FEVER ENTERPRISES


Sal Abbatiello


FEVER ENTERPRISES, formed in 1976 by entrepreneur Sal Abbatiello, encompasses all areas of the music industry including his own record label, artist management company, publishing company, concert promotions, and night clubs. Sal Abbatiello, a Bronx born and native, initially started the business as a bartender in his father's bar.

The disco era was taking over the club scene in Manhattan with Studio 54, two years later in 1972 at the early age of 19, knowing this was the new music of that time, he went on to open his own club, it was the first disco in the Bronx, called the Playhouse. This is where he started promoting his own shows by handing out flyers and selling tickets himself.

In 1976, his career took off when he and his dad opened the "DISCO FEVER." The club, first catered to a 35 and over crowed, but Sal, having heard and seen kids in the streets of the South Bronx rapping over a DJ cutting records, knew he was about to see the next era of music. He needed the best DJ in the street, so he went from park to park and the only name that kept coming up was DJ "Grand Master Flash." So in the summer of 1977 after convincing "Grand Master Flash" to play at the Fever, history was about to be made, Sal had successfully taken rap music off the streets and into a real venue where people could come and hear on a weekly basis. This innovative music trend was surprisingly not discovered in a studio, but between the walls of a small club in the South Bronx. By 1979 he had the biggest DJ's in rap history playing at the club. Along with Flash he had Luv-Bug Starski, DJ Hollywood, Eddie Cheba, DJ Jun-Bug, Brucie Bee, Sweet Gee and Reggie Wells.

 



Grand Master Flash



Sal Playing Ball at Morris Park 1979
In the summer of 1979, Abbatiello help start the Entertainer's Basketball League along with Greg of the Disco Four rap group and Mr. Magic. All the games were played at Mt. Morris Park in Harlem, several of the league's players went on to the NBA, such as Walter Berry, Richie Adams, Kevin Williams, and Pearl Washington. Sal had also won the Most Valuable player Award two years in a row at the league's Celebrity Game. Today 21 years later Greg still runs the league, with major sponsors and rap icons such as Puff Daddy, Loud Records, Fat Joe, and the Ruff Riders, the games are played at Ruckers Park and has been featured on a TNT special.
Persuaded by Russell Simmons of Def Jam Recordings to begin his own record company, Abbatiello formed FEVER RECORDS in 1982. His first release was "Games People Play," produced by Kurtis Blow and Jellybean Benitez, the artist was "Sweet G" was the general manager of "The FEVER" as well as the first artist released on FEVER RECORDS. "Games People Play" which was co- written by Sal Abbatiello was the first rap single to combine singing and rapping. The single went to # 1 in New York on WBLS, WKTU, and KISS. The single was the first rap record to feature singing on it and is a rap classic.


Russell Simmons
In 1983, Sal opened SKATE FEVER. It was the first place to combine roller skating and a nightclub, with live DJ's and live performances by Rap and R &B artists. SKATE FEVER had the roller skating and a stage upstairs and a nightclub with large monitors under ground, so you can see the show and the skating. In a short time after SKATE FEVER was open, Sal along with some youths of the community, established The Macomb's Youth Association. The Macomb's Youth Association, was a day recreation center held right in the skating rink, to all children of the surrounding area. They set up historical, camping, and educational trips. They had numerous benefits to restore and rebuild the neiborhood, but Sal's most proud achievement was the restoration of a city park and playground that was rundown and abandon for over seven years. That year Sal was awarded The Bronx Citizen of the Year award by Bronx Bourogouh President Stanley Simon.



Sal and Mandingo (RIP)
Abbatiello was never biased when it came to hiring his employees. He has been known to employ people with little or no experience and most of his were directly from within the community. At one time, in 1983 he employed over 130 people making him one of the biggest employers in the Bronx. Sal Abbatiello, a family man, and married since 1980 is a proud father of 3 children, has been actively involved with charity and community work since the early 80's.
In the early 1980s FEVER ENTERPRISES had raised over $60,000 for the United Negro College Fund. In 1983 People Magazine, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, NBC, ABC, CBS and every other major media news people, were telling the world how Disco Fever and Hip Hop music had influenced the birth of a new culture.

