Ashburn Magazine

Ashburn octogenarian was once a star of the doo-wop world

Just about everyone at Belmont Country Club knows Neil Arena. At least all the golfers do. Arena has been a starter at the club since it opened more than two decades ago – greeting golfers, keeping them organized and getting them to the right tee at the right time to keep play moving smoothly.

Neil Arena

But not everyone knows that the man sitting in his golf cart with a clipboard and pencil is a bona fide international celebrity, a pop star who once entertained screaming audiences and received fan mail from around the United States as well as Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and other far-flung lands.

In fact, he had a hit with the first single he and his pals cut.

“It was crazy,” Arena recalled. “We didn’t know much about [the] Cashbox [music charts]. We didn’t know much about Billboard. We just knew the guy who wrote the song was sitting outside the record company – Herald Records. He stopped us and said, ‘I wrote you guys a hit.’ He picked up Billboard Magazine and said, ‘Your song is No. 9 in 10 major cities.’”

The name of the group was The Mello-Kings and Arena had some fascinating experiences with them. To read more about his time as a pop star and his life that led him to Loudoun County, click here and head over to the Ashburn Magazine website for the rest of the article.