Tony D born Anthony L. Daddona Jr. in Palmerton PA ( Blue Mountain area, entrance to the Pocano's). His mother was from that area, his father from Hazelton moved his new family to Philadelphia.
Tony attended Saint Donato's school and went on to Saint Thomas Moore High. After spending four years on the navy ship USS Rowe DD564. Tony moved to the Allentown PA area where he lived and worked in the construction industry except for about six years while working for the Aloe Mist Cosmetics Company. At that time Tony lived in Johnstown PA, Columbus Ohio and southern California. Upon his return to the Eastern PA area Tony D. worked building a townhouse and apartment development in the suburbs of Harrisburg and then moved back to the Lehigh Valley ( Allentown ) area.
The Allentown Times
Songs of love come easy
Vocalist kicks off new career in golden years
By Jason Weitzel
The "D" in Tony D. could stand for anything. It could mean "dashing" because Tony D. dresses well and has very good manners. Or it could mean "dapper" because Tony D. is always neat and trim. And "D" could also represent the first letter of his favorite crooner's name Dean Martin. But the "D" actually represents a familiar name in Allentown: Daddona. Tony Daddona, cousin to former mayor Joe Daddona, never thought he'd be anything more than a shower stall Casanova. And he never expected to start a singing career at age 61.
"I started writing sings and showed them to my friend John Chatman (in Allentown). And he said "That's pretty good. You really have a nice voice . You should try to develop it. I laughed because I never sang anywhere except in the shower," he said.
At age 63, Daddona of Whitehall was tickled by the idea of becoming the next Frank - tickled enough to start booking local lounge and restaurant acts. He cut a CD of classic covers called "Songs of Love," and wrote more originals - just like a young aspiring musician would do, he said. He's grown accustomed to the unexpected. Daddona's life is filled with drastic bends in the road, from California to construction to cosmetics - now crooning, he explained. His most recent stint was sits supervisor for the Cedar Creek Development project in South Whitehall, contracted by a New Jersey construction firm. He also owned a cosmetics company in California.
Admittedly Tony Daddona's transformation into Tony D. was unexpected - going from barking orders at a construction site to belting out a baritone rendition of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by the Shirelles. "I always loved music. I loved Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett," he said. Daddona remembers singing along to "Sleepwalk" by Santos and Johnny, making up his own lyrics. His reputation Landed him with a call from Tom Waites, the N.Y. director of "Six Goumbas and a Wannabe,"- a play about Brooklyn wiseguys. He commissioned Daddona to Write the song "I Paesani (The Friends)." The Play, which has been featured on McDougel Street in New York City, will soon move to Philadelphia and Atlantic City, he said. With his other works, Daddona is hoping a new standout single entitled "The Lottery" will be his high water mark.
"It has a cross between a disco and a reggae beat. It's very catchy," he said. Daddona announced that he is working on a second CD Comprised entirely of originals but is unsure when it will be completed. Daddona who accompanies himself with a keyboard during live shows, said his ultimate goal is to lend his work to commercials. But for now, he's content with performing locally at places like the Philosophers Stone on Hamilton Street and LoBado's, North Eighth Street in Allentown.
"Mostly I stand behind the keyboard and sing. There are a few numbers I go out into the audience. One number - "Since I Met You Baby" - I flirt with the women. Some of them blush, some smile, some laugh. It's just fun to do. The audience keeps me young," he said.
Daddon's favorite memory takes him to the Poconos, Pa., where he was booked to sing at the Tammament resort. "Although I didn't perform on the big stage - I was in one of the lounges - I stood on the big stage when it was empty. Something came over me. I don't know how to explain it. Frank and Dean sang here. All the big names were on that stage. Just being there was euphoric," he said. When not going solo, Daddona also sings with the Italian song and dance group "I Paesani" and the Allentown based gospel group "The Sober Bunch".