Viola Fair History of Music & Recording: Birth of Rock & Roll 3: Early Development 3: A Cappella

 

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A Birth of Rock & Roll 3

A VF History of Music & Recording

Early Development 3

Doo Wop

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

Tracks are listed in chronological order by year, then alphabetically.

Listings do not reflect proper order by month or day: later oft precedes earlier.

Find on Page = F3. Not on this page? See history tree below.

Alphabetical

The Alley Cats    The Aquatones

 
The Bachelors    Hank Ballard    The Beale Street Boys    The Belmonts    The Blenders (1949)    The Blenders (1962)    The Blue Chips    The Blue Notes    The Bobbettes    The Brown Dots
 
The Cadillacs    The Calvanes    The Cardinals    The Castelles    Larry Chance    The Chantels    The Chaperones    The Charms    The Charts    The Checkers    The Chiffons    The Chips    The Cleftones    The Clovers    The Coasters    Brice Coefield    The Corvairs    The Crests    The Crows    The Cruisers
 
Bobby Day    The Dells    The Del Satins    Delta Rhythm Boys    The Del Vikings    The Diablos    The Dialtones    The Diamonds (Canada)    The Diamonds (Harlem)    Dion DiMucci    The Dominoes    The Dreamers    Donnie & the Dreamers    The Drifters    The Dubs    The Du-Droppers    The Duprees
 
The Earls    The Edsels    The El Dorados    The Elegants    The Equadors    The Eternals
 
The Falcons    The Fascinations (Jordan &)    The Fascinators    The Fiestas    The Fi-Tones    The Five Blue Notes    The Five Discs    The Five Jets    The Five Keys    The 5 Royales    The Five Satins    The Five Willows    The Flames    The Flamingos    The Four Bars    The Four Tops    The Four Tunes    Norman Fox    Harvey Fuqua
 
The G-Clefs
 
The Harptones    The Heartbeats
 
The Impacts    The Impalas    The Imperials    The Impressions    The Ink Spots    The Isley Brothers
 
The Jesters    The Jive Five    Jordan & the Fascinations
 
The Kodaks    Chip Kopaczewski
 
The Lamplighters    The Linc-Tones    Little Anthony    Frankie Lymon    Louie Lymon
 
Johnny Maestro    The Marcels    The Marvels    Harold Melvin    The Mello-Kings    The Midnighters    The Mills Brothers    The Miracles    The Monotones    The Moonglows    The Mystics
 
The O'Jays    The Orioles
 
The Penguins    Eugene Pitt    The Platters
 
The Quin-Tones (Quinns)
 
The Radiants    The Rainbows   Randy & the Rainbows   The Ravens    The Regents    The Rivileers     The Robins    Smokey Robinson    The Rob Roys
 
The Schoolboys   The Shells    The Shields    The Shirelles    The Silhouettes    The Skyliners    The Slades    The Solitaires    The Spaniels    Billy Storm    Nolan Strong    The Students
 
The Teenagers    The Teenchords    The Tokens    Tom and Jerry    The Tonettes    The Turbans
The Valentines   The Velours    The Velvet Angels
 
Billy Ward    The Willows    The Wrens

 

Chronological

Featured on this page loosely in order of first recording if not record release (as possible).

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:

 

1931

The Mills Brothers

   
1935 The Ink Spots
   
1940 Delta Rhythm Boys
   
1945 The Brown Dots
   
1946 The Ravens
1948 The Beale Street Boys    The Four Tunes    The Orioles
   
1949 The Blenders    The Clovers    Bobby Day & the Flames    The Robins
   
1950 Billy Ward & the Dominoes
   
1951 The 5 Royales    The Cardinals    Billy Ward & the Dominoes    The Five Keys
   
1952 The Checkers    The Diamonds (Harlem)    The Du-Droppers
   
1953 The Bachelors    Hank Ballard & the Midnighters    The Castelles    The Charms    The Crows    The Drifters    The Five Blue Notes    The Five Jets    The Five Willows    The Flamingos    Harvey Fuqua   The Harptones     The Lamplighters    The Moonglows    The Platters    The Spaniels
   
1954 The Cadillacs    The Calvanes    The Dells    The El Dorados    The Four Bars    The Penguins    The Rivileers    The Solitaires    Nolan Strong & the Diablos    The Valentines    The Wrens
   
1955 The Cleftones    Brice Coefield    The Diamonds (Canada)    The Fi-Tones    The Five Satins    The Heartbeats    The Rainbows    Billy Storm    Frankie & the Teenagers    The Turbans
   
1956 The Chips    The Coasters    The Del Vikings    The Marvels    The Falcons   The Four Tops    The G-Clefs    Harold & the Blue Notes    The Linc-Tones    Louie & the Teenchords    The Quin-Tones (Quinns)    The Schoolboys    The Velours    The Willows
   
1957 Dion & the Belmonts    The Bobbettes    The Chantels    The Charts    Johnny Maestro & the Crests    The Del Vikings     The Dubs    The Isley Brothers    The Jesters    The Kodaks    The Mello-Kings    The Monotones    Norman Fox & the Rob Roys   The Shells    The Silhouettes    The Slades    Tom and Jerry    The Tonettes
   
1958 The Aquatones    The Edsels    The Elegants    The Equadors    The Fascinators    The Fiestas    The Five Discs    The Impalas    Little Anthony & the Imperials    The Impressions    Smokey Robinson & the Miracles    The Shields    The Shirelles    The Skyliners    The Students
   
1959 The Chaperones    The Eternals    The Impacts    The Mystics    The Radiants
   
1960 The Chiffons    The Cruisers    The Dialtones    The Dreamers    Jordan & the Fascinations    The O'Jays
   
1961 The Blue Chips    The Del Satins    Donnie & the Dreamers    Larry Chance & the Earls    The Jive Five    The Marcels    Eugene Pitt    The Regents    The Tokens
   
1962 The Alley Cats    The Blenders    The Corvairs    The Duprees
   
1963 Chip Kopaczewski    Randy & the Rainbows
   
1964 The Velvet Angels

 

  Caveats in the employment of this page: 1. It descends in chronological order by the year the artist or band is first found on a commercial record issue (ideally) by year only, alphabetical thereat. One musician above another doesn't necessarily translate to earlier issue unless the year changed. 2. Though release dates are the aim with links to YouTube, some are recording dates and may not be everywhere clearly distinguished. 3. Reissues are used to represent originals without much discussion.
 
  Albeit not a few doowop [1, 2] groups were one-hit wonders, the significance of doo wop in R&B is reflected in the length of this page. A good companion source to this page is Mitch Rosalky's 'Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups'. 'American Singing Groups' by Jay Warner. A nice synopsis of doo wop is offered at Russ & Gary's: 1, 2, 3. See also SAPM. Doo wop is a subcategory of rhythm and blues preceding soul music which deep roots return to "barbershop" harmony that began to become popular at the verge of the 20th century [Popular Music 1]. It would in little time grow limbs such as beach rock and Motown (Detroit branch of what was predominantly centered in the boroughs of New York City). Barbershop harmony had arisen in the latter 19th century via the custom in black communities of using barbershops as social gathering hubs. While waiting to get their hair cut black men often sang folk, spiritual and popular music. Formally called a cappella, among the distinguishing features of doo wop is the use of nonsense syllables in rhythmic support of melody (which in jazz often became the melody itself, known as scat singing). Among the earliest uses of the phrase "doo wop" is by The Drifters, below, in 1953, though the tune wasn't released until 1960. The Dundees (members of which would later become the Calvanes) used the term in 1954. The Turbans used the term in 1955. The Velvets use "doo wop" in 1961, during which decade disc jockeys began to commonly refer to doo wop as doo wop. Early uses of the phrase "doo wop" in doo wop music:

The Dundees   1954

   Never

      Composition: Mosely/Killough

The Turbans   1955

   When You Dance

      Composition: Andrew Jones

The Fi-Tones   1956

   I Belong to You

      Composition: Lowe Murray

The Drifters   1960

   Let the Boogie Woogie Roll

      Recorded 1953

      Composition: Ahmet Ertegun/Jerry Wexler

The Velvets   1961

   Tonight Could Be the Night

       Composition: Virgil Johnson

 

 
  The use of nonsense syllables in vocal harmony long preceded doo wop. It was 1931 when the Mills Brothers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] first recorded their version of the barbershop quartet ('Tiger Rag'). Their parents actually owned a barbershop and first christened the group The Four Kings of Harmony. The brothers were Donald (lead tenor), Harry (baritone), Herbert (tenor) and John Jr. (guitar and bass vocal). Barbershop harmony was in its heyday during the first two decades of the 20th century, largely fading away during the Roaring Twenties. The Mills Brothers were thus rather something of barbershop music revivalists who gave it a whole new swing while making a cappella harmony very popular. The group appeared in its first film, 'The Big Broadcast', in 1932 [*]. In 1934 they played for King George V and Queen Mary in England, becoming popular not long after on the Continent as well. Upon their return to England in 1936, John Jr. died of pneumonia on 23 Jan. He was replaced by guitarist, Norman Brown, for another three decades. John Junior's father, John Sr., filled in on bass and tuba until retiring in '58. The Mills Brothers recorded into the seventies, their last song to place in the Top Forty being 'Cab Driver' in 1968 at No. 23 in the United States. Per Find a Grave John Senior died on 8 Dec 1967, Norman Brown following on 19 Aug 1969, Harry on 28 June 1982, Herbert on 12 April 1989 and Donald on 13 Nov 1999 of pneumonia. Donald's last recording had been 'Still...There's You' in November that year. The group continued for a time with Donald's son, John II, they no longer touring as of this writing. Catalogs of issues w various credits at 1, 2, 3, 4. Mills Brothers in visual media. See also the Mills Brothers in Swing Jazz.

The Mills Brothers   1931

   Tiger Rag

       Composition: Original Dixieland Jass Band

       First recorded by ODJB in 1917

   Nobody's Sweetheart

       Music: Billy Meyers/Elmer Schoebel   1924

       Lyrics: Gus Kahn/Ernie Erdman

The Mills Brothers   1932

   Goodbye, Blues

       Composition:

       Dorothy Fields/Arnold Johnson/Jimmy McHugh

The Mills Brothers   1934

   How'm I Doin', Hey, Hey

        Filmed live

       Composition: Branch/Don Redman

   Some of These Days

       Composition: Shelton Brooks

The Mills Brothers   1937

   Nagasaki

        Filmed live

       Composition: Harry Warren/Mort Dixon

The Mills Brothers   1943

   Paper Doll

       Composition: Johnny Black

   Sweet Lucy Brown

        Filmed live

       Composition: Leon & Otis Renec

The Mills Brothers   1944

   'Til Then

       Composition:

       Guy Wood/Eddie Seiler/Sol Marcus

The Mills Brothers   1950

   Nevertheless

       Composition: Bert Kalmar/Harry Ruby

The Mills Brothers   1957

   Glow Worm

        Filmed live

      From 'Lysistrata'   1902

       Music: Paul Lincke

       Lyrics Geman: Heinz Bolten-Backers

      Lyrics English: Lilla Cayley Robinson

The Mills Brothers   1964

   Dream a Little Dream of Me

       Composition:

       Fabian Andre/Gus Kahn/Wilbur Schwandt

The Mills Brothers   1974

  Mr. Sandman

       Composition: Pat Ballard

The Mills Brothers   1981

   Cab Driver

       Live in Copenhagen

       Composition: Carson Parks

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Mills Brothers

The Mills Brothers

Source: Three Perfect Minutes

 

Long before anyone had any notion of rock and roll the Ink Spots [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were performing music that would develop into the doo wop limb of R&B. Originally consisting of Orville Jones, Ivory Watson, Jerry Daniels and Charlie Fuqua, the Ink Spots made their first recordings in 1935 with 'Mama Don't Allow It' and 'Swingin' on the Strings'. Daniels was replaced as lead tenor in 1936 by Bill Kenny [*], with whom the group would experience its heydays. Beginning with 'We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)' in 1940. They first appeared in film in 1941 in 'The Great American Broadcast' [*]. The Ink Spots managed to place 18 songs in the Top Ten before 1950. Two of those were titles with Ella Fitzgerald reaching #1 in 1944: 'I'm Making Believe' and 'Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall'. Other nonoriginal configurations of the Ink Spots arose, but the group Kenny led dissolved after its final performance at the Bolero Bar in Wildwood, New Jersey, in July of 1954. The Ink Spots with Bill Kenny were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an influence in 1989. Their 1939 issue of 'If I Didn't Care' was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame the same year. They were elected into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Sessionography for the Ink Spots at *. Discos w various credits at 1, 2, 3. The Ink Sports in visual media. See also Marv Goldberg's 'More Than Words Can Say: The Ink Spots and Their Music', Scarecrow Press, B00F50RQ2K, '98.

The Ink Spots   1935

   Mama Don't Allow It

       Composition: Cow Cow Davenport

   Swingin' on the Strings

       Composition: Ada Benson/Doris Fisher

The Ink Spots   1939

   If I Didn't Care

        Film

       Composition: Jack Lawrence

The Ink Spots   1940

   The Java Jive

       Composition: Ben Oakland/Milton Drake

   Maybe

       Composition: Allan Flynn/Frank Madden

The Ink Spots   1941

   I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire

       Composition: Bennie Benjamin

       Eddie Durham/Sol Marcus/Eddie Seiler

The Ink Spots   1942

   Shout Brother Shout

       Composition:

       Harry Watson/Herman Fairbanks

The Ink Spots   1955

   Shanty Town

      Composition:

       Jack Little/John Siras/Joe Young

The Ink Spots   1956

   It's a Sin to Tell a Lie

       Composition: Billy Mayhew

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Ink Spots

The Ink Spots

Source: TV Tropes

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Delta Rhythm Boys

Delta Rhythm Boys

Source: Singers

Another swing era vocal group predating but contributing to the rise of doo wop was the Delta Rhythm Boys [1, 2, 3, 4], first recording in 1940. Consisting of Otha Lee Gaines (bass vocals), Essie Adkins (bass vocals), Traverse Crawford (second tenor) and Elmaurice Miller (first tenor), the group first came together in 1934 at Langston University in Oklahoma. In 1936 they moved to New Orleans to attend Dillard University. They there picked up arranger and pianist, Rene DeKnight, to make the quartet a quintet. Other personnel changes were made such that at the time of the group's first recording it consisted of DeKnight, Gaines and Crawford, with Adkins and Miller replaced by Harry Lewis and Clinton Holland (soon to be replaced by Carl Jones [*]). The Boys' initial record release was 'Chilly & Cold' b/w 'Gimme Some Skin' in 1940. They first appeared in film the next year per 'So's Your Uncle' [*]. Becoming highly popular in Europe upon their first tour there in 1948, the group migrated across the Atlantic in 1956 and would later make Paris home base. The Delta Rhythm Boys performed well into the eighties with various personnel changes, Gaines the only original member of the group upon his retirement in 1986 and death the following year in Finland on July 15 [*]. Catalogues of issues by the Boys w various credits at 1, 2, 3.