In 1984, Sal along with WBLS FM in New York, Coca-Cola, and his friend Charles Stettler, promoted the first citywide rap show and talent contest at Radio City Music Hall. All 6,000 seats were filled with city wide urban kids and their parents, free of charged and Sal Abbatiello participated as one of the judges. That evening the FAT BOYS were discovered and won a recording contract. Incidentally, one of the Fat Boy's biggest hits, "Jail House Rap," off their double platinum album, was co- written by Sal. Also that year Sal helped put together a city wide Break Dancing Against Graffiti Contest along with WKTU in New York and the ABC network. It became a one hour TV special on ABC with many major television personalities as judges including Sal, himself. In 1984 Sal along with Kurtis Blow were awarded Certificates of Merit by Mayor ED Koch for their efforts.


Fat Boys on the set of Krush Groove

In 1985, "THE FEVER" was internationally known in accordance with the lifestyle of Hop Hop music. Because of the great impact and new life style that Hop Hop had on the world, Warner Brothers came to the South Bronx and in 1985 the movie "Krush Groove" was released, the movie being shot in the South Bronx, show cased "The Fever" as the place where Hip Hop found its first home, Abbatiello a character in his own personality, had his acting debut by playing himself in the movie. Sal donated all the proceeds he received from the movie to the Bronx Special Olympics.



Angel Civilles, Sal and Nayobe
In 1985, Hip Hop was taking a new direction, with the likf Run DMC,Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy. "THE FEVER" was going into its 10th year and now Hip Hop spots starting opening in Manhattan.Sal knew the club was near the end of an era and decided to lead his promotions and record label in a different direction. He released a dance single entitled, "PLEASE DON'T GO." It was produced by a young inexperience Andy "Panda" Tripoli (of MTV's 2nd Generation) and sung by Nayobe, who was a sixteen year old from the Bronx, who won the talent show at THE FEVER to get her a recording contract. Lightning strikes again and Latin Hip Hop was discovered. "PLEASE DON'T GO" was considered the first Freestyle Record and the birth of a new ear for urban street music. Ironically when the movie "KRUSH GROOVE" came out in 1985 and 'THE FEVER" was closed for good on the final filming of the movie on a technically, the club was not even opened when the movie hit the big screen.

With the success of the Latin Hip Hop sound and the closing of THE FEVER Sal, decided to open a club catering to that music. The DEVIL'S NEXT" opened in August of 1985 and was an instant success with the young Latin crowd. Although the club was on it's way to being a landmark, it was in need of it's own special DJ, Abbatiello search the streets and came upon a mobile jock named "Little" Louie VEGA. The "DEVIL'S NEST" brought Latin Hip Hop music to life and has been responsible for helping many of today's Latin Hip Hop and Freestyle artist get started in the music industry such as TKA, K-7, India, Sa-fire, Information Society, NOEL and The Cover Girls.




Devils Nest

In 1987, Sal decided to leave the nightclub business and dedicate more of his time to his record company. Soon after, FEVER RECORDS hit big with a female trio group called "THE COVER GIRLS." Along with producer Andy "Panda" Tripoli, The Cover Girls hit first release on Fever Records "Show Me," went Top Forty on the billboard Hot 100 chart. It also hit #1 on the Japanese charts for 11 consecutive weeks. The album, "Show Me" went on to receive gold and platinum success in the USA and Japan and FEVER RECORDS became the first independently owned record company to chart five records from the same album on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.


In 1989, The Cover Girls released their second album on Capital Records and had a Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 hit with "We Can't Go Wrong" which led them to a five month U.S. tour with "New Kids on the Block." Sal also signed the group to a TV and RADIO endorsement deal with Coca-Cola and Sprite.



Lorriane, Sabrina and Everlyn

After eight straight charted Billboard Hot 100 Hits, Sal knew that if The Cover Girls were to keep up with their past success, he needed to change their sound to fit the nineties. It took him a year to find his talent, Michelle Valentine, who's rendition of "Wishing On Star" went Top 5 on the Billboard's Hot 100 chart, the biggest Cover Girls hit so far. After appearing on The Arsenio Hall Show, Regis and Kathy Lee, Dick Clark, Pop Stars, Apollo Theater and numerous others. The Cover Girls charted three more Billboard Hot 100 hits, which made an unbelievable 11 in a row. From 1987 to 1993 Sal Abbatiello had built the FEVER MANAGEMENT COMPANY to have under its roster 20 of the most successful Dance/Pop artist in the country.

