Before Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, Ronnie James Dio was in another band called Dio and The Prophets.
Ronald James Padavona was Dio’s real name and explanations vary for how Padavona adopted the stage name “Dio”. One story is that Dio was a reference to mafia member Johnny Dio.
Another has it that Padavona’s grandmother said he had a gift from God and should be called “Dio” (“God” in Italian), although this was debunked by Padavona’s widow, Wendy Dio, in a February 2017 interview.
Padavona first used the name on a recording in 1960, when he added it to the band’s second release on Seneca. Soon after that the band modified their name to Ronnie Dio and the Prophets.
The Prophets lineup lasted for several years, touring throughout the New York region and playing college fraternity parties. They produced one single for Atlantic and one album.
Some of the singles (such as “Mr. Misery”, released on Swan) were labeled as being by Ronnie Dio as a solo artist even if the rest of the Prophets contributed to the recording.
“Blue Days Blue Nights”
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”
The group released several singles during the following years until early 1967. Dio continued to use his birth name on any songwriting credits on those releases.
In late 1967 Ronnie Dio and the Prophets transformed into a new band called The Electric Elves and added a keyboard player.
After recovering from a deadly car accident in February 1968 (which killed guitarist Nick Pantas and put Dio and the other band members briefly in the hospital), the group shortened its name to The Elves and used that name until mid-1972, when it released its first proper album under the name Elf.
Over the next few years, the group went on to become a regular opening act for Deep Purple. Elf recorded three albums until the members’ involvement recording the first Rainbow album in early 1975 resulted in Elf disbanding.
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I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG