and Andy Arena
Sammy and Andy Arena were the first recording
artists from Tampa. The Twins signed with Kapp Records in 1959,
and recorded “In My Wallet”, “No One Else”, “Jambalaya”, “This
Could Be The Night”, and also did a Hal David song “Judy
Says”. The Twins got their start playing at local shows
in Tampa, Ruben Fabelo featured them on “Fiesta En Tampa”.
Sammy and Andy headed for New York where the
played the finest ballrooms, they entertained at the Catskills,
and eventually on to Vegas. They played the strip for many years,
appearing with some of the biggest names in show business.
They got homesick and tired of the entertainment
scene and came home to Tampa to do some serious work, the tile
business. The Twins were very successful at the tile business,
and dabbled a bit in the travel agency business and real estate.
In the early 1990s, local promoter Tony Garcia
approached the boys about doing a “reunion show”.
The idea proved to be a solid hunch, as the show sold out days
before curtain time. The Arena Twins got the bug again, and jumped
on the merry go round.
They played many gigs statewide until Sammy
came down ill with a kidney ailment. His illness and eventual
transplant put an end, at least temporarily to the comeback.
Good news is Sammy is back in good health,
and the Arena Twins still do shows. If you get a chance, catch
them, they do a marvelous program, and still can hit the high
notes they were noted for in the 1950s.