Such as The Cover Girls, Nayobe, Lisette Melendez, Cynthia, April, Voyce, Shana, Coro, Sandee, Lil Suzy, Yvonne, Fascination, April, Alisha, Two Without Hats, and Tony Moran (Latin Rascals) who has produced some of the biggest stars in the world, Celin Dion, Michael Jackson, Cher, Selena, Gloria Estefan and Jennifer Lopez. Sal's artist charted over 30 records on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and made Sal the most sought after manager at that time. Along with the success of his label, in 1988 Abbatiello began promoting clubs and concerts in the New York area and with each event he promoted it drew more and more of a clientele. By the end of that year, clubs from all over the tri- state area were calling Sal Abbatiello to promote their venues.

In 1988 and 1989 clubs such as Studio 54, 1018, The Tunnel and The Saint which were all filled to capacity due to his promotions. By 1990, Sal Abbatiello had become one of the most successful club promoters in the tri- state area. He promoted all the special holiday events at Roseland Ballroom, five at the legendary Palladium, and one at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, with each event filled to capacity (3000-5000). Because his special events were so successful he was hired as the permanent promotional coordinator for Roseland.

With so much promotional work approaching Sal, he was in need of his own special D.J. When the search commenced, Sal discovered one of the biggest and well known DJs of the 90's John "Gungie" Rivera. Sal and "Gungie" became partners and John "Gungie" Rivera was given the title of Vice-president of Sal's promotion company, as well as remaining the headliner DJ for all the events.

In 1990, Sal signed "Nayobe" to Fever / Epic with records produced by Teddy Riley and the System. Her hit single "I Love The Way You Love Me," went top 20 on the R&B charts. Later that year Sal finalized a deal with Coca Cola Classic, MTV International, and HOT 97 radio in New York for Nayobe, Tony Moran, Fascination, Coro, and Yvonne.

In 1990, Fever Records received a distribution deal from Sal's old buddy Russell Simmons of RAL/SONY. Russell knew Sal would be at the forefront of the Latin Freestyle movement. The first single release entitled "Together Forever" by Lisette Melendez nearly went gold in the USA and Japan. Lisettes first two singles went top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 1991, Sal released a single called "Love Desire" by Sandee one of the original members of the hot trio Expose, which also hit Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Her classic dance hit "NOTICE ME" produced by famous C&C Music Factory was voted in the top 5 sexiest records of all time.

In 1992 the Latin Freestyle era was losing its appeal with the young club generation and hip hop was taking over as the only sound of the street. Sal and John Rivera opened a club calledClub 2000 in Manhattan and put together the biggest line up of Hip Hop and R&B DJ's, Funkmaster Flex, Bobby Konders, Tony Touch, Doo Wop and Ted Smooth. Now with the success of Club 2000, he decided to reopened "THE FEVER 11." And so he did, along with his partner John "Gungie" Rivera in February 1993.

Still in the Bronx, this time bigger and better than the first time. With over 4,000 people circulating the doors weekly, it would be no time before he started to find the talent to follow. Leor Cohen and Russell Simmons of Def Jam Records discovered Method Man doing a show at THE FEVER with the WUN TANG, then one by one they all were signed to major label.In 1993, Sal decided to get back into the rap business. With the clubs now in place, he signed and managed his first rap artist, Fat Joe. His Single "Flow Joe" released on Relativity Records, hit #1 on Billboard's Rap chart. Sal and "Gungie" Rivera started managing DJ Doo Wop, who received a recording contract on Virgin Records. DJ Doo Wop, Funkmaster Flex, along with Ted Smooth and DJ Skibble were the top street DJ's, who spun at the "THE FEVER." In 1994, Lisette Melendez released her second album on Fever/RAL/SONY which included the Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Goody Goody". With respectable success in the U.S., the album sold over 800,000 units in Japan, reaching quadruple platinum status. "Goody Goody" was #1 in Japan for 11 weeks. The success of Lisette Melendez's album and his club promotions at Warsaw, Mai Tai, Country Club, China Club in New York City and Foxes in New Jersey ended Sal's 1994 on a good note.

In 1995, Sal released an album entitled "Freestyle Lives" with The Cover Girls, Stevie B, Lisette Melendez, Nayobe, Tony Moran, George Lamond, Safire, Luis Damon and others. Several of these Artist were signed to major record deals after its release.

In 1995, Nayobe was signed and released her debut album on Sony Discos entitled"Dame Un Poco Mas". Along with his partner Robert Rivera ,they signed Luis Damon to a major record deal with WEA Latina. His debut album called Solo , in 1996, charted four singles for Damon , making his album reach gold status.

In 1996, FEVER RECORDS signed a deal in conjunction with HOLA Recordings (JellyBean Benitez) scouting Latin talent.

His first release was a male artist named "Jorge Luis" this sexy, young, talented Latino brought a new taste to the Salsa "spice". His fisrt single "Ayer" went top 20 on the latin charts. With one of his singles translated from the all time favorite song by Lisa Lisa "All Cried Out".

That same year Sal signed Angel Clivilles the former lead singer of The Cover Girls. Sal released Angel's sensational tribal debut single "Toro Mata" in 1997. The single reached #3 on La Mega 97.9, the biggest Latin radio station in New York. Following that single, she released an album on FEVER / HOLA Recordings. In t 1998, Luis Damon was back again with his second album "Para Estar Contigo".

It included Damon's self titled released single on the new album "Para Estar Contigo" which was a duet with mega star Olga Tanon. In 1999, Sal put out "The Cover Girls" Greatest Hits, on Fever Records. The CD liner included personal photos, bios, and quotes about the girls' sucessful ten year run. In 2000 Sal released Lisette Melendez's Greatest Hits. In 2000 Sal did two big concerts the first was in Florida, at the Chili Pepper, with DJ Skribbles of MTV with over 3000 people, in October at Exit Nightclub in NY he did his 20 year anniversary party of FEVER RECORDS to over 4000 people with over 16 groups performing ,C & C MUSIC FACTORY, LATIN RASCALS, SEDUCTION, ROB BASS, JUDY TORRES, PAJAMA PARTY and all of Sal's groups past and present it was the highlight a great career.

Around the same time, Sal was approached by an old friend Carol Cooper. Ms. Cooper is presently writing a book on Sal and his 25 years in the music and club business. The book will talk about the beginning of hip hop and the influences it made. With all the talk about his future book, in 2001 Sal was mentioned in a booked called "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life" and Russell Simmons book Life and Def. He was also featured in the magazine XXL in the May 2001 issue. In the spring of 2001 Fever promotions will bring their "party fever" to Miami, FL., this time with the legendary Funk Master Flex of Hot 97FM an old friend of Sal Abbatiello's from the original Fever Nightclub. Presently, for the summer of 2001, Sal and his team are preparing the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Fever Records in New York City, supported by Hot 97FM.

The last two decades Sal Abbatiello has been responsible for discovering two contrasting types of music, and three of the most highly influential DJ's of all time.

 


FOUNDER & THE MAN BEHIND IT ALL: SAL ABBATIELLO
COMPRISED OF: FEVER RECORDS, FEVER MANAGEMENT, FEVER LIMOUSINE
SERVICE DISCO FEVER PUBLISHING AND CONCERT PROMOTIONS

*THE DISCO FEVER: Was opened in 1977-1986, it was the place where almost every original rapper got their 1st break. In 1985, Hollywood came to the south Bronx and made a movie exploring the Disco FEVER and the birth of the rap industry. The movie was entitled "Krush Groove" with Sal playing a major role model in the movie.

*FEVER RECORDS: Released 45 12- inch single releases to date, with over 18 getting major New York radio play. Surprisingly, 70% of all the records on FEVER had radio play, a higher percentage than most record companies. FEVER specializes in Pop, Dance, Rap and latin. *KRUSH GROOVE: Portions of the motion picture Krush Groove were inserted into the following artist videos: Chaka Khan, Sheila E, and Kurtis Blow.


*DEVIL'S NEST: Club in the Bronx which specialized in Latin Hip Hop Music. The Club where most Latin Hip Hop artists got started.


Concert Promotions include large parties at some of the most well known clubs 1018....Palladium....Tunnel/Studio 54.... Roseland....Metropolis....Supper Club.... China Club....Club Hollywood....Essos....Mai Tai....Juke Box....Heart Throb....La Mour East....The Jacob Javits Convention Center....Radio City Music Hall.... The World....Avanti....Concordia College....Manhattan College.... Bluesupply....Foxes....Metropolis....Les Poulets....Club X.... Downtime....and The Palace....>


CLUBS OWNED BY SAL ABBATIELLO
Year Club
1974-1976 ABBOTS GOLDEN HOUR
1972-1974 THE SPOT
1973-1975 PLAY HOUSE
1976-1987 CAFE PEPPER AND SALT
1977-1986 DISCO FEVER
1982-1985 SKATE FEVER
1983-1985 GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
1985-1987 THE DEVIL'S NEST
1991-1993 PLAYERS CHOICE
1993-1995 FEVER II

Sal Abbatiello's Community Service

Sal's dedication to the community has been the focal point of his life and to this day he continues to contribute to community charities and 
fundraisers.

In 1983 a short time after his place SKATE FEVER was open, Sal along with some youths of the community, established The Macomb's Youth Association. The  Macomb's Youth Association, was a day recreation center held right in  the skating rink, to all children of the surrounding area. They set up  historical, camping, and educational trips. They had numerous benefits to restore and rebuild the neighborhood, but Sal's most proud achievement was the restoration of a city park and playground on 172nd street in the Bronx that was rundown and abandon for over seven years. That year Sal was awarded “The Bronx Citizen of the Year” award by Bronx Borough President  Stanley Simon.

Abbatiello was never biased when it came to hiring his employees. He has been known to employ people with little or no experience and most of his were directly from within the community. At one time, in1983 he employed over 150 people making him one of the biggest employers in 
the Bronx. Sal Abbatiello, a family man, and married since 1980 is the proud father of 3 children and has been actively involved with charity and community work since the late 1970’s.

In the early 1980s FEVER ENTERPRISES had raised over $75,000 for the United Negro College Fund. In 1983 People Magazine, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Village Voice, NBC, ABC, CBS and every other major  media news people, were telling the world how Disco Fever, Sal Abbatiello and Hip Hop music had influenced the birth of a new culture.

In 1984, Sal along with WBLS FM in New York, Coca-Cola, and his friend Charles Stettler, promoted the first citywide rap show and talent  contest at Radio City Music Hall. All 6,000 seats were filled with city wide urban kids and their parents, free of charged and Sal Abbatiello participated as one of the judges. That evening the FAT BOYS were discovered and won a recording contract. Incidentally, one 
of the Fat Boy's biggest hits, "Jail House Rap," off their double platinum album, was co- written by Sal. Also that year Sal helped put together a city wide Break Dancing Against Graffiti Contest along with WKTU in New York and the ABC network. It became a one hour TV special on ABC with many major television personalities as judges including Sal, himself. In 1984 Sal along with Kurtis Blow were Awarded Certificates of Merit by Mayor ED Koch for their efforts.

In 1985, "THE FEVER" was internationally known in accordance with the lifestyle of Hop Hop music as a result of the great impact and new life style that Hop Hop had on the world, Warner Brothers came to the South Bronx and in 1985 the movie "Krush Groove" was released. The movie being shot in the South Bronx, show cased "The Fever" as the place where Hip Hop found its first home, Abbatiello a character in his own personality, had his acting debut by playing himself in the movie. Sal donated all the proceeds he received from the movie to the Bronx 
Special Olympics.

For 14 years he was a board member of the Hillcrest Lakers Community Club in Yonkers (1989 – 2004) and  helped start its basketball  program in 1994 with just 10 kids to over 600 at present. For years the club had to meet in peoples houses and various places. In 2003 with all the hard work, Hillcrest has its own new building and brand new regulation Little League Field. Even though Sal's children did not get the chance of  playing on that field, many other lucky children will.

