Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Untold Story - UGHA

Abraham Santiago author and film documentarian unveils the no-hold short personal narrative that led to the birth of United Group Harmony Association and its leader Ronnie Italiano. 

Santiago vividly reveals known and unknown facts about the organization and its leader. Santiago traces the events that led to the birth of United Group Harmony Association and those who laid the foundation. Santiago weaves together stories drawing parallels and ignites a firestorm of debate. One devotee referred to the work a “highly emotional subject for many people.” He shows how one man, made himself into a Doo Wop icon and how he and his cult-like followers managed to keep the music alive. The UNTOLD STORY will become a firestorm of controversy for many years to come. A must read for Rhythm and Blues supporters.


  1. Cult-like followers? Hell, I "got" Ronnie - and he did me many solids for my own group, The Fabulous Dudes. It didn't feel like a "cult" - maybe more like "fans." Personally, I just love the music - black and white, up- and down-tempo, produced and raw. As long as it's good, I'm there. I've got my favorites, but I take no sides, enjoy learning about all the various aspects of "the folk music of the city," and appreciate all the hard work of those who play it, sing it, write it, produce it and distribute it. Thanks to everyone who is keeping their favorite part(s) of it alive and well for past, present and future generations to discover.

  2. Abraham Santiago - August 16, 2013 at 6:15 AM
    Ruffling of Feathers

    I posted on Facebook my new book which will be released in September. For some apparent reason there was a ruffling of feathers by a few because they were not interviewed in the making of the book. Out of do respect for those who complained or made mentioned of it, am I required to consult those whose feathers I ruffled? It might have been better if they contacted me first. I would have told those who were ruffled exactly what the book is about and the reason for writing it. Must I contact only those within an “inner circle” or can I interview those outside the circle? Do I have to get permission first to tell my personal narrative? How juvenile to make the posting of my book an issue simply because they were not consulted. One person said the following:

    “Nobody that I know of in Ronnie's close, or even loose, inner circle was ever interviewed for this "book", which would indicate to me that whatever the content of this "story", it is either pure fiction or, beyond that, total fantasy.”

    When the book is released let’s let the readers decide for themselves. In the meantime, everyone is entitled to an opinion about a book they haven’t read. The title of the book:

    THE UNTOLD STORY: United Group Harmony Association.

    Abraham Santiago August 29, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Today my new book cover on FACEBOOK was removed from the TNT North Jersey Rhythm and Blues Doo Wop Party. Those who are administrators have every right to do so. The question is why was it removed? There are some individuals who have a deep seated phobia that my book which they have never read might portray U.G.H.A and especially its founder Ronnie I in a negative way. I received a call today the very first one from a concerned individual about this very issue. There were negative condescending remarks about the book which no one has read. Unfortunately these immature tactics will not silence me into revealing my personal narrative about this organization and those who were involved with it.

  3. Abe - Quite a flare-up by people who haven't read it. I wrote to you on FB, I can't find out where to buy it. If you can't post that info here (no selling?), please e-mail me the info I call Italiano's followers Disciples, most saying "I learned everything I know from him." Yeah, everything but how to think for themselves. They do seem cult-like ("There must be group harmony in heaven because Ronnie I is there." T shirts), but a harmless one. Shandy

    1. PS - Wayne Stierle has been my best friend for 51 years. I know you've worked with him, and I worked for Times from 62-64.

    2. PPS - I posted your blurb on a few sites and the Doo Wop Association removed it. I think the Disciples complained.

  4. I read one excerpt from this bogus book in which he said Ronnie I recorded almost entirely white groups on his Clifton Label.. this author obviously has no clue and has done minimal research on his subject. He obviously never heard of black groups like Choice, Charm, Windsong.. This book is an obvious attempt to profit off stirring up controversy over a subject he knows nothing about. He doesn't even use the groups correct name (tho this was probably intentional to avoid any legal ramifications). I would check this guys credentials. Anyone who spends good money on this book should know they are purchasing fiction.

  5. The excerpt he uses looks like the book is gonna bash Italiano, then someone writes me a long e-mail saying this book is a tribute to him and also the story of the forming of UGHA. The big problem here is NO ONE HAS READ THE BOOK. It says it came out in September, but no one can find it for sale. Santiago co-authored a book about acapella and did a documentary on same. The name of both escapes me. I haven't tried to research him, so he might have done other things, but I have a good friend that was involved with both and he says the guy gets all the help he can. That's the extent of what I know, which is not much, I admit. Shandy

  6. The long awaited book, The Untold Story: United Group Harmony Association is available at Create Space and within a week at

  7. "Wow. Already people are complaining! When does it end??"