Delta Rhythm Boys  1940

   Chilly and Cold

       Composition: Clarence Todd

Delta Rhythm Boys   1941

   Dry Bones

       Composition: Clarence Todd

   I'm Afraid of Myself

        With Mildred Bailey

Delta Rhythm Boys   1945

   Baby, Are You Kiddin'?

        With Jimmie Lunceford

       Composition: Sy Oliver

   The Honeydripper

         With Jimmie Lunceford

       Composition: Joe Liggins

   It's Only a Paper Moon

       With Ella Fitzgerald

       Music: Harold Arlen

       Lyrics: Yip Harburg/Billy Rose

Delta Rhythm Boys   1951

   Flickorna i Småland (The Girls In Smoland)

       Music: Fridolf Lundberg   1912

       Lyrics: Karl Williams

Delta Rhythm Boys   1952

   Take the 'A' Train

        Film

       Music: Billy Strayhorn   1939

       Lyrics: Joya Sherrill   1944

   Tuoll' on mun kultani (Tuoll Is My Sweetheart)

Delta Rhythm Boys   1958

   Alouette (Lark)

      Composition: French-Canadian traditional *

Delta Rhythm Boys   1959

   Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho

        Television performance

      Composition: Slave spiritual *

 

 
  Like the Ink Spots, the Brown Dots [1, 2, 3] preceded doo wop but made a major contribution to its development. They were formed upon Ivory "Deeks" Watson leaving the  Ink Spots in 1944. Other members: Pat Best (baritone and guitar), Jimmy Gordon and Joe King. 'Sentimental Reasons' (unfound) was among the four songs the Brown Dots recorded at their first session for Manor Records in 1945. King was replaced by Jimmie Nabbie later in the year. In 1946 the Sentimentalists were formed upon Best, Gordon and Nabbie severing from Watson. The Sentimentalists would record with Savannah Churchill before changing their name to the Four Tunes (or 4 Tunes) later that year. As for Watson, he put a new Brown Dots together, continuing to record, and also joined other configurations of the Ink Spots while fading into obscurity. Watson died in 1969 in Washington DC. Disco w various credits at *. Lead data below per Marv Goldberg.

The Brown Dots   1945

   Let's Give Love Another Chance

       Lead: Deek Watson

       Composition: Deek Watson

   You're Heaven Sent

       Lead: Joe King

       Composition: Deek Watson/Pat Best

The Brown Dots   1946

   Satchelmouth Baby

      Film: 'Boy, What A Girl'

       Composition: Johnny Hartman

The Brown Dots   1947

   Is It Right

      Film: 'The Sepia Cinderella'

   Long Legged Lizzie

        Film: 'The Sepia Cinderella'

      Composition: Herman Fairbanks/Deek Watson

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Brown Dots

The Brown Dots

Source: All Music

 Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Ravens

The Ravens

Source: Homoerratic Radio Show

The basic structure of the doo wop group was a lead, two tenors and a baritone. Jimmy Ricks, however, had one of the deepest bass voices in music, which proved an advantage to the Ravens [*] formed in 1946 in New York City by Ricks, Warren Suttles (baritone), Zeke Puzey (second tenor) and Ollie Jones (Henry Oliver, second tenor). Another of the Ravens' advantages was manager, Ben Bart, also handling the Ink Spots [1, 2, 3]. Of six tracks recorded in June of '46 'Honey' and 'Lullaby' were the first to be released by Hub Records (3030) [*]. Those were followed that year by 'Out of a Dream'/'My Sugar Is So Refined' (Hub 3032) and 'Once and For All' (Hub 3033). Circa Jan 1947 Maithe Marshall replaced Jones as first tenor (he himself replaced by Richie Cannon in October of 1948). The Ravens also replaced Hub Records with National that year, beginning with 'Mahzel'/'For You' (9034). Continuing with National into the early fifties, the group also issued on King, the latter having bought masters owned by Hub. Come September of 1948 Suttles was temporarily replaced by Joe Medlin, returning in Jan of '49 to replace Cannon. The Ravens would undergo various personnel shifts through the years. They switched from National to Columbia in 1950, commencing with 'Time Takes Care of Everything'/'Don't Look Now' (39050). The Ravens positioned seven titles in the Top Ten and Twenty of Billboard's R&B chart in 1948 alone, among them 'Be On Your Merry Way' (#13) and 'Write Me a Letter'' (#5). Four Top Ten titles later they placed their last, 'Rock Me All Night Long', at #4 in 1952, not again to notably chart. Puzey (d '07) was replaced by Jimmie Steward in June of 1953. Ricks (d '74) left in spring of 1954, returning half a year later to remain until late '55, early '56, replaced by Tommy Evans. Suttles (d '09) had permanently vacated in summer of '54. Goldberg has the Ravens' final issue on Argo 5284 in November of 1957: 'Here Is My Heart'/'Lazy Mule'. They gave their final performance in December of '58 at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. There were no original members when the Ravens then dismantled, consisting of Grant Kitchings, Joe Van Loan, Boots Bowers and Aaron Tex Cornelius. In May of 1959 Top Rank released 'Into the Shadows'/'The Rising Sun' (#2003) by unidentified Ravens. It was also 1959 when Willis Sanders, a member of the Ravens in 1956, recorded 'Solitude'/'Hole in the Middle of the Moon' (Top Rank #2016) with his group, the Embers, as the Ravens. A later reunion in 1974 between Ricks, Suttles, Puzey and Marshall resulted in 'Without a Song', 'Write Me a Letter', 'Careless Love' and Marshall's 'Would You Believe Me', those issued on EP per Song Master 800. The Ravens were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Songwriting credits for the group at 1, 2, 3. None of the Ravens' members, original or otherwise, remain living. Lead data below per Marv Goldberg.

The Ravens   1946

   Bye Bye Baby

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Howard Biggs

The Ravens   1947

   Mahzel

      Lead:

      Leonard Puzey/Jimmy Ricks/Maithe Marshall

      Composition: Artie Wayne/Jack Beekman

The Ravens   1949

   Someday

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks/Maithe Marshall

      Composition: Johnny Hodges

The Ravens   1950

   I'm So Crazy for Love

      Lead: Maithe Marshall

      Composition: Lester Fountain

   My Baby's Gone

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Bill Sanford/Jimmy Ricks

The Ravens   1953

   Begin the Beguine

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Cole Porter

   Come a Little Bit Closer

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Harold Hensley

   Looking for My Baby

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Bill Sanford/Jimmy Ricks

   Rough Ridin'

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition:

      Ella Fitzgerald/Hank Jones/Bill Tennyson

   She's Got To Go

      Solo: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Bill Sanford/Jimmy Ricks

   Who'll Be the Fool

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks

      Composition: Bill Sanford/Jimmy Ricks

The Ravens   1954

   Going Home

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks/Joe Van Loan

      Composition: Antonin Dvorak

      From Antonin Dvorak's 'Symphony No. 9'   1893

The Ravens   1955

   Green Eyes

      Lead: Jimmy Ricks/Jimmie Steward

      Composition: Nilo Menéndez

 

 
  The Beale Street Boys [1, 2, 3] named after the early blues and jug band hub in Memphis [*], released their first 1947 recording in 1948: 'Teach Me Teach Me, Baby' with 'Why Does It Always Rain On Sunday?' flip side. The Beale Street Boys consisted of Bob Davis (lead), William Barnes (tenor), James Pugh (baritone) and David Pugh (bass). Milt Buckner's Beale Street Gang [*] also issued as the Beale Street Boys, those and these Beale Street Boys not to be confused. Incomplete disco of issues at *.

Beale Street Boys   1948

  Baby Don't Be Mad at Me

      Composition: Mack David/Ticker Freeman

   Teach Me Teach Me, Baby

      Composition: Sid Tepper/Roy Brodsky

   Home

   I've Kept Everything the Same For You

      Composition: Evans/Loeb

   I Wish I Had a Dime

      Composition: Sid Tepper/Roy Brodsky

   Wait'll I Get You In My Dreams Tonight

      Composition: Sid Tepper/Roy Brodsky

   Wedding Bells

       Music: Sammy Fain

       Lyrics: Irving Kahal/Ticker Freeman

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Beale Street Boys

The Beale Street Boys

Source: Vocal Group Harmony

  When Joe King, Pat Best and Jimmy Gordon left the Brown Dots they got together with Danny Owens to form the Sentimentalists in 1946. Jimmie Nabbie replaced King later that year. They recorded that year for the Manor label, backind Savannah Churchill's recording of 'I Want to Be Loved' [*]. Briefly afterward they changed their name to the Four Tunes [1, 2] upon request by swing band leader Tommy Dorsey, known as 'The Sentimental Gentleman Of Swing', thinking the Sentimentalists might rival his banner. Such presented no problem, so that the group began backing Churchill in 1948 as the Four Tunes. Notable in 1953 was 'Marie' rising to No. 2 on the R&B chart. 'I Understand (Just How You Feel)' attained to No. 6 on Billboard's pop chart the next year. The early fifties were the heydays for the 4 Tunes, though Nabbie would lead the group until 1963, various configurations continuing over the following decades. The Four Tunes were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Discos w various credits at 1, 2, 3.

The Four Tunes   1948

  Time Out for Tears

     Backing Savannah Churchill

       Composition: Abe Schiff/Irving Berman

The Four Tunes   1949

  Careless Love

      Composition:

      Martha Koenig/Spencer Williams/W. C. Handy

  You're Heartless

      Composition: Roy Brodsky/Sid Tepper

The Four Tunes   1950

  Carry Me Back to the Lone Prairie

      Composition: Carson Robison

The Four Tunes   1951

  I Don't Believe in Tomorrow

    Backing Savannah Churchill

      Composition: Fred Wise/Ben Weisman

The Four Tunes   1953

  I Gambled with Love

      Composition:

      Anita Boyer/Nick Arvan/Paul Weirick

  Marie

      Composition: Irving Berlin

The Four Tunes   1954

  Sugar Lump

      Composition: Ray George

The Four Tunes   1955

  Three Little Chickens

      Composition: Ulysses Burton

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Four Tunes

The Four Tunes   1964

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

In 1948 the Orioles [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] released their first recording, 'It's Too Soon to Know', written by Deborah Chessler, their manager, that charting at No. 1. The Orioles consisted of Sonny Til (lead tenor), Alexander Sharp (high tenor), George Nelson (baritone), Johnny Reed (bass vocals and double bass)and Tommy Gaither (guitar). The group began dropping away after Carroll replaced Nelson in 1953. 'Crying in the Chapel' hung around at No. 1 on the R&B chart for five weeks afterward that year, but the fundamental Orioles had made their run and gone past tense by the time their manager, Chessler, left in February of 1955. Further configurations arose into the new millennium, but by then the group had long since become an oldies attraction. Discographies of issues by the Orioles at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

The Orioles   1948

   It's Too Soon to Know

      Composition: Deborah Chessler

The Orioles   1949

   Crying in the Chapel

      Composition: Artie Glenn

   It's Too Soon to Know

      Composition: Deborah Chessler

The Orioles   1950

   Walking by the River

      Composition: Una Mae Carlisle

The Orioles   1953

   Don't You Think I Ought to Know

      Composition: Bill Johnson/Melvin Wettergreen

The Orioles   1956

   Happy 'Till the Letter

      Composition: Conrad Sewell

The Orioles   1959

   Crying in the Chapel

      Composition: Artie Glenn

The Orioles   1962

   Sincerely

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Orioles

The Orioles

Source: Brian Lee's Colorradio

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Blenders

The Blenders

Source: Discogs

Among the earliest doo wop groups (not to be confused with the much later Chicago Blenders) was the Blenders [1, 2]. A New York City group, they made their professional debut in 1949. Their first four milk shakes were 'I Can Dream, Can't I', 'Why Is It You', 'Come Back Baby Blues' and 'Why Does A Good Man Get Kicked Around'. The group at first consisted of Ollie Jones, James DeLoach, Tommy Adams and Abel DeCosta. The Blenders took on some stiff competition in the fifties when Hamilton Beach was appearing at 5 & 10s, Woolworths and soda fountains everywhere throughout the nation. But that didn't ruffle the Blenders. They mixed right back with 'Don't Play Around With Love' in 1953. They did an alternate take of that called 'Don't Fuck Around With Love', telling Hamilton Beach to get out of town. The latter replied "So what" and stirred on everywhere just as before. Hamilton Beach proved the big dog and the Blenders were unplugged in 1954, disbanding that year. Issues discography at *. Lead data below per Marv Goldberg.

