The Belleville Board of Education cheered an early pioneer of rock n roll girl groups, recognizing one of the three Belleville women from the Delicates, who will be installed in October on Belleville's Wall of Recognition.
School Board member Joseph Longo presented a plaque to Delicate's vocalist Arleen Lanzotti-Gonnella at the Jan. 14 meeting.
The Delicates had a string of hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the biggest being "Black and White Thunderbird,” released in 1959, while also performing the theme song for legendary early rock n roll deejay Murray The K.
Their hit "Black and White Thunderbird" has had an entire second commercial life, featured on the soundtracks to Disney's "Cars" and Cars II" movies, a source of pride for Lanzotti-Gonnella.
"I hope we can inspire future singers to perform and serve in a similar fashion," she said. "The fact that you are even considering us for your wall, well, we know we have arrived."
Lanzotti-Gonnella said she has two nephews who graduated from Belleville High School, and lauded the school system.
"We are lucky that our parents chose Belleville," she said. "All I can say to the board is well done and keep it up."
A full slate of weekend events will be planned for the Delicates' installation on the high school wall in October, the same time that the School No. 8 multi-purpose room is renamed "The Delicates Auditorium," Longo said.
"We are so proud of you and your two group mates," Longo said in presenting the plaque.
The school board members took turns congratulating Lanzotti-Gonnella and her group mates.