune Weavers recorded 'Happy'
and the standard 'Old Man River' as eight-months pregnant
Margo crooned her way through the songs. The record came out
soon afterward, but Frank Paul's promotion was minor league
in comparison to what was necessary and the birthday song
Then in July, a Philadelphia disc jockey played the record
and suddenly the phones were ringing off the hook. Checker
Records, (distributed by Chess), picked up the distribution
rights from Casa Grande and by September 16th, 'Happy,
Happy Birthday Baby' was chart bound, eventually reaching
number five Pop and number four on the R&B charts while
selling over two million copies.
Their first big performance was at one of Alan Freed's rock
and roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount with Paul Anka, Little
Richard, The Diamonds, Della Reese, and the blond bombshell,
The group maintained a one record touring career with artist
like the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Johnny
Mathis, Tony Bennett, The Ames Brothers, The Spaniels, LaVern
Baker, The Cleftones, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Del-Vikings, Ricky
Nelson, The Chantels, and many more.
Several quality recordings followed on both Checker and Casa
Grande including 'I Remember Dear' and 'My Congratulations
Baby', but the group never charted again.
In 1960, Charlotte left the group and was replaced by William
"Bunky" Morris, Jr. The group broke up in 1962
but reformed for some '70's oldies shows.
In 1988, Margo recorded under the singles for Bruce Patch's
Classic Artist Records. One was a remake of 'Happy, Happy
Birthday Baby' done as a Christmas song titled, 'Merry,
Merry Christmas Baby', the other, 'I've Tried',
written by Charlotte.
Margo, lead singer for the group, passed away in October,
1991. Her brother, Gil passed away in July 1998. Her husband
John and cousin Charlotte are both semi retired.
Margo and John's son, Mark Sylvia, has his foot firmly
planted in the music business as a record producer working
with Howard Huntsberry and Klymaxx.
Charlotte's son, Robert "Bunny" Rose has
followed in the family's footsteps recording with a Boston
based group, Classic Example.
We remember 'The Tune Weavers'.
Roberta Joyce Delgado Vincent
Joyce Delgado Vincent was born on July 10, 1945 in Norwich,
Connecticut. She is the daughter of Mary Santos Delgado and
Anthony Delgado. She is the granddaughter of Joseph Candido
Delgado born in the village of Praia Branca, in Sao Nicolau,
Cape Verde Islands.
She is married to John B. Vincent and they are the parents
of the Late Tania Vincent and Robert L. Howard II. John and
Roberta reside in Norwich, Connecticut.
Roberta attended Norwich Free Academy and graduated in 1963
with an AS Degree from Mitchell College. She is employed as
MCS Production Operations Manager for Computer Sciences Corporation
supporting the General Dynamics Electric Boat Shipyard in
She has been a passionate, tireless advocate for the Cape
Verdean community in her home town of Norwich, Connecticut
for over 20 years, and has spearheaded the successful campaign
for the preservation and reconstruction of the Delgado family
Delgado's Chapel stood where it was built for over 75 years.
Knowing that it was a historical landmark that could be threatened,
Roberta and several Cape Verdean supporters worked diligently
to have it listed on the State Register of Historical Monuments
in 2003. Roberta built a remarkable coalition of architectural
historians, builders, folklorists and artists developing an
organization whose focus was to save the chapel as an icon
of Cape Verdean history and culture. In 2004, 'A Capela
do Santo Antonio, Inc.' was incorporated as a non-profit
organization and Roberta proceeded to organize grassroots
fundraising efforts for chapel preservation.
Roberta and her supporters received a grant of $4,500.00
from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation; along
with personal donations, for the chapel restoration. She negotiated
with St. Mary's Church in Norwich, which approved the reconstruction
to be made in the Mediation Area in September 2005. The restored
chapel, rebuilt by Cape Verdean labor was blessed and opened
on April 29, 2006. Roberta hosted a feast for the community
that was attended by hundreds including the Mayor and local
state representatives. With the loss of the Cape Verdean Club
to fire in early 2007, the chapel now stands as the primary
symbol of Cape Verdean cultural heritage in Norwich, Connecticut.
The rebuilding of a replica of St. Anthony Chapel has been
a rewarding, however emotional journey for her to have experienced
the passion, persistence and perseverance which her grandfather,
Joseph Delgado must have experienced when he built the historic
St. Anthony Chapel.
Roberta is a member of the Cape Verdean Santiago Society,
Inc. for 35 years in various capacities. She was the prior
Chairperson of the Annual Dances honoring Cape Verdean men
and women, young adults and inviting dignitaries in the City
of Norwich to promote an awareness of the contributions Cape
Verdeans have made to the City of Norwich.
Perhaps Roberta's greatest joy, after the reconstruction
of the Chapel, has been the young girl she sponsors in Cape
Verde. Stephanie Pires is 10 years old and lives in Brava.
Roberta visited her and Cape Verde for the first time in 2006,
taking school supplies, vitamins, clothes, etc., for her family.
With the collaboration of Roberta and Lynne Williamson, Director
of the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program, research
and oral history interviews with members of the Norwich Cape
Verdean community resulted in a publication highlighting the
relatively little known history of the Cape Verdeans in Connecticut.
Roberta's leadership and her gift for outreach, collaboration
and communication have enriched not only the historical record
of Cape Verdeans throughout southern New England, but also
their community spirit.
"No greater honor could have been bestowed
upon me, than to be inducted into the Cape Verdean Heritage
Hall of Fame with my grandfather, Joseph Candido Delgado."
- Roberta Joyce Delgado Vincent