The Blenders   1949

   I Can Dream, Can't I

       Lead: Tommy Adams

       Music: Sammy Fain

       Lyrics: Irving Kahal

The Blenders   1951

   Busiest Corner in My Hometown

       Lead: Ollie Jones/Raymond Johnson

   All I Gotta Do Is Think of You

       Lead: Ollie Jones

       Composition: Fay Tishman

   My Heart Will Never Forget

       Lead: Ollie Jones

The Blenders   1952

   I'd Be a Fool Again

       Lead: Ollie Jones

       Composition:

       Marty Symes/Al Neiberg/Jerry Levinson

   Just a Little Walk With Me

       Lead: James DeLoach

The Blenders   1953

   Don't Fuck Around with Love

       Lead: Ollie Jones/James DeLoach

       Composition:

       Joseph Burns/C De Metruis (Claude DeMetrius)

   Don't Play Around with Love

       Lead: Ollie Jones/James DeLoach

       Composition:

       Joseph Burns/C De Metruis (Claude DeMetrius)

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Clovers

The Clovers

Source: Custom Rodder

 

The Clovers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were first formed in 1946, a trio until a quartet was formed called the Four Clovers. The Clovers released 'Yes Sir, That's My Baby'/'When You Come Back to Me' on Rainbow Records in 1950. The group consisted of Harold Lucas, Matthew McQuater, Harold Winley and John "Buddy" Bailey at that time, but would start experiencing personnel changes in 1951. They were yet the above-mentioned configuration upon releasing 'Don't You Know I Love You' and 'Fool, Fool, Fool' in 1951, both topping the charts at No. 1. The group, now altered, repeated that success in 1952 with 'Ting-A-Ling'. The Clover's placed numerous songs in the Top Ten, their last in 1956 at No. 4 on Billboard's R&B: 'Love, Love, Love'. Their last to chart in the Top Thirty was 'Love Potion #9' in 1959 at No. 23. They continued strong through the sixties despite continuous personnel changes, but by the seventies the Clovers had become past tense. New configurations of the group continued into the nineties to perform the oldies circuit, but as death took continual claim to the group's members it was eventually abandoned altogether. Discos of issues at 1, 2, 3. Songwriting credits also at *. The Clovers in visual media. Lead data below per Marv Goldberg.

The Clovers  1950

   When You Come Back to Me

       Lead: John Bailey/Harold Winley

       Composition: David Highsmith

   Yes Sir, That's My Baby

       Lead: John Bailey/Harold Winley

       Music: Walter Donaldson

       Lyrics: Gus Kahn

       First issued by Gene Austin 1925

The Clovers  1951

   Fool, Fool, Fool

     Television performance

       Composition: Ahmet Ertegun

The Clovers  1952

   One Mint Julip

      Composition: Rudy Toombs

The Clovers  1954

   Little Mama

     Filmed live 

      Composition:

      Carmen Taylor/Jesmet*/Willis Carroll

   Lovey Dovey

     Filmed live

      Composition:

      Eddie Curtis/Nuggy (Nugetre, Ahmet Ertegun)

The Clovers  1959

   Love Potion No. 9

       Lead: John Bowie

       Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Bobby Day

Bobby Day

Bobby Day (Robert Byrd) [1, 2, 3] was born in Fort Worth Texas, in 1930. In 1945 he headed for Los Angeles, changed his name from Byrd to Day in 1957, then formed the (Hollywood) Flames [1, 2, 3] In 1949. The group's first gig was at the Barrelhouse Club, owned by Johnny Otis, where the Robins were formed about the same time. The Flames' first single was 'Young Girl', recorded in January of 1950. The Flames recorded under various names (such as the Hollywood Four Flames) for several years, and Day was very popular locally. But he didn't arrive to substantial national recognition until reforming the Flames into the Satellites and recording 'Rockin' Robin' in 1958 (a less successful version released the year before by the Valiants, another doo-wop group). Day was also part of the duo called Bob and Earl with Earl Nelson in the early sixties. (He was replaced by Bob Relf with whom the Bob and Earl duo released 'Harlem Shuffle' in 1963.) Day's biography with that of the Flames during the sixties is as complex as it is missing. Suffice it to say that Day released numerous recordings for several labels in various capacities, not again to achieve his earlier success with 'Rockin' Robin'. The Flames, having been through multiple name and personnel changes, last recorded in 1965 and was disbanded by 1967. Day toured Australia and New Zealand, thought in the latter sixties, returning to Florida in the States perhaps in the early seventies. After a time he returned to Los Angeles, soon becoming an oldies attraction. Day toured the United Kingdom in 1989, the year before his death of cancer on July 27, 1990. Day had composed titles like 'Little Bitty Pretty One' ('57) and 'Over and Over' ('58). Discographies of releases by Day with various credits at 1, 2. Issues by the Hollywood Flames at 1, 2, 3. Per below, Robert Byrd = Bobby Day.

Bobby Day   1953

  Pretty Little Girl Next Door

      Composition: Marty Cooper/Robert Byrd

      Arrangement: Jack Nitzsche

  Tears Keep Tumbling Down

      With the Flames

      Composition: Rudy Toombs

Bobby Day   1957

  Buzz Buzz Buzz

       Lead: Earl Nelson

      With the Hollywood Flames

      Composition: John Gray/Robert Byrd

  Little Bitty Pretty One

      With the Satellites

      Composition: Robert Byrd

Bobby Day   1958

  Over and Over

      Composition: Robert Byrd

  Rockin' Robin

      With the Satellites

      Composition: Jimmie Thomas

Bobby Day   1959

  Unchained Melody

       Music: Alex North

       Lyrics: Hy Zaret

       For the film 'Unchained'   1955

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Robins

The Robins

Source: Lara Petersson Music

The Robins [1, 2, 3, 4] were a doo wop group that came together at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis in Los Angeles, the same place that Bobby Day formed the Flames about the same time. Original members consisting of Bobby Nunn, Terrell Leonard, Billy Richard and Roy Richard, the Robins had first recorded as the Bluebirds in 1949. They did one side for the Excelsior label: 'My Baby Done Told Me'. They released 'Around About Midnight'/'You Sure Look Good To Me' the same year, followed by 'Don't Like the Way You're Doing'/'Come Back Baby'. The Robins were reconfigured as the Coasters in 1956. Biographical sources above include issue discographies. See also 1, 2. As usual, tracks below are in alphabetical sequence by year, not ordered by date. Lead vocal data per Goldberg. Lead guitar per Discogs.

The Robins   1949

   Around About Midnight

       Lead: Bobby Nunn

   Come Back Baby

       Lead: Bobby Nunn

       Lead guitar: Bobby Nunn

       Composition: Bill Richard/Terrell Leonard

   Don't Like the Way You're Doing

       Lead: Bobby Nunn

       Lead guitar: Bobby Nunn

   You Sure Look Good to Me

       Lead: Bobby Nunn

         Composition: Leonard Caston

The Robins   1954

   Framed

       Lead: Bobby Nunn

        Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

   Loop De Loop Mambo

       Lead: Carl Gardner

        Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

   Riot in Cell Block #9

       Lead: Richard Berry

        Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

The Robins   1959

   It's Never Too Late

       Lead: All

        Composition: Alvin & Edwin Johnson

The Robins   1961

   How Many More Times

       Lead: Bobby Sheen

        Composition: Carl White

   Magic of a Dream

       Lead: Bobby Sheen

        Composition: R. Adams/J. Stampfeck

   White Cliffs of Dover

       Lead: Bobby Sheen

        Composition: Nat Burton/Walter Kent

 

 
 

Billy Ward and the Dominoes recorded their first titles on November 14, 1950 [*], among them 'Do Something For Me' (Federal 12001) issued in December [sessions/issues: 45Worlds/Discogs/Rocky52]. Billy Ward had been born in 1921 in Savannah, Georgia, and had studied at Juilliard in New York [*]. At first called the Ques, the original Dominoes consisted of Clyde McPhatter (lead tenor), Charlie White (tenor), Joe Lamont (baritone) and Bill Brown (bass). Ward was the group's arranger and pianist. 'Do Something For Me' arrived to the No. 6 spot on Billboard's R&B in Feb 1951. A session on December 30, 1950, witnessed the early rock tune, 'Sixty Minute Man', that to reach No. 1 in May of '51. On January 27 of 1951 they backed Little Esther Phillips on 'Heart to Heart' and 'The Deacon Moves In'. 'Have Mercy Baby' became another No.1 title for the Dominoes in May of 1952. In 1953 Jackie Wilson replaced Clyde McPhatter as lead. Wilson's first session on June 27 came to 'You Can't Keep a Good Man Down', 'Where Now Little Heart' and "The Handwriting on the Wall'. In 1957 the Dominoes released their 12th and last single to crack the Top Ten on Billboard's U.S. R&B, 'Star Dust' at #5 in May. That was fairly much the group's last hurrah, Wilson leaving later that year to return to a solo career. The Dominoes performed well into the sixties before drifting apart. Goldberg traces them to a session as late as Sep of 1965 for 'Oh Holy Night' and 'What Are You Doing New Year's Eve' (King 6016). Ward died in February of 2002 in Inglewood, CA, before the Dominoes were elected into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006. Songwriting credits for the Dominoes at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Dominoes   1950

   Do Something For Me

       Lead: Clyde McPhatter

       Composition: Billy Ward/Rose Marks

The Dominoes   1951

   Sixty Minute Man

       Lead: Bill Brown

       Composition: Billy Ward/Rose Marks

   The Deacon Moves In

       With Little Esther Phillips

       Lead: Charlie White

       Composition: Billy Ward/Rose Marks

   Heart to Heart

      With Little Esther Phillips

       Lead: Clyde McPhatter

       Composition: Billy Ward/Rose Marks

The Dominoes   1953

   Don't Leave Me This Way

      Lead: Clyde McPhatter

      Composition: Billy Ward/Rose Marks

The Dominoes   1954

   Tenderly

      Lead: Jackie Wilson

      Composition: Walter Gross/Jack Lawrence

The Dominoes   1955

   Learnin' the Blues

      Lead: Jackie Wilson

      Composition: Dolores Vicki Silvers

   Stop! You're Sending Me

      Lead: Jackie Wilson

     Unissued

   Take Me Back to Heaven

      Lead: Jackie Wilson

      Composition: Billy Ward

The Dominoes   1956

   St. Therese of the Roses

      Lead: Jackie Wilson

      Composition: Remus Harris/Arthur Strauss

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Billy Ward and the Dominoes

The Dominoes

Source: OSML

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The 5 Royales

The 5 Royales

Source: Blues & Rhythm

The 5 Royales [1, 2] were originally a gospel group, formed in 1942, called the Royal Sons Quintet. Formed by guitarist, Lowman Pauling, and brother, Clarence, the latter made an early exit to work as a producer for Motown Records. Lead vocalists included Johnny and Eugene Tanner. Other members included Jimmy Moore, Obadiah Carter and Otto Jeffries (the latter replaced by Eugene). In 1951 the Royal Sons won a contract with Apollo Records to make their first recording, 'Bedside of a Neighbor' with 'Journey's End' flipside (Apollo 253 Jan '52 ['The Billboard'/45Cat]). Apollo didn't initially release those, however, because the Royal Sons planned to pursue secular music the same year, changing their name to the Royals. Their first release by that name was 'Too Much Of A Little Bit' with 'Give Me One More Chance' in November of 1951 (Apollo 434) [45Cat]. To avoid confusion with other bands called the Royals they changed their name to the 5 Royales in 1952. Their first release by that name was 'You Know I Know' with 'Courage to Love'. The 5 Royales were best known for their #1 tunes, 'Baby Don't Do It' ('53) and 'Help Me Somebody' ('53) [*]. The group fundamentally broke up in 1965, though configurations of small note continued into the seventies. The last living member of the 5 Royales, James Moore, died on August 16 of 2008 [*]. The 5 Royales were elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in 2015. Issues discos at 1, 2, 3, 4.

5 Royales  1951

  Give Me One More Chance

     As the Royals

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

  Too Much of a Little Bit

     As the Royals

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

5 Royales  1952

  Bedside of a Neighbor

      As the Royal Sons

      Composition: Thomas Dorsey

  Courage to Love

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

  Journey's End

      As the Royal Sons

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

  You Know I Know

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

5 Royales  1954

  Devil with the Rest

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

5 Royales  1955

  Women About to Make Me Go Crazy

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

5 Royales  1956

  Right Around the Corner

      Composition:

      Charles Singleton/Rose Marie McCoy

5 Royales  1957

  Dedicated to the One I Love

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

  Think

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

  Thirty Second Lover

      Composition: Gloria Pall/Lowman Pauling

5 Royales  1958

  Tell the Truth

      Composition: Lowman Pauling

 

 
 

The Cardinals [1, 2, 3, 4], were a major group which released only three charting titles, though all Top Ten, making them a three rather than one-hit doo wop wonder. They were initially formed in Baltimore in 1946 as the Mellotones consisting of Ernie Lee Warren (lead tenor), Meredith Bothers (second tenor), Leon Hardy (bass) and Donald Johnson (baritone). They changed their name to the Cardinals in 1950. The group released 'Shouldn’t I Know' in May of 1951 [rockabilly.nl], peaking at No. 7 on Billboard's R&B chart in Oct that year [*]. The group began to go through personnel changes in 1951, preceding the rise of 'The Wheel of Fortune' to the R&B's #6 tier in April 1952. 'The Door Is Still Open (To My Heart)' (Chuck Willis) charted at #4 on the R&B in April of 1955 before the Cardinals dropped off the charts altogether. The Cardinals performed in one configuration or another into the sixties, disappearing with the wane of doo wop in general. Discos of releases w various credits at 1, 2.

The Cardinals   1951

  Shouldn't I Know

      Composition: Meredith Brothers/Sam Azrael

The Cardinals   1952

  Kiss Me Baby

      Composition: Ahmet Ertegun

  Wheel of Fortune

      Composition:

      Bennie Benjamin/George David Weiss

The Cardinals   1955

  Come Back My Love

      Composition: Bobby Mansfield

  Here Goes My Heart to You

      Composition: Jerrold & Perry Samuels

The Cardinals   1956

  Choo-Choo

      Composition: Diamond/Graham

  Off Shore

      Composition: Diamond/Graham

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Cardinals

The Cardinals

Source: Last FM

 

The Five Keys [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] released their first single, 'With a Broken Heart' b/w 'Too Late', in 1951. The Five Keys had originated as the Sentimental Four in 1945 in Newport News, Virginia. The Sentimental Four was a gospel quartet of two pairs of brothers, all yet in school: Rudy and Bernie West with Raphael and Ripley Ingram. Numerous personnel changes, however, were soon to occur. The Sentimental Four were rechristened the Five Keys upon their first performance as such at the Apollo Theater in August of '49 (Billie Holiday headlining). Apollo manager, Isaac Burton, decided upon the name upon a set of five skeleton keys falling to the floor. After the Keys' release of 'With s Broken Heart' in 1951 they issued 'The Glory of Love' the same year, to sit atop Billboard's R&B chart at No. 1. Maryland Pierce joined the group in 1954, he and Rudy the group's main lead singers. 1955 saw two Five Keys songs reach Billboard's #5 tier: 'Close Your Eyes' and 'Ling, Ting, Tong'. The Keys enjoyed a strong run into the sixties, collapsing into an oldies group a year or so after the Beatles first invaded, by which time doo wop had begun to fade in popularity, having largely run its course by the sixties but for oldies circuits and revivals. The Five Keys variously reunited into the seventies before dropping out of sight altogether. Rudy West died in 1998. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Maryland Pierce has yet been active performing well into the new millennium. Bernie West is thought to yet reside in Newport News, Virginia, where it all began, as of this writing. Issues discographies w various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Marv Goldberg.

