The Belleville Board of Education cheered an early pioneer of rock n roll girl groups, recognizing the three Belleville women from the Delicates, with a spot Belleville's Wall of Recognition.
The Delicates' plaque was unveiled earlier this month by the group, assisted by Belleville school officials.
School Board member Joseph Longo spearheaded the honor for the late 1950's vocal group, including former Belleville students, vocalist Arleen Lanzotti-Gonnella, Denise Ferri, and Peggy Santiglia during a week of celebration on Oct. 7. The ceremony was Oct. 10 at Belleville High School.
Belleville Education Foundation chairman Richard Yanuzzi led the tribute.
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 events honored for the Delicates' installation on the high school wall, 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 earlier.
The school board members took turns congratulating Lanzotti-Gonnella and her group mates.