Tampa Bay Garage Bands


The Arena Twins
Sammy 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.


Copyright © 2004 By TEDD WEBB • All Rights Reserved