The Five Keys   1951

   With a Broken Heart

      Lead: Dickie Smith

      Composition: Dickie Smith

The Five Keys   1955

   Close Your Eyes

      Lead: Maryland Pierce/Rudy West

      Composition: Chuck Willis

   Ling Ting Tong

      Lead: Maryland Pierce

      Composition: Mabel Godwin

The Five Keys   1956

   She's the Most

      Lead: Maryland Pierce/Rudy West

         Ramon Loper/Bernie West

      Composition: Murray Berlin

The Five Keys   1957

   This I Promise You

      Lead: Rudy West

      Composition: Vin Corso/Clyde Otis

The Five Keys   1958

   Dream On

      Lead: Maryland Pierce/Bernie West

      Composition: Rudy Toombs/Earl Hines

The Five Keys   1960

   Wrapped Up in a Dream

      Lead: Dickie Smith

      Composition: Pat Best/Irving Berman

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Five Keys

The Five Keys

Source: Last FM

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Checkers

The Checkers

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

The Checkers [1, 2] first recorded in 1952. The group was formed by two ex members of the Dominoes, Charlie White and Bill Brown, and called the Checkers specifically to compete with the Dominoes. Beyond Brown and White, the original quintet consisted of Buddy Brewer, Irwin Williams and John Carnegie. The group's initial release for King Records in 1952, 'Flame In My Heart' b/w 'Oh, Oh, Oh Baby', didn't travel far. Nor did the rest of the Checkers' recordings, they no match for the Dominoes. In 1953 White dropped out of the group. It then disbanded in 1955. Although King Records continued releasing earlier material for years to come their was to be no reawakening of the Checkers. Issues discos at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Checkers   1952

   Flame in My Heart

      Lead: Bill Brown/Charlie White

      Composition: Andrew McCarter

   My Prayer Tonight

      Lead: John Carnegie/Bill Brown

      Composition: Henry Glover

   Oh, Oh, Oh Baby

      Lead: Bill Brown

      Composition: Henry Glover

The Checkers   1953

   White Cliffs of Dover

      Lead: Bill Brown

      Composition: Nat Burton/Walter Kent

   Without a Song

      Lead: Bill Brown

      Music: Vincent Youmans

      Lyrics: Edward Eliscu/Billy Rose

 

 
  Not to be confused with the later Canadian Diamonds, these Diamonds [*] were formed in Harlem in 1948. Harlem would figure big in doo wop, producing countless groups. Consisting of Harold Sonny Wright (lead), Daniel Stevens (bass), Myles Hardy (first tenor) and Ernest Ward (second tenor), their first record release was in 1952: 'A Beggar for Your Kisses'/'Call, Baby, Call' on Atlantic 981. The group issued only three plates before dissolving in 1955: 'I'll Live Again'/'Two Loves Have I' (Atlantic 1003 '53) and 'Romance in the Dark'/'Cherry' (Atlantic 1017 '54).

The Diamonds   1952

   A Beggar for Your Kisses

      Composition: Sylvia & Marco Rosales

   Call, Baby, Call

      Composition: Stone/Hines

The Diamonds   1953

   I'll Live Again

      Composition: Carlisle

  Two Loves Have I

      ('J'ai Deux Amours')

      Music: Vincent Scotto

      Lyrics French: Georges Koger/Henri Varna

      Lyrics English: Jack Murray/Barry Trivers

The Diamonds   1954

   Romance in the Dark

      Composition: Big Bill Broonzy/Lil Green

 

 
Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Du Droppers

The Du Droppers

Source: Doo-Wop Blog
Lead tenor, JC Ginyard (Caleb Ginyard Jr.), first formed the Du Droppers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] to be a gospel group in 1952. Turning to R&B, their first record release was in December that year, a response to the Dominoes', 'Sixty Minute Man': 'Can't Do Sixty No More'/'Chain Me Baby'. The record label was Red Robin, also a record shop in New York. Other original members were Willie Ray (tenor/baritone), Harvey Ray (tenor/baritone) and Eddie Hashaw (bass). The Du-Droppers moved to RCA to release 'I Found Out' in June of 1953. That visited the #3 spot on the R&B along with 'I Wanna Know' that year, the group's only titles to chart.  The group released its last plate in August 1955: 'You're Mine Already' b/w 'I Wanna Love You', after which Junior Ginyard returned to gospel with the Golden Gate Quartet. Issues discos for the Du Droppers (Du-Droppers) with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2.

The Du-Droppers   1952

   Can't Do Sixty No More

      Composition: Caleb Ginyard

   Chain Me Baby

      Composition: Matthew Nelson

The Du-Droppers   1953

   Bambalam

      Composition: Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller

The Du-Droppers   1954

   Go Back

      Composition: Bob Kornegay/Caleb Ginyard

   Get Lost

      Composition: Bob Konegie (per Victor label)

The Du-Droppers   1955

   Speed King

      Composition:

      Bob Kornegay/Julius (Caleb) Ginyard

   Talk That Talk

      Composition:

      Charles Singleton/Rose Marie McCoy

 

 
  It was 1947 when the Bachelors (one a few groups by that name including the later and better known based in Dublin *) first got together as the Cavaliers in Washington DC. The group consisted of Waverly Mason (lead), James Walton (first tenor), Walter Taylor (second tenor), Herbert Fisher (baritone) and John Bowie (bass). (Only Walton, Fischer and Bowie remained with the Bachelors for the photo, circa 1956, to the right.) They soon changed their name to the Jets [1, 2], under which they first recorded in 1952 ('The Lovers'/'Drag It Home, Baby' - reviewed in 'The Billboard' January 17, 1953). But as there was another group called the Jets, they began recording as the Bachelors [1, 2, 3] the same year. Personnel changes brought about the dismantling of the Bachelors and the formation of the Links [*] in 1958. Titles below are in alphabetical order by year. Lead data per Goldberg.

The Bachelors   1953

   Can't Help Lovin' You

      Lead: Robert Russell

      Composition: John Bowie

   Drag It Home Baby

      As the Jets

      Lead: Charles Booker

      Composition: John Bowie

  I Found Love

      Lead: Charles Booker

   The Lovers

      As the Jets

      Lead: Waverly Mason

   Pretty Baby

      Lead: Walter Taylor

   You've Lied

      Lead: Robert Russell

      Composition: John Bowie

The Bachelors   1957

   After

      Lead: James Taylor

      Composition: John Bowie

The Bachelors   1958

   Ba-Bee

      As the Links

      Lead: Herbert Fisher

      Composition: Smart/The Links

   She's the One

      As the Links

      Lead: Herbert Fisher

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Bachelors

The Bachelors   Circa 1956

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

Hank Ballard [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] was born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit in 1927. He was working an assembly line at the Ford Motor Company when he was invited to replace Lawson Smith in the Royals. The Royals had made their first recordings on Jan 8 of 1952 with Charles Sutton at lead: 'Every Beat of my Heart' *. It was 1953 when Ballard made his first recording with the Royals: 'Get It'. In 1954 they changed their name to the Midnighters [1, 2, 3, 4] to avoid confusion with other bands named the Royals. It was with the Midnighters that Ballard released 'The Twist' in 1959. But it was Chubby Checker's cover in 1960 that got the publicity via Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand'. The Midnighters would take doo wop into the sixties when it ceased to be a popular musical style, disbanding in 1965. Ballard then pursued a solo career until he reformed the Midnighters in the eighties. That group performed until 2002. Ballard died on March 2 of 2003 of throat cancer in Los Angeles [*]. Discos of Ballard and the Midnighters at 1, 2, 3, 4. Ballard & his Midnighters in visual media.

Hank Ballard   1954

   Sexy Ways

      Composition: Ballard

   Work With Me Annie

      Composition: Ballard

Hank Ballard   1959

   Teardrops on Your Letter

      Composition: Henry Glover

   The Twist

      Composition: Ballard

Hank Ballard   1960

   If You'd Forgive Me

      Composition:

      Andy Gibson/Lois Mann/Sonny Thompson

   Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go

      Composition: Ballard

Hank Ballard   1964

   One Monkey Don't Stop No Show

      Composition: Sonny Thompson

   Watch What I Tell You

      Composition: W. King/J. Stephen

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Doo Wop: Hank Ballard

Hank Ballard

Photo: Norm Buller

Source: MALE sTRip show

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Doo Wop: The Castelles

The Castelles   1956

Source: Marv Goldberg
The Castelles [1, 2] (not to be confused with the later pop vocal harmony group from Santa Rosa, CA, the Castells) began coming together in 1949 while yet kids. They were a group of junior and high school students busking on the streets of Philadelphia as the Royal Castelles by the time they took on manager, Lucille McCord. She took them to see Herb Slotkin and Jerry Ragovoy who decided to found Grend Records with them. The group dropped "Royal" from their name and issued their debut 45 in October of 1953: 'My Girl Awaits Me'/'Sweetness'. At that time the group was comprised of George Grant (lead tenor), Octavius Anthony (first tenor), Billy Taylor (first & second tenor/baritone), Ron Everett (bass) and Frank Vance (guitar). In 1955 both Everett and Vance were replaced by Clarence Scott for the 1956 issue of 'Happy and Gay'/'Hey Baby Baby'. That record going nowhere, Grant shut down operations. George  Grant and Billy Taylor (not, by the way, the jazz pianist) continued their musical careers. In 1991 Grant released 'Surrender to Love'/'Baby Please Don't Stop' as George Grant & the Castelles. That is thought to be a misprint, the Calvanes the actual group. Discographies w credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Castelles   1953

   My Girl Awaits Me

      Lead: George Grant

       Composition: Frank Vance

   Sweetness

      Lead: Octavius Anthony

       Composition: Octavius Anthony

   This Silver Ring

      Lead: George Grant

       Composition: Pagovoy/Epstein

The Castelles   1954

   If You Were the Only Girl in the World

      Lead: George Grant

       Composition: Clifford Grey/Nat Ayer   1925

   Over a Cup of Coffee

      Lead: George Grant

       Composition: Frank Vance

 

 
  The Charms was a group led by Otis Williams (not the same Otis Williams as in the Temptations) which original members were Bob Smith (tenor - later replaced by Donald Peak), Rolland Bradley (tenor), Joe Penn (baritone/tenor) and Richard Parker (bass) [see also *]. The group first recorded in 1953: 'Heaven Only Knows'. Several more releases were made until 'Hearts of Stone' reached No. 1 on Billboard in 1954 and went gold. The Charms saw their dissolution upon Williams getting drafted into the Army in 196o, though earlier recordings were yet released. Williams pursued a solo career upon his discharge from military service in 1962. Issues discos of the Charms at Discogs. Of the Charms w Otis Williams at Discogs.

The Charms   1953

   Heaven Only Knows

       Composition:

       Donald Peak/Joe Penn/Otis Williams

   Loving Baby

       Composition: Richard Parker/Rolland Bradley

The Charms   1954

   Hearts of Stone

       Composition: Rudy Jackson

   Ling Ting Tong

       Composition: Mabel Godwin

The Charms   1956

   Boom Diddy Boom Boom

       Composition: Stone/Henry Glover/Lois Mann

   I'll Be True

       Composition: Stone

The Charms   1959

   My Prayer Tonight

       Composition: Henry Glover

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Charms

The Charms

Source: JV Entertainment

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Crows

The Crows

Source: Wikipedia

 

The Crows [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] began practicing harmony on the sidewalks of the Bronx in 1951. Its original members were Daniel "Sonny" Norton (lead), William Davis (baritone), Harold Major (tenor), Jerry Wittick (tenor - later replaced by Mark Jackson) and Gerald Hamilton (bass). Discovered at an Apollo Theater talent show, theirs were the first records produced by newly formed Rama Records in 1953, recording with Viola Watkins.  "Gee' reached No. 2 on Billboard's R&B chart, after which the Crows dismantled, something exemplary of doo-wop, bloated with one-hit wonders which, upon making some dollars, disappeared as fast as they came. Discographies of releases w various credits at 1, 2. Daniel Norton sings lead on all titles below.

The Crows   1953

   Gee

     Guitar: Tiny Grimes   Piano: Viola Watkins

       Composition: William Davis/Viola Watkins

   I Love You So

       Composition: William Davis/Viola Watkins

The Crows   1954

   Baby Doll

       Composition: Eddie Tex Curtis

   I Really, Really Love You

       Composition:

       George Goldner/Sonny Norton/William Davis

   Miss You

       Composition:

       George Goldner/Sonny Norton/William Davis

 

 
  The Drifters first recorded in 1953 [*], Clyde McPhatter, their lead singer, having just left the Dominoes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Their release of 'Money Honey' b/w 'Lucille' in '53 was by ensembles of differing personnel, "Lucille' recorded at their first session, 'Money Honey' at their second [*]. They would soon install a rotating door for changes in personnel, McPhatter leaving the group in 1954. Two more lead vocalists, David Baughn and Bobby Hendricks, wafted through the group until joined by Johnny Moore in 1955 to become the Drifters' mainstay. 'Up on the Roof' in 1962 placed at No. 5 on Billboard, followed in 1963 by 'On Broadway'. 'Up on the Roof' had been too windy so they wandered 'Under the Boardwalk' in 1964 to chart at No. 4. That remained on Cash Box at No. 1 for three weeks. The album by the same title released in 1964 also achieved Billboard's No. 4 tier. But the Drifters ceased to chart well in the States after that, so they floated off to the UK in 1972 where they remained a huge draw. Their last to break the Top Ten in the UK was 'You're More than a Number in My Little Red Book', peaking at No. 5 in 1976. Moore left the Drifters in 1982, after which the group has remained active despite continual personnel changes. Songwriting credits for the Drifters at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Disco of issues.

The Drifters   1953

   Money Honey

      Lead: Clyde McPhatter

      Composition: Jesse Stone

The Drifters   1954

   Bip Bam

      Lead: Clyde McPhatter

      Composition: Charles Calhoun

The Drifters   1955

   What'cha Gonna Do

      Lead: Clyde McPhatter

      Composition: Ahmet Ertegun

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Drifters

The Drifters

Source: Time Goes By

 

  The Five Blue Notes [1, 2] began to put their act together as the Blue Jays in high school in Washington DC in 1950. That group consisted of Andy Magruder (lead), Waymond Mooney (first tenor), Robert Stroud (second tenor), Moise Vaughn (baritone/bass) and Melvin Lee (guitar). The Blue Jays made their first demos in 1953 at the Park Lane Pharmacy in DC, next to the Circle Recording Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. Costing a $!.25 per side, the Blue Jays are thought to have recorded at least thirty. They became the 5 Blue Notes to avoid confusion with another group by that name in 1953. Their first recording session as such was in October of 1953. Of those tracks, promos were made of 'My Gal Is Gone' and 'Ooh Baby'. Sabre Records (Chance imprint) delayed release of those until December, during which time Magruder got impatient and joined the Marines. The tracks were released locally and charted at #1 in Washington DC. 'The Beat of Our Hearts'/'You Gotta Go Baby' was issued in June of 1954. But by that time Vaughn had left the group that March, also for the Marines. No more was heard of the 5 Blue Notes until Magruder left the Marines in 1958 to resurrect them with Robert Stroud, Moise Vaughn, Jackie Shedrick and Louis Smalls as lead tenor. Onda issued 'My Special Prayer'/'Somethin' Awful' in 1958, changing the flip side to 'The Thunderbird' in 1959. The group permanently dissipated that year, Magruder, joining the Spaniels the next year. Release discographies with various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Five Blue Notes   1953

   My Gal Is Gone

      Lead: Andy Magruder

      Composition: Fleming Briscoe

  Ooh Baby

      Lead: Fleming Briscoe

      Composition: Fleming Briscoe

The Five Blue Notes   1954

   The Beat of Our Hearts

      Lead: Fleming Briscoe

      Composition: Fleming Briscoe

  You Gotta Go Baby

      Lead: Moise Vaughn

      Composition: Fleming Briscoe

The Five Blue Notes   1958

   My Special Prayer

      Lead: Robert Stroud

      Composition: Stanley

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Five Jets

The Five Jets   1956

Source: Marv Goldberg

The Five Jets [1, 2, 3] had their roots in the Thrillers (not to be confused with the Thrillers who issued 'Lisabeth'/'Please Talk to Me' on Herald, also a Detroit group, nor Little Joe & the Thrillers based in Philadelphia *). Originally consisting of Joe Murphy (lead tenor), Raymond Dorsey (baritone), Charles Wright (first tenor), Lawrence Payton (second tenor), and Roquel Davis (bass/composition/manager). The Thrillers made their first release on the Thrillers label, Joe Battle naming his fledgling operation after the group. That was 'I'm Gonna Live My Life Alone'/'Lessy Mae' in 1953. The Thrillers issued their next and final record that year, now for Big Town, 'Mattie, Leave Me Alone'/'The Drunkard'. Yet 1953, the Thrillers changed their name to the 5 Jets. Original members of that group are thought to have been Joe Murphy (lead), Raymond Dorsey (baritone), Crathman Spencer (tenor), Charles Lee (second tenor) and Billy Davis (bass). The 5 Jets' first release was in 1953: 'I'm In Love'/'Not a Hand to Shake'. Personnel changes began occurring in 1955, concerning which we've not space to keep track, but to mention that Davis was the first original member of the 5 Jets to stop singing that year, though he continued composing and managing. The group recorded as the Five Dollars [1, 2] in 1956, releasing 'You Fool'/'Bacon Fat' on the Fortune label. Per Goldberg, due to mislabeling of 'Bacon Fat' some of those are actually 'I'm Wandering' by the Five Jets (Fortune 833). The 5 Jets became the 5 Stars in 1957, 'Ooh Shucks'/'Dead Wrong' their initial issue as such in November that year for the Anna label. The 5 Stars reemerged (with altered personnel) in 1958 as the Voice Masters. That group's initial release was 'Hope And Pray'/'Oops, I'm Sorry' in January of 1959. Before the Voice Masters' total of six singles were released that year Raymond Dorsey left the group to join the Royal Jokers. Billy Davis would eventually leave the recording business (part owner of the Anna label) and pursued a career in advertising. Joe Murphy pursued a solo career. The Voice Masters continued with the Anna label with the addition of Ty Hunter as Ty Hunter & the Voice Masters, releasing a couple 45s in 1960: 'Orphan Boy'/'Everything About You' and 'Free'/'Everytime'. The Voice Masters then became the Originals, though the only original 5 Jets member of that group was Spencer. Discographies of the Five Jets at 1, 2. Five Dollars at 1, 2. Five Stars at 1, 2. Voice Masters at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Thrillers   1953

   I'm Gonna Live My Life Alone

      Lead: Billy Davis

      Composition: William Campbell

The Five Jets   1953

   I'm in Love

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Joe Von Battle

The Five Jets   1954

   Crazy Chicken

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Billy Davis

   Down Slow

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Billy Davis/Henry Glover

   Give In

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Billy Davis

   I'm Stuck

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Billy Davis

   Please Love Me Baby

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Billy Davis

   Tell Me You're Mine

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition: Joe Murphy

The Five Jets   1956

   I Will Wait

      As the Five Dollars

      Lead: Eddie Hurt

      Composition: Mildred McClough

The Five Jets   1957

  Dead Wrong

      As the Five Stars

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition:

      Berry Gordy/T. Carlo (Billy Davis)

  Ooh Shucks

      As the Five Stars

      Lead: Joe Murphy

      Composition:

      Berry Gordy/T. Carlo (Billy Davis)

   You Fool

      As the Five Dollars

       Lead: Charles Evans

      Composition: Charles Evans

The Five Jets   1958

   Baby Baby

       Lead: Joe Murphy

       As the Five Stars

      Composition:

      T. Carlo (Billy Davis)/Berry Gordy

 

 
  It was 1950 when a Harlem group called the Dovers formed. The Dovers recorded nothing. In 1953 personnel got shifted as the group became the Five Willows [1, 2, 3, 4]. Members at that time were Tony Middleton (lead), Richie Davis (tenor), Ralph Martin (tenor), Joe Martin (baritone) and John Steel (bass). Their debut release was 'Lay Your Head On My Shoulder' b/w 'Baby, Come A Little'. The group renamed itself simply the Willows in 1954. Notable in 1956 was their release of 'Church Bells Are Ringing' (Melba 102), shortly after which they dropped "Five" from their name to go simply as the Willows, issuing the above title as 'Church Bells May Ring' (same Melba 102) to reach No. 11 on Billboard's R&B in March. The Diamonds' version of that song the same year charted at #14. Doo wop ensembles with numbers in their names not uncommonly experienced problems with keeping that exact number of personnel in their groups. In the case of the Willows, according to journalist, Patrick Prince, they changed their name when Joe overslept and missed a matinee engagement at the Apollo Theatre in NYC. The Willows tied it up in 1965, having charted only once and never releasing an album. (A compilation called 'The Willows featuring Tony Middleton' was issued in 1988.) Sporadic reunions occurred into the nineties until original Willows' members began dying off. New configurations continued into the millennium. Issues discos w various credits at 1, 2. Per 1956 below, 'Do You Love Me' is not the same song as the more famous title written by Berry Gordy Jr. for release in 1962 by the Contours.

The Five Willows   1953

  My Dearest Darling

      Composition: Copyright Five Willows:

      Davis/Martin/Martin/Steel/Wright

  Rock Little Francis

      Composition: Copyright Five Willows:

      Davis/Martin/Martin/Steel/Wright

  The White Cliffs of Dover

      Composition: Nat Burton/Walter Kent

  With These Hands

      Composition: Abner Silver/Benny Davis

The Five Willows   1954

  Love Bells

      Composition: Five Willows:

      Davis/Martin/Martin/Steel/Wright

  Please Baby

      Composition: Five Willows:

      Davis/Martin/Martin/Steel/Wright

The Five Willows   1955

  Look Me in the Eyes

      Composition:

      Charlie Singleton/Rose Marie McCoy

  So Help Me

      Composition:

      Charlie Singleton/Rose Marie McCoy

The Willows   1956

  Do You Love Me

      Composition: Morty (Morton) Craft/Willows

  Church Bells May Ring

      Composition: Morty (Morton) Craft/Willows

The Willows   1957

  First Taste of Love

      Composition: Sid Jacobson/Lou Stallman

  Let's Fall In Love

      Composition: Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler

  Say Yeah

      Composition: Wayne Jackson Handy

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Five Willows

The Five Willows

Source: Soul Music HQ

 

Doo wop group, the Flamingos, were originally a bunch of dirty little birds called the Swallows [1, 2]. They tried a couple more names until deciding on the Flamingos in 1953. Members at that time were Jacob Carey, Ezekial (Zeke) Carey, Paul Wilson, John Carter and Sollie McElroy. The Flamingos issued their first record, 'If I Can't Have You'/'Someday Somewhere' in 1953, followed by 'That's My Desire' with 'Hurry Home Baby' flipside. In 1955 'I'll Be Home' reached the No. 5 tier on Billboard's R&B. 'I Only Have Eyes For You' grabbed Billboard's #3 position in R&B, and #11 in the US overall, in 1959. But that would be the last the group approached the Top Ten. The Flamingos, which members could seem to change one day to the next, made their last recordings in the seventies, 'Buffalo Soldiers their last title to chart in 1970 at #28 with Jacob, Ezekial and Wilson yet members. None of the original Flamingos remain living [*], though later members, Terry Johnson and Tommy Hunt, yet perform with their own versions of the Flamingos as of this writing [1, 2]. Songwriting credits for Flamingos titles. Discos of issues at 1, 2, 3. The Flamingos in visual media.

The Flamingos   1953

   Hurry Home Baby

       Lead: Jake Carey

With the King Kolax Orchestra

      Composition: King Kolax

   If I Can't Have You

       Lead: Sollie McElroy/Johnny Carter

       With the King Kolax Orchestra

      Composition: C. Gonzalez

   That's My Desire

       Lead: Sollie McElroy

      With the King Kolax Orchestra

      Music: Helmy Kresa

      Lyrics: Carroll Loveday

The Flamingos   1956

   Would I Be Crying

       Live performance   Lead: Nate Nelson

      Composition: G. Moore

The Flamingos   1959

   I Only Have Eyes for You

       Lead: Nate Nelson

      Music: Harry Warren

      Lyrics: Al Dubin

   Til the End of Time (Mi Amore)

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Flamingos

The Flamingos

Source: All Music

  Upon release from the Army in 1949, Harvey Fuqua [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] was twenty years old, born in 1929 in Louisville, Kentucky. He and friend, Bobby Lester [*], began their music careers by forming a duo together. In 1951 they put together a doo wop group, the Crazy Sounds. Radio host Alan Freed (aka Moondog) became their manager in 1953 and suggested the group change its name to the Moonglows [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Other members of The Moonglows were Alexander Graves, Prentiss Barnes, Billy Johnson and William Westbrooks [later personnel 1, 2]. They first issued on the local Champaign label in March 1953: 'I Just Can't Tell No Lie'/'I've Been Your Dog' (Champagne 7 500). Fuqua sang lead on the former, Lester the latter. Lead was in general split between Lester and Fuqua w Lester the more emphasized while Fuqua more focused on composing titles from R&B ballads to more rock n roll oriented material. Albeit, Lester co-wrote 'So All Alone' with Fuqua in 1954 when the Moonglows were known as the Moonlighters [*] releasing that duet on Checker 806 that year with 'Shoo Doo-Be-Doo' flip side. The Moonglows first visited Billboard in 1955 with 'Sincerely' at #1 and 'Most of All' at #5 on the R&B. Fuqua's first solo issue is thought to have been 'I Want Somebody' b/w 'Da Da Goo Goo' in 1958. During the period that Fugua was with the Moonglows six of their songs reached the Top Ten on Billboard's R&B, including 'Sincerely', topping the chart in March of 1955. The Moonglows placed a total of six titles onto the Top Ten until their last in Sep of 1958 per 'The Ten Commandments', dropping off the charts thereafter, although a later release of 'Sincerely' in performed as well as #43 as late as 1972. In 1959 Fuqua split from the Moonglows to form Harvey and the New Moonglows, of which Marvin Gaye was a member. In 1961 Fuqua began work on his own record labels, Tri-Phi Records and Harvey Records, handling, for example, the Spinners. In 1962 he recorded with the Quails. (The Quails were a group with small impact, formed in 1957. Their debut releases that year, with Mercury Records, are thought to have been 'Hop Scotch Rock' and 'Jungle Baby'.) Per above, Fuqua contributed to numerous compositions for the Moonglows. He wrote such as 'Whistle My Love' ('53), 'I Was Wrong' ('54) and '219 Train' ('54). Discographies w various credits at 1, 2. See also *. Bobby Lester died at the relatively young age of 49 in 1980, of lung cancer [*]. Fuqua died on July 6 of 2010 in Detroit [1, 2, 3, 4]. Fuqua in visual media. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Moonglows   1953

   I Just Can't Tell No Lie

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

       Composition: Al Lance

   I've Been Your Dog

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Al Lance

   I Was Wrong

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

   Whistle My Love

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

The Moonglows   1954

   Fine Fine Girl

      Unissued until 1964 on Constellation

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

   Ooh Rockin Daddy

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

   Secret Love

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition:

      Paul Francis Webster/Sammy Fain

   Sincerely

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

The Moonglows   1955

   Lover, Love Me

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

      Robert Dallas (Bobby Lester)

   Most of All

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

   Tempting

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

The Moonglows   1956

   Chickie Um Bah

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition: Nathanial Montague

   I Knew from the Start

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Glen Moore/Milton Subotsky

   When I'm With You

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition:

      Harvey Fuqua/Jackie McCoy/Robert Dallas (Bobby Lester)

   Over and Over Again

    Film: 'Rock Rock Rock'

     Lead: Bobby Lester (on Chess)

      Composition: Al & Ben Weisman

   See Saw

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition:

      Charles Sutton/Harry Pratt/Roquel Davis

   We Go Together

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua/Bobby Lester

      Composition: Perry Stevens/Shelley Haims

   When I'm With You

      Live for CBS Radio

      Lead: Bobby Lester (on Chess)

      Composition:

      Harvey Fuqua/Jackie McCoy/Robert Dallas (Bobby Lester)

The Moonglows   1957

   What Are You Going to Do

      Unissued      Lead: Bobby Lester

Harvey Fuqua   1958

   In the Middle of the Night

   I Want Somebody

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua

   Soda Pop

     Composition: Berry Gordy

Harvey & The Moonglows   1959

   Almost Grown

      Backing Chuck Berry

      Composition: Chuck Berry

   Mama Loocie

      Recorded as the New Moonglows

      Lead: Marvin Gaye

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua/Marvin Gaye

   Unemployment

      Recorded as the New Moonglows

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua

The Moonglows   1960

   Beatnik

      Lead: Harvey Fuqua

       Composition:

       Chuck Barksdale//Mickey McGill

   If I Can't Have You

       With Etta James

      Composition Etta James/Harvey Fuqua

   Junior

       Composition:

       Chuck Barksdale//Mickey McGill

Harvey Fuqua   1962

   Any Way You Wanta

       Composition:

       Gwen Gordy Fuqua/Harvey Fuqua

   Been a Long Time

      With the Five Quails

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua/Quails

   Got to Get to School on Time

      With the Five Quails

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua/Quails

   Never Felt Like This Before

      With the Five Quails

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua

   My Love

      With the Five Quails

      Composition: Harvey Fuqua/Quails

The Moonglows   1972

   Sincerely

      Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Alan Freed/Harvey Fuqua

   The Ten Commandments of Love

      Live   Lead: Bobby Lester

      Composition: Marshall Paul

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Moonglows

The Moonglows

Source: Boppin' Around

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Harptones

The Harptones

Source: Crooks & Liars

The Harptones [ 1, 2, 3, 4] never acquired great popularity, albeit their lead singer Willie Winfield was well regarded in the industry, together with their pianist and arranger, Raoul Cita. The only song by the Harptones that ever made it onto a Billboard chart was 'What Will I Tell My Heart' in 1961 at No. 96. And yet they made a big fuss placing fourteen songs in the Top Five Hundred, more than any other group [Goldberg]. They released their first record, 'A Sunday Kind of Love' and 'I'll Never Tell' in 1953. After a decade of record issues that never left ground, by 1965 the Harptones were no longer, their last release thought to have been 'Sunset'/'I Gotta Have Your Love' in 1964. The group coughed once more that year as the Soothers, releasing 'The Little White Cloud That Cried'/'I Believe In You', before the curtain was summarily drawn. Issues by the Harptones w various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Harptones   1953

   A Sunday Kind of Love

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition: Barbara Belle/Anita Leonard

      Stan Rhodes/Louis Prima

   I'll Never Tell

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition: James Prestovino/Neval Nader

The Harptones   1955

   Life is But a Dream

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition: Hy Weiss/Raul Citar

   You Know You're Doing Me Wrong

      Lead: Jimmy Beckum

     Composition: Cita

The Harptones   1956

   Gimmie Some

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition:

     Rose Marie McCoy/Charlie Singleton

The Harptones   1959

   Laughing on the Outside

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition: Ben Raleigh/Bernie Wayne

The Harptones   1960

   Answer Me My Love

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition:

     Gerald Winkler/Carl Sigman/Fred Rauch

     Conductor: Berte Keyes

 

 
  Based in Los Angeles, the Lamplighters [*] consisted of Thurston Harris [1, 2, 3, 4], Willie Ray Rockton, Matthew Nelson and Al Frazier. They released their first vinyl in 1953, making their recording debut in November that year for Federal Records: 'Part of Me' b/w 'Turn Me Loose'. In September that year they issued 'Be-Bop Wino' backed by 'Give Me'. The Lamplighters also recorded as the Tenderfoots [*] in 1955, as the Sharps with Thurston Harris [1, 2] in 1957 ('Little Bitty Pretty One' and 'Do What You Did'), and the Rivingtons [1, 2, 3, 4] in the early sixties ('Poppa Ooh Mow Mow'). Neither the Lamplighters nor any of their other incarnations ever scored on a Billboard chart with the exception of the Rivingtons approaching the Top Forty a couple times ('The Bird's the Word' did peak at #27 on Billboard's R&B in 1963). Big splash that they were in Los Angeles, the Lamplighters never acquired the national spotlight.

The Lamplighters   1953

   BeBop Wino

     Composition: Ralph Bass/Willie Ray Rockwell

   Part of Me

     Composition: Thurston Harris

   Turn Me Loose

     Composition: Dwight Davis

The Lamplighters   1954

   Goody Good Things

     Composition: Thurston Harris

   I Used to Cry Mercy, Mercy

     Composition: Rudy Toombs

   Salty Dog

     Composition: Rudy Toombs

   Tell Me You Care

     Composition: Thurston Harris

   Yum! Yum!

     Composition: Boss/Rudy Toombs

The Lamplighters   1955

   Believe in Me

     Composition: Phyllis Otis

   Hug a Little, Kiss a Little

     Composition: Johnny Otis

   I Wanna Know

     Composition: Thurston Harris

   Love, Rock and Thrill

     Composition: Thurston Harris

   Roll On

     Composition: Phyllis Otis

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Lamplighters

The Lamplighters

Source: Discogs

 

The Platters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] made their first record release in 1953 as Tony Williams and the Platters: 'Give Thanks' with 'Hey Now'. That group began shifting into the one that it's largely known by in 1953 due to taking up songwriter, Buck Ram, as a manager. Ram shaped the Platters into Tony Williams, Herb Reed, Paul Robi, David Lynch and Zola Taylor, which ensemble remained intact until 1960 when Charles Sonny Turner joined the Platters, soon to assume William's place. The Platters issued a stream of recordings for Federal Records into 1955 but caught no fish. Ram then moved the group to Mercury Records, upon which they shot to Billboard's top tier with 'Only You'. (The Platters had recorded an earlier version at Federal, but it wasn't issued.) The Platters repeated that success the same year with 'The Great Pretender'. Top Ten singles in the months they peaked:

   1955
'Only You'
   October #1 R&B #5 US
'The Great Pretender'
   December #1 R&B #1 US
   1956
'The Magic Touch'
   March #4 R&B #4 US
'My Prayer'
   July #1 R&B #1 US
'It Just Isn't Right'
   September #10 R&B #13 US
'You'll Never Know'
   September #9 R&B #11 US
'On My Word of Honor'
   December #7 R&B #20 US
   1957
'He's Mine'
   April #5 R&B #16 US
'My Dream'
   May #7 R&B #24 US
   1958
'Twilight Time'
   April #1 R&B #1 US
'Smoke Get's In Your Eyes'
   November #3 R&B #1 US
   1959
'Enchanted'
   March #9 R&B
   1960
'Harbor Lights'
   July #15 R&B #8 US
   1961
'I'll Never Smile Again'
   July #17 R&B #7 AC #25 US
   1966
'I Love You 1000 Times'
   April #6 R&B #31 US

Top Twenty songs were released from 1956 onward, not ceasing until 'With This Ring' reached No. 12 in 1967. 1973 saw three of the Plattars' melodies used in the film, 'American Graffiti'. Selling above 53 million records, the Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the newly formed Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Various configurations of the group have formed into the new millennium, though with long-lasting litigation as to ownership and use of their name. The Platters were a premium doo wop group that made a major contribution to bringing R&B into the homes of white America, assisting the shift to rock n roll in the process. As of this writing the current Platters consist of Lance Bryant (bass/baritone), Brian McIntosh (tenor), Leslie Mon'e (mezzo soprano) and Kenny Williams (tenor) with Michael Larson their musical director. Bosco Asanovic's discography of Platters releases. Discographies w various credits at 1, 2. See also *. The Platters in visual media. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Platters   1955

 Only You

      Lead: Willie Winfield

     Composition: Ande Rand/Buck Ram

The Platters   1956

 The Great Pretender

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Composition: Buck Ram

 You'll Never Know

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Composition:

     Jeanette Miles/Paul Robi/Tony Williams

The Platters   1957

 Sixteen Tons

      Lead: Herb Reed

     Composition: Merle Travis   1946

The Platters   1958

 Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Music: Jerome Kern

     Lyrics: Otto Harbach

     For the musical 'Roberta'   1933

 Twilight Time

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Music: The Three Suns:

     Morty Nevins/Al Nevins/Artie Dunn

     Lyrics: Buck Ram

The Platters   1959

 Enchanted

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Composition: Buck Ram

The Platters   1962

 September Song

      Lead: Tony Williams

     Music: Kurt Weill

     Lyrics: Maxwell Anderson

The Platters   1967

 With This Ring

     Composition:

     Luther Dixon/Richard Popcorn Wylie/Tony Hester

The Platters   1969

 Unchained Melody

      Lead: Charles Sonny Turner

      Music: Alex North

      Lyrics: Hy Zaret

      Originally by Todd Duncan for the film 'Unchained'   1955

      LP: 'Singing the Hits Our Way'

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Platters

The Platters

Source: Antorcha

  First formed in Gary, Indiana (scenic drive along I-90 for who like looking at industry), in 1952, the Spaniels [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] are said to have pioneered the method of using two microphones during stage performances, one for the group and one for the lead singer. Its original members, all since deceased were, Thornton James "Pookie" Hudson (driving mainstay), Ernest Warren, Willie Jackson, Opal Courtney and Gerald Gregory. The Spaniels released their first wax in May of 1953 with 'Baby It's You' b/w 'Bounce', reaching #10 that June on Billboard's R&B chart. That was released by Vee-Jay Records before the Spaniels had even played their first professional gig at Park City Bowl, a skating rink in Chicago. They attained their highest position on Billboard's R&B the next year with 'Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite', peaking at No. 5. The Vee-Jay label went out of business in 1966, a convenient though not exactly true marker for the end of the Spaniels as well, as they made their last releases with Vee-Jay in 1960 ('I Know' b/w 'Bus Fare Home', rising to #23 on Billboard's R&B), then moved on to other labels. Hudson resurrected the group to record for Buddha Records in December of '69, then formed his own record label, North American, in 1970. Future versions of the group with Hudson recorded as late as 1995 ('All the Places I've Been'/'Sloppy Drunk'). Discographies of releases w various credits: 1, 2. Lead vocals on all titles below are by Pookie Hudson except as noted.

The Spaniels   1953

  Baby It's You

     Composition: Pookie Hudson/Gerald Gregory

The Spaniels   1954

  Do-Wah

       Recorded 1953

      Composition: Calvin Carter/Pookie Hudson

  Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite

      Lead: Pookie Hudson/Gerald Gregory

      Composition: Calvin Carter/Pookie Hudson

The Spaniels   1955

  Don'Cha Go

     Composition: Calvin Carter/Pookie Hudson

The Spaniels   1956

  Dear Heart

     Composition: Barney Roth

  Please Don't Tease

     Composition: Otis Blackwell

The Spaniels   1957

  You Gave Me Peace

     Composition: James Bracken

The Spaniels   1958

  The Great Googley Moo

     Composition: Pookie Hudson/B. Brooks

  Stormy Weather

     Composition: Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler

The Spaniels   1959

  People Will Say We're In Love

      Lead: Gerald Gregory

     Composition: Rodgers & Hammerstein

     For the musical 'Oklahoma!'   1943

The Spaniels   1960

  I Know

     Composition: Luther Dixon

The Spaniels   1997

  I Know

      Filmed live

     Composition: Luther Dixon

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Spaniels

The Spaniels   1960

Photo: Pookie Hudson family

Source: New York Times

 

The first recordings by the Cadillacs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], formed in Harlem in 1953 as the Carnations, were in 1954: 'Gloria' and 'I Wonder Why'. 'Speedoo' peaked on Billboard's R&B at #3 in 1955, the only instance of the Cadillacs rising to the Top Ten. The group separated in 1957, the less successful Four Cadillacs then forming as lead singer and original member, Earl Carroll [*], became the Cadillacs' mainstay through its early heydays. Once the Cadillacs divided again in 1960 personnel began to require a revolving door, especially upon Carroll leaving to join the Coasters in 1963. Later configurations of the Cadillacs performed into the seventies. Carroll remained with the Coasters into the early nineties, after which he reformed the Cadillacs to perform into the new millennium. Carroll passed away on November 5 of 2012 in NYC [*]. Discos of issues by the Cadillacs w various credits at 1, 2. Dr Horse selection by Mr R&B Records of Sweden. The Cadillacs in visual media.

The Cadillacs   1954

  Gloria

     Composition: Leon René   1946

     Cadillac's version: Esther Navarro

     Navasrro was the Cadillac's manager.

  I Wonder Why

     Composition: Lover Patterson

The Cadillacs   1955

  Speedoo

     Composition: Esther Navarro

The Cadillacs   1958

  Holy Smoke Baby

     Composition: Esther Navarro/Jesse Powell

  Peek-a-Boo

     Composition: Jack Hammer

The Cadillacs   1959

  Your Heart Is So Blind

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Cadillacs

The Cadillacs

Photo: James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Source: Gonna Put Me in the Movies

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Calvanes

The Calvanes

Photo: Dootone Records

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

 

Out of Los Angeles, the Calvanes [1, 2, 3, 4] first recorded as the Dundees [*] in 1954, releasing 'Never'/'Evil One' on the Space label that October. When Carlyle Dundee made his exit the Dundees became the Wonders, issuing 'Little Girl'/'Bop Bop Baby' in November of '54, again with Space. The group released their first vinyl as the Calvanes in September 1955 ('Don't Take Your Love From Me' with 'Crazy Over You' back side). In 1957 the Calvanes' personnel consisted of Herman Pruitt, Lorenzo "Bobby" Adams, Stewart Crunk and Freddy Willis. Never managing to do well on Billboard, they changed their name to the Nuggets in 1961 for one last spurt of several singles that year. Neither did any of those affect a lot, the group breaking up in 1962. In 1989 the Calvanes were resurrected by Pruitt, Adams and Willis, adding Jimmy Corbitt as bass, and recording in various capacities into the new millennium. Discos of issues w various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The Calvanes   1955

   Crazy Over You

      Lead: Herman Pruitt

       Composition: Nellie Brown

   Don't Take Your Love (From Me)

      Lead: Herman Pruitt

       Composition: Stewart Crunk

The Calvanes   1956

   Fleeoowee

      Lead: Stewart Crunk

       Not issued until 1972 by Dootone

       Composition: Stewart Crunk

The Calvanes   1958

   Dream World

      Lead: Herman Pruitt

       Composition: Bruce Morgan

 

 
  The Dells [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] first got together in high school in Chicago in 1952 as the El Rays. They were yet the El Rays when they produced their first recording in 1954: 'Darling I Know'/'Christine' (Checker 794) [*]. The changed their name to the Dells in 1955, then signed up with Vee-Jay Records the next year. The group consisted of Mickey McGill, Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches and Chuck Barksdale at that time. The Dells were among the more successful doo wop groups, charting in the Top Ten several times. Their first was 'On What a Night' in 1956, peaking at #4 on Billboard's R&B. Johnny Carter, earlier of the Flamingos, joined the Dells in 1958 after leaving a tour in the military. His would be a steady presence with the Dells into the new millennium. As late as 1974, long since doo wop's wane in popularity as a genre, 'I Miss You' climbed all the way to #8 on Billboard's R&B. They reached the Top Forty again in 1980 with 'I Touched a Dream'. 'A House For Love' snagged the thirteenth tier on Billboard's R&B in 1991, making the Dells one of the most enduring doo wop groups. They continued recording into the new millennium (albeit Funches died in 1998 *), performing until 2012 (albeit Carter died in 2009 [1, 2]. Marvin Junior passed away in 2013 [*]. Discographies of the Dells w various credits at 1, 2. See also *. The Dells in visual media. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The El Rays   1954

   Darling I Know

       Lead: Johnny Funches

       Composition: El Rays

The Dells   1956

   Jo Jo

       Lead: Marvin Junior

       Composition: Calvin Carter/Theodore Twiggs

   Oh What a Nite

       Lead: Marvin Junior

       Composition: Johnny Funches/Marvin Junior

The Dells   1968

   There Is

       Composition: Bobby Miller/Raynard Miner

   I Can Sing a Rainbow

       Composition: Arthur Hamilton

   Love Is Blue

       Composition:

       André Popp/Bryan Blackburn/Pierre Cour

The Dells   1969

   Oh What a Nite

      Television performance

       Lead: Marvin Junior

       Composition: Johnny Funches/Marvin Junior

The Dells   1972

   Since I Found You

       Composition: Skip Scarborough

The Dells   1973

   I Hear Voices

       Composition: Tony Hester

The Dells   1977

   Wasted Tears

       Composition:

       Marvin Junior/Junior Marvin/Kim Wilson

The Dells   1978

   New Beginnings

      Album 

The Dells   1992

   Come and Get It

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Dells

The Dells

Source: AMW

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The El Dorados

The El Dorados   1955

Photo: Vee Jay Records

Source: Marv Goldberg

Formed in Chicago in 1952 as Pinkie Lee and the Five Stars, the El Dorados [1, 2, 3, 4] were thus christened in 1954 upon the return of lead vocalist, Pirkle Lee Moses Jr., to the group after a time in the Air Force. Other members were Louis Bradley, Arthur Basset, Jewel Jones, James Maddox and Richard Nickens. The El Dorados first found themselves on vinyl in 1954, issuing 'My Loving Baby'/'Baby I Need You' on Vee Jay 115 followed by 'Annie's Answer''/'Living with Vivian' (Vee Jay 118) and 'One More Chance'/'Little Miss Love' (Vee Jay 127). Their next release was 'At My Front Door' to reach Billboard's #1 top tier in R&B in 1955. 'I'll Be Forever Loving You' peaked at #8 the next year, after which the group began to splinter. First Besset and Nickens abandoned ship, then Pirkle Moses was left to form another El Dorados altogether in 1957 (out of the Kool Gents). Bradley and Maddox went on to form Those Four El Dorados [*] and the Tempos [*]. Moses began his own career as a name act in 1958, then formed a new El Dorados in 1969. Another El Dorados had been formed about the same time by Tempos member, Johnny Carter, the two to merge in the seventies until Moses' death in 2000. Since that time the Pirkle Lee Moses Jr's El Dorados yet occasionally tour as of this writing. Discos of the El Dorados w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Lead data below per Goldberg.

The El Dorados   1954

   Annie's Answer

      With Hazel McCollum & the Al Smith Orchestra

       Composition: Al Smith/Henry Prince

The El Dorados   1955

   At My Front Door

       Lead: Pirkle Moses

       Composition: Ewart Abner/John Moore

   What's Buggin You Baby

       Lead: Louis Bradley

       Composition: Bob Owens/Riley Hampton

The El Dorados   1956

   I’ll Be Forever Loving You

       Recorded 1955

       Lead: Pirkle Moses

       Composition: Leon Arnold/Ted Daniels

   Love of My Own

       Unissued   Lead: Pirkle Moses

   Now That You've Gone

       Lead: Pirkle Moses   Composition:

       Ewart Abner/John Moore/Pirkle Moses

The El Dorados   1957

   A Rose for My Darling

       Lead: Pirkle Moses

       Composition: Pirkle Moses

   Tears on My Pillow

       Lead: Pirkle Moses

       Pirkle Moses/John Moore

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Four Bars

The 4 Bars

Source: Discogs

The Four Bars [1, 2] of Washington DC (not to be confused with Jimmy Sweeney's 4 Bars of Tennessee issuing 'Memories of You/When Did You Leave Heaven?' on Republic 7101) were never chart toppers, indeed, never charted at all. But they were popular enough to keep releasing vinyl for fifteen years, their first in 1954 for Josie Records, a Jubilee subsidiary: 'Grief By Day Grief By Night'/'Hey Baby (#762). The group was comprised of Eddie Daye (bass and mainstay), Melvin Butler (second tenor), Alphonso Feemster (first tenor) and Francis Henry (baritone). Though the Four Bars came unglued in 1967 the Dayco label, owned by Daye, continued issuing titles into 1969. Daye, the 4 Bars' driving force, died on August 6 of 2009. Discographies of the Four Bars w credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 above).

The Four Bars   1954

   Grief by Day Grief by Night

       Lead: Eddie Daye

   If I Give My Heart to You

       Lead: Eddie Daye/Alphonso Feemster

       Composition:

       Al Jacobs/Jimmie Crane/Jimmy Brewster

   Stop It! Quit It!

       Lead: Alphonso Feemster

       Composition: Eddie Daye

The Four Bars   1955

   Let Me Live

       Lead: Melvin Butler

   Why Do You Treat Me This Way

       Lead: Melvin Butler

The Four Bars   1961

   Just Bid Me Farewell

       Lead: Eddie Daye

       Composition: Eddie Daye

   This Game of Romance

       Lead: Eddie Daye

The Four Bars   1962

   Try Me One More Time

       Lead: Eddie Daye

       Composition: Eddie Daye

   What's on Your Mind?

       Lead: Eddie Daye

       Composition: Eddie Daye

The Four Bars   1964

   Waitin' on the Right Guy

       With Betty Wilson

       Composition: Eddie Daye

The Four Bars   1966

   Come Back to These Arms

       With Vic Marcel

       Composition: Donald Butler

   That's My Girl

       With Vic Marcel

       Composition: Donald Butler

 

 
  The Penguins [1, 2, 3, 4,] are said to have named themselves such as a way of remarking they were cool. I like to let people know I'm cool by greeting them when they open their refrigerator doors. The original group was comprised of Cleveland Duncan (lead and mainstay), Curtis Williams, Dexter Tisby and Bruce Tate. The Penguins released their first record in 1954. 'Hey Senorita' is the tune they were pushing, until a disc jockey somewhere flipped the record and played 'Earth Angel', whence upon it soared to the #1 spot on Billboard's R&B where it remained for three weeks. The Penguins reached to No. 15 in 1957 with 'Pledge of Love' before falling off the charts altogether. The group disbanded in 1962. Later configurations of the Penguins were led by Duncan until his death on November 7 of 2012 in Los Angeles [1, 2]. Discographies of releases w various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below thanks to Marv Goldberg.

The Penguins   1954

   Earth Angel

       Lead: Cleve Duncan/Dexter Tisby

       Composition:

       Curtis Williams/Jesse Belvin/Gaynel Hodge

   Hey Senorita

       Lead: Curtis Williams

       Composition: Carl Green/Curtis Williams

The Penguins   1958

   Do Not Pretend

       Lead: Dexter Tisby

       Composition: Curtis Williams

The Penguins   1973

   Earth Angel

     Television broadcast 

       Lead: Cleve Duncan

       Composition:

       Curtis Williams/Jesse Belvin/Gaynel Hodge

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Penguins

The Penguins

Source: Joe's Beat

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Rivileers

The Rivileers   1953

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

It was 1954 when the Rivileers [1, 2, 3] from Jamaica Queens released their first record (recorded in 1953), 'A Thousand Stars' backed by 'Hey Chiquita'. That was also the first release for Baton Records, owned by Sol Rabinowitz. The Rivileers consisted of Gene Pearson (lead tenor), Herb Crosby (first tenor), Errol Lennard (second tenor), Alfonso Delaney (baritone) and Milton Edwards (bass). The group made its last recording in 1957 ('Who Is the Girl'), having never found their way onto a Billboard chart. Discographies of issues with various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below thanks to Goldberg (1 above).

The Rivileers   1954

   Carolyn

       Lead: Alfonso Delaney

       Composition: Alfonso Delaney

   Forever

       Lead: Gene Pearson

       Composition: Lou Sprung/Phil Rose

   (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons

       Lead: Gene Pearson

       Composition: Deek Watson/Pat Best

   Hey Chiquita

       Lead: Alfonso Delaney

       Composition: Alfonso Delaney

   I Want to See My Baby

       Lead: Alfonso Delaney

       Composition: Milan Brown

   A Thousand Stars

       Lead: Gene Pearson

       Composition: Gene Pearson

The Rivileers   1957

   Who Is the Girl

       Lead: Gene Pearson

       Composition: Gene Pearson

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Solitaires

The Solitaires   1954

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

Harlem doo wop band, the Solitaires [1, 2] released their first batch of tunes in 1954, 'Chapel of St. Claire' believed to be their first recording. The group's original members were Eddie Jones (lead), Nick Anderson (first tenor), Winston Willis (second tenor), Rudy Morgan (baritone) and Pat Gaston (bass). Members '54 to '64. The photo to the left shows the Solitaires at the time of their first issue. Bottom row: Bobby Williams (tenor/piano) and Buzzy Willis (second tenor). Top row: Herman Curtis (lead tenor), Pat Gaston (bass) and Bobby Baylor (second tenor/baritone). Not shown is sixth member, Monteith Owens (tenor/guitar). Curtis was replaced by Milton Love in 1955. The Solitaires released their last record in 1964 for MGM: 'Fool That I Am'/'Fair Weather Lover'. Though the Solitaires were popular performers on the East Coast, particularly New York, they never scored on a Billboard chart. Discographies of issues w various credits at 1, 2. Samples below are in alphabetical order per year, not by release dates. Lead data thanks to Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Solitaires   1954

   Blue Valentine

       Lead: Herman Curtis

       Composition: Cain/Royal/Wilcox

   Chapel of St. Claire

       Unissued until 1979 on Old Town 1003

       Composition: Solitaires:

       Curtis/Baylor/Willis/Gaston/Williams

   Come Back to Me

       Unissued

   If I Loved You

       Unissued until 1979 on Old Town 1003

       Composition: Solitaires:

       Curtis/Baylor/Willis/Gaston/Williams

   Stranger in Paradise

       Lead: Herman Curtis

       Composition: Robert Wright/George Forrest

       Music from Alexander Borodin:

       'Gliding Dance of the Maidens':

       Opera: 'Prince Igor'   1890

   Wonder Why

       Lead:

       Herman Curtis/Winston Buzzy Willis

       Composition:

       Nicholas Brodszky/Sammy Cahn (Samuel Cohen)

The Solitaires   1957

   Walking Along

       Lead: Milton Love

       Composition:

       Love/Willis/Baylor/Owens/Gaston

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Diablos

Nolan Strong & the Diablos

Source: Longshot's Blog

Based in Detroit, tenor, Nolan Strong formed the Diablos in 1950 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Other than Strong at lead the group originally consisted of Juan Guitierrez (tenor), Willie Hunter (baritone), Quentin Eubanks (bass) and Bob Edwards (guitar). The Diablos began releasing records in 1954, 'Adios My Love' their first recording for the Fortune label. 'The Way You Dog Me Around' reached Billboard's #12 spot in R&B in 1956 (released in '55). Strong was drafted into the Army in 1956 and served two years until resuming with the Diablos in 1958. ('Mambo of Love', below, released in 1957, had been recorded earlier.) The Diablos dissolved in 1964, whence upon Willie Hunter and Jay Johnson (bass since latter '56) formed the Velvet Angels [1, 2] with Cy Iverson and Bobby Calhoun, a group with which Strong also recorded. With Hunter the main lead, the Angels first plate was 'I'm In Love' with 'Let Me Come Back', followed by 'Blue Moon' with 'Fools Rush In' on back. Upon the dissolution of the brief-existent Angels the same year they were formed ('64) Johnson would later become one of the Four Sonics in the latter sixties. Strong faded into obscurity after the Angels. Calhoun has him working for Stax Records, no documentation of such found. He died in Detroit on Feb 21, 1977. A new configuration of the Diablos called Nolan Strong's Diablos was formed as recently as 2007 by Johnson. The group yet tours on occasion as of this writing while maintaining a Facebook presence. Discographies of Strong and his Diablos at 1, 2. Velvet Angels at 1, 2. Lead data for Velvet Angels below per Harmony Train.

