Al Santoro and the Hi-Liters

Inducted in the Delaware Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018

About Al Santoro and the Hi-Liters

Music aside, Al Santoro and his band brought joy to everyone. Al was always ready with a joke, and his ornery style is legendary. At a very early age, “Big Al,” as his friends would call him, discovered a love for playing reed instruments, first the clarinet and then the saxophone. In 1951, at the age of 16, he formed his first band, The Stardusters, playing mostly at school dances around the area. He later renamed his band, Al Santoro and the Hi-Liters, and entertained those within the Tri-State area for 63 years – at more weddings followed by anniversaries followed by second and third generation weddings than one could count. In addition to playing in his own band, he was a member of the 287th Army Band playing for dignitaries, politicians, and even a couple of Presidents. Former members were: Joe DeVechio, Pete Sheets, Buddy Carney, Joe Allegro Sr., Joe Pacello, Ray Hoopes, Sandy Shalk, Ron Sherr, Frank Dobson, Bob McGilvery, Jimmy Cara, Charlie Beatey, Ken Flueharty and Jimmy Marooney. Most recent members are: Johnny Kay, Stan Kay, Al Santoro and Tim Cleary. These are all amazing musicians, many of whom continue to impress audiences today. From the bandstand at Bellevue Park to the boardwalk of Rehoboth Beach, Al and the band performed throughout our community. Behind the scenes, he was very active with area not-for-profit organizations helping to bring funding and awareness to each cause. These groups included serving the Board of Trustees for Societi da Vinci and Italo-Americans United; Chairman Emeritas of Delaware AllState Theatre; Delaware Hospice volunteer; and as one of the first presidents to lead the Board of Trustees for Delaware Children’s Theatre.