Coaching Little League Baseball, Basketball and Soccer for the last 14 year's (winning many city championships) has built a bonding relationship with his 2 boys and his  daughter, but most of all it  has brought the spirit of donating quality time, in your community, for the purpose of helping others. Sal's time with his oldest boy Allie has paid off because he broke the all time Eastchester Basketball High School record in points scored, He was also awarded All-State Honors in baseball. He Received a 4 year Baseball Scholarship at Iona College in 2004. Mickey Abbatiello In 2008 broke his brothers scoring record at Eastchester H.S. making them the first 2 Athletes in the State to be the number 1 & 2 all time scorers at the same high school. Mickey led Westchester County In scoring and is attending Baruch College on a Basketball Scholarship.

In 2002 Sal started the Ed Ryan Memorial Scholarship Award which is an award given to a varsity high school player in memory of a neighbor who was a victim of the World Trade Center. The event, organized and sponsored by Eastchester resident and parent Sal Abbatiello, in association with the Eastchester Eagles Sports Club, is in memory of Ed Ryan, an Eastchester resident who died in the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept.11, 2001. Ed left behind his wife Diane and their four children.

The proceeds from the fundraiser are to be used for (3) scholarships each year, to be given to a varsity boy and girl basketball player and our 3rd annual Ray Sanchez Award given to one very Special Student Athlete. Any additional money are used to improve the athletic facilities at Eastchester High School. Proceeds from the first 8 events came to over $90,000.  The money was used for improvements to the weight room, weight equipment, training bicycles and banners that are hanging in the gym. (A facility that can be used by all the athletes for training) and the installation of (2) beautiful Scoreboard’s on the Varsity Baseball and Softball field.  (20) Scholarships were awarded to Student Athletes.

On June 6th 2009 Sal Abbatiello established The Erika Roman Memorial Foundation benefiting Foster children. Sal helped raise and mentor Erika Roman who was a foster kid herself. Tragically, Erika Roman passed away in a car accident on May 1st, 2009. A memorial was held at Lehman High School's auditorium honoring and celebrating her life with several hundred close friends and family.

The foundation'sfirst fundraiser was held on June 1st, 2009; a Celebrity softball game that included Entertainers & local Club Owners, which was held in the Bronx , at Castle Hill Little League field. The ceremonial pitch was thrown out by The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, JR who soon after presented Sal Abbatiello with a beautiful Citation (Certificate of Merit) for his efforts in being a respected and loved humanitarian. The funds were used to build a recording studio for "The Children's Aid Society" in the Bronx for foster children in Erika's name. In 2010 they donated $7000 to the Red Cross for the Haiti disaster.

In the 80's & 90's Sal Abbatiello has been responsible for helping showcase and be a pioneer of two contrasting types of music (Hip Hop & Freestyle) which started in the Bronx and went world wide.  He also help discover three of the most highly influential DJ's of all time (Grand Master Flash -- Little Louie Vega -- Funk Master Flex)

Awards & Honors
Bronx Borough President - STANLEY SIMON  --- Citation of Merit - 1983
United Negro College Fund --- Citizen Service Award -1983
Mayor of New York - ED KOCH --- Mayor Action Center Award   -- 1984
United States Marines --- Certificate of Appreciation - 1985
Bronx Special Olympics -- Recognition Award -1986
Bronx Borough President- FERNANDO FERRER  - 1991
Hillcrest Lakers Community Club -Honoree Community Service - 2006
Bronx Borough President - RUBEN DIAZ --- Citation of Merit  - 2009
Senator - JEFF KLEIN - Honoring SAL as MAN OF THE YEAR - 2010
Assembly Women  - AMY PAULIN --- CITATION - Out Standing Citizen - 2010
Congress Women  - NITA LOWERY --- Proclamation - Outstanding Community Work -2010
Town of Eastchester  -TONY COLAVITO --- LIONS CLUB MAN OF THE YEAR - 2010
WESTCESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS -- PROCLAIMED JUNE 8TH SAL ABBATIELLO DAY IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY  -2010

 


 

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