Richard "Bing" Collora has never lost his passion for making music. For more than two decades the Silicon Valley-based native of Buffalo, New York, has been performing and releasing music independently. Eight years ago, he assembled a backing band called the Bingtones that features a slew of tenured veterans that have worked with musical legends, including Boz Scaggs, Huey Lewis and Etta James. In the studio, Bing has worked with musicians whose résumés include James Brown, Blood Sweat and Tears, Tower of Power, Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder. That pedigree is evident in the band's music, which has an old-school feel with rock-solid rhythms and infectious melodies.
"It's basically a who's who in session players," Bing explained. "At its biggest, the live band has been 12 members; it's 10 right now. For the recorded project, I have people all over the country — singers, horn players, bass players, guitar players — using Pro-Tools."
Bing is a fixture on the website Uplaya.com, where his songs have received high marks from listeners. MTV recently partnered with uplaya.com for the Music Universe and MTV Talent Search: Contestants posted their own songs to be judged by MTV and members of the website.
The Bingtones' "Read Between the Lines" was the winner, followed by Anthem of Silence's "I Am One" and Black Chardonnay's "Fireflies."
Bing, who was delighted to learn of his group winning the contest, described some of the elements that helped the catchy, classic-style "Read Between the Lines" take the prize.
"It's an old-school R&B, pop, kinda Tom Jones/Chicago-style song with the big horns," he said. "I'm just singing about love, relationships and compromise — and reading between the lines."