Nolan Strong & the Diablos   1954

   Adios My Desert Love

       Composition: Dorothy Brown/Ray Meany

   Baby Be Mine

       Composition: The Diablos:

       Edwards/Guiterriez/Strong/Eubanks/Hunter

   Come Home With Me

       Issued 1984 on Fortune 8020

   (I Want) an Old Fashioned Girl

       Composition: Dorothy Brown/Ray Meany

   The Wind

       Composition: The Diablos:

       Edwards/Guiterriez/Strong/Eubanks/Hunter

Nolan Strong & the Diablos   1955

   Do You Remember What You Did

       Composition: Nolan Strong

   Hold Me Until Eternity

       Composition: Nolan Strong

   The Way You Dog Me Around

       Composition: Nolan Strong

Nolan Strong & the Diablos   1956

   A Teardrop from Heaven

       Composition: D. S. Brown/John Kleia

   Try Me One More Time

       Composition: Nolan Strong

   You Are

       Composition: Nolan Strong

   You're The Only Girl, Dolores

       Composition: Nolan Strong

Nolan Strong & the Diablos   1957

   Mambo of Love

       Composition: Devora Brown

Nolan Strong & the Diablos   1959

   Goodbye Matilda

       Composition: Nolan Strong

   If I (Oh I)

       Composition: Devora Brown/Nolan Strong

Nolan Strong & the Velvet Angels   1964

   Blue Moon

       Composition: Richard Rodgers

   Fools Rush In

       Lead: Nolan Strong

       Composition: Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer

   I'm In Love

       Lead: Jay Johnson

       Composition: Velvet Angels:

       Calhoun/Iverson/Johnson/Hunter

   Let Me Come Back

       Lead: Jay Johnson

       Composition: Henry Glover

   Old McDonald

       Lead: Bobby Calhoun

       Composition: Traditional nursery rhyme

       First published in 'Tommy's Tunes'   1917

       F. T. Nettleingham

 

 
 

Another Harlem doo wop band, the Valentines, [1, 2, 3, 4] first came together as the Mistletoes, then the Dreamers, in 1952. The group was comprised of Raymond Briggs (first tenor), Carl Hogan (second tenor), Mickey Francis (baritone) and Ronnie Bright (bass). That quartet became a quintet with the addition of Richard Barrett (composer/lead) in 1954. Then becoming the Valentines, the group released its first single in latter 1954 with Old Town Records: 'Tonight Kathleen' b/w 'Summer Love'. They signed up with George Goldner's [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] Rama label in 1955, their first of eight plates for Goldner being 'Lily Maebelle'/'Falling for You' (#171). The Valentines gave their last performance in 1958 at the Apollo Theater in NYC, having never charted on Billboard. Barrett turned his attentions to managing Frankie & the Teenagers and became a record producer. He is credited with the discovery of the Chantels, Little Anthony & the Imperials, the Isley Brothers and the Three Degrees. He passed away on August 3 of 2006 in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania [*]. Issues by the Valentines at 1, 2. Barrett composed all titles below except as noted.

The Valentines   1954

   Tonight Kathleen

      Side A   Composition: A

   Summer Love

      Side B   Composition: B

The Valentines   1955

   Christmas Prayer

   I Love You, Darling

       Composition:

       George Goldner/Barrett/Raymond Briggs

   Lily Maebelle

       Composition:

       Raymond Briggs/Barrett/Tommy Vastola

The Valentines   1956

   Nature's Creation

       Composition: Morris Levy/Barrett

   The Woo Woo Train

       Composition: George Goldner/Barrett

The Valentines   1957

   Don't Say Goodnight

       Composition:

       Carl Hogan/Barrett/Morris Levy (Moishe Levy)

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Valentines

The Valentines

Source: Discogs

 

  From Bronx, the Wrens [1, 2, 3] made their first four recordings on November 21, 1954, for Rama Records. Those were: 'Love’s Something That’s Made For Two', 'Beggin’ For Love', 'Come Back My Love' and 'Eleven Roses'. Personnel having already changed since the formation of the group in 1950, at the time of its first issue the Wrens consisted of Francis Concepcion (original lead baritone/tenor), George Magnezid (tenor), James Archer (bass) and Bobby Mansfield (tenor). The Wrens never flew onto Billboard's wire before laying their last egg per the Jan 1956 issue of 'C'est La Vie'/'C'est La Vie' (Rama 194). Discos w various credits at 1, 2. Bobby Mansfield sings lead on all titles below [Goldberg].

The Wrens   1954

   Come Back My Love

       Composition: Bobby Mansfield

   Eleven Roses

       Composition: Jack Wachs

   Hey Girl

       Composition: Billy Mansfield (on label)

   Love's Something That's Made for Two

       Composition: Mansfield (on label)

The Wrens   1955

   What Makes You Do the Things That You Do

       Composition:

       Bobby Mansfield/Joseph Rocky Washington/Vastola

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Wrens

The Wrens   1954

Photo: Val Shively

Source: Pelican Studio

 

  The Cleftones [1, 2, 3, 4] originally formed in 1955 as the Silvertones at Jamaica High School in Queens. They recorded their first song that same year, 'You Baby You' with 'I Was Dreaming'. 'Little Girl of Mine' peaked on Billboard's R&B at #8 in Feb 1956. In May of 1961 'Heart and Soul' scaled the chart to #10. Personnel at that time were Gene Pearson, Charles James, Pat Spann, Warren Corbin and Herb Cox (in order respective to the photo to the right). Spann, the group's only female vocalist, had joined the Cleftones in 1959 and departed in '67 to be, by then, the mother of a couple children. After 'Heart and Soul' the Cleftones pretty much ceased to chart, though various configurations of the group continued into the new millennium. Herb Cox & Cleftones released 'My Angel Lover'/You Lost The Game Of Love' as late as 1990. The album, 'Live Today', again with Cox, was released in 2002. Discographies w various credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Cleftones   1955

   I Was Dreaming

       Lead: Berman Patterson

       With the Jimmy Wright Orchestra

       Composition:

       On label (Gee 1000): Berman/Vastola/Patterson

       Vastola: Gaetano Vastola

   You Baby You

       Lead: Herb Cox/Berman Patterson

       With the Jimmy Wright Orchestra

       Composition:

       Per Gee 1000: Berman/Vastola/Patterson

       Per Collectables 0111 and Music VF:

       Corbin/Levy/Patterson:

       Warren Corbin/Morris (Moishe) Levy/Berman Patterson

The Cleftones   1956

   Can't We Be Sweethearts

       Lead: Herb Cox/Berman Patterson

       Composition: George Goldner/Herb Cox

   Little Girl of Mine

       Lead: Herb Cox

       Composition: George Goldner/Herb Cox

The Cleftones   1957

   Why You Do Me Like You Do

       Lead: Herb Cox

       Composition: Berman & Joan Patterson

The Cleftones   1962

   Heart and Soul

       Lead: Herb Cox

       Composition: Hoagy Carmichael/Frank Loesser

The Cleftones   1962

   There She Goes

       Lead: Herb Cox

       Composition: Hoagy Carmichael/Frank Loesser

       Herbie Cox/(likely Charles) James/Gene Pearson

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Cleftones

The Cleftones   1961

Source: Kip's American Graffiti

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Alley Cats

The Alley Cats   1963

Source: Marv Goldberg

It was 1955 when baritone vocalist Brice Coefield [*] and Sheridan "Rip" Spencer [1, 2] formed the Sabers [*] in Los Angeles with bass vocalist, Walter Carter, and a first tenor known only as Herbie. They recorded 'Always Forever', then recruited first tenor, Billy Spicer (Billy Storm). The Sabers released 'Always Forever' b/w 'Cool Cool Christmas' on the Cal-West label in 1955. Coefield sang lead on 'Cool Cool Christmas'. As that issue affected little, the Sabers rechristened themselves the Chavelles [*], also recruiting Squires [*] member, Chester Pipkin. Coefield sang lead on 'Valley Of Love' b/w 'Red Tape', released on Vita in '56. But the Chavelles affected little as well, so they became the Gents in 1957, releasing 'Happenin' After School'/'My Unfaithful Love' on both Aladdin and Lamp. As not a lot happened of that the Gents became the Valiants [1, 2]. They fared a little better, but after several releases they still couldn't place on the R&B Top 40 so Keen Records terminated their contract. It was at this time that Spicer changed his name to Billy Storm, got together with some Squires members and recorded his first Top 40 song, 'I've Come of Age' (#28 US in April 1959). Coefield meanwhile formed the Untouchables [1, 2], yet with Spencer, Pipkin and Storm in the larger group. Coefield sang lead on 'Raisin' 'Sugar Cane'/'Do Your Best' and 'You're On Top'/'Lovely Dee' released in 1961. He also sang lead on 'Papa'/'My Baby (Loves A Medicine Man)' in 1962 (sharing lead on 'Papa' with Chester Pipkin). Unable to chart with the Untouchables, Coefield then joined the Alley Cats [1, 2] in 1962 with Spencer and Gary Pipkin (not Chester) part of the larger group, Spencer a partner since the Sabers. Coefield finally made the Top 40 when the Alley Cats' released, 'Puddin' n' Tain', placing at #21 in 1962, backed with 'Feel So Good'. In 1963 Coefield and Spencer, again with Chester Pipkin from the Untouchables, released 'Summertime Nights'/'Papa, Shame' with the Happy Tones ('Summertime Nights' recorded in '61). In 1966 Coefield sang lead on 'Mary Mary' with the Electras, Storm, Spencer and Chester Pipkin also in the group. Coefield issued a solo record that year for Omen as well: 'Ain't That Right'/'Just One More Night'. Coefield was found with Africa in the latter sixties. Storm, Spencer, and Chester and Gary Pipkin were also part of the larger group. With Africa, Coefield sang lead on 'Here I Stand'/'Widow' (1968) and 'From Africa with Love'/'Savin' All My Love' (1969). Lead was shared with Billy Storm on 'Here I Stand'. Coefield has virtually disappeared since that time. Compositions and arrangements by him at Discogs. More of the Valiants and Untouchables under Billy Storm who later died on September 5, 1983, in Los Angeles. Spencer lived until shot to death in his home in Compton, CA, on December 9, 2009. Tracks below are alphabetical, not chronological, by year. Lead data thanks to Goldberg (Valiants 1 above).

Brice Coefield   1955

   Always Forever

      With the Sabers

       Lead: Sheridan Rip Spencer

       Composition: Sheridan Rip Spencer

  Cool, Cool Christmas

      With the Sabers   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Bruce Morgan

   Red Tape

       With the Chavelles   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: George Loper

Brice Coefield   1958

   Walkin' Girl

       With the Valiants    Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Brice Coefield

Brice Coefield   1960

   Cha Cha Twist

       Composition: Hank Ballard

   New Fad

      With the Untouchables   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Herb Alpert/Lou Adler

   Poor Boy Needs a Preacher

      With the Untouchables

      Lead: Coefield/Ed Wallace

       Composition: Herb Alpert/Lou Adler

Brice Coefield   1961

   Do Your Best

      With the Untouchables   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Brice Coefield

   Lovely Dee

      With the Untouchables   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Coefield/Chester Pipkin

   Raisin' Sugar Cane

      With the Untouchables   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Edward Warren/Leon Carr

   You're on Top

       With the Untouchables   Lead: Brice Coefield

       Composition: Coefield/Chester Pipkin

Brice Coefield   1963

   Puddin n' Tain

      With the Alley Cats   Recorded 1962

      Lead:

      Coefield/James Barker/Bobby Sheen

       Composition: Alonzo Willis

       Arrangement: Jack Nitzsche

       Production: Phil Spector

Brice Coefield   1966

   Ain't That Right

       Composition: Coefield/Chester & Gary Pipkin

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Diamonds

The Diamonds

Source: Discogs

The Diamonds [1, 2] were a group formed in 1948 in Toronto. Leave it to a lot of Canadians in the northern boondocks of the world to waltz into R&B just like that, no knowledge even of stage makeup. The principle members of the strangely colored Diamonds (unlike the earlier Diamonds based in Harlem *) were Dave Somerville (first tenor), Tedd Kowalski (second tenor), Phil Levitt (baritone) and Bill Reed (bass). Coral Records released their first issue in 1955, thought to be 'Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots' b/w 'Nip Sip' (Coral 61502). Their first title to chart was 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love', reaching #12 on the Hot 100 in Feb of 1956. 'Little Darlin'' in 1957 reached Billboard's No. 2 spot in both pop and R&B in March. 'Silhouettes' and 'The Stroll' later placed in the Top Ten in 1957 as well. Between 1956 and 1961 the Diamonds scored 15 Top Forty numbers. Upon Somerville's exit from the group in 1961 the Diamonds had run their course, though later configurations continued eternally [*]. The group was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1995, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame in 2006. Discos of issues with various credits at 1, 2. The Diamonds in visual media.

The Diamonds   1956

   Why Do Fools Fall in Love

      Composition:

      Frankie Lymon/Herman Santiago/Jimmy Merchant

The Diamonds   1957

   Little Darling

      Composition: Maurice Williams

The Diamonds   1958

   Eternal Lovers

      Composition: Ben Raleigh/Sherman Edwards

The Diamonds   1961

   Chimes in My Heart

      Composition: Bill Medley

The Diamonds   1962

   The Horizontal Lieutenant

      Composition: Uger/Stoll/Pasternak

The Diamonds   1964

   The Stroll

      Composition: Clyde Otis/Nancy Lee

 

 
  From Brooklyn, the Fi-Tones [1, 2, 3, 4] were originally the Cavaliers formed in 1952. They acquired Tommy Robinson for a manager and released 'You Thrill Me So' b/w 'Dynaflow'' for Atlas in 1953. (Atlas misspelled their name as the Caverliers.) Their first session had been followed by another the same day in which they backed Roscoe Thorne on 'Dolores' and 'Peddler of Dreams'. At that time the Cavaliers consisted of Leroy Randolph (lead), Cecil Holmes (1st tenor/baritone), Lester Gardner (tenor/piano), Ron Anderson (bass) and Marlowe Murray (1st tenor). At the time the Cavaliers became the Fi-Tones and recorded their first single, original personnel consisted of Lloyd Davis (baritone/guitar), Cecil Holmes (1st tenor/baritone), Gene Redd Jr. (tenor/piano), Ron Anderson (bass) and Marlowe Murray (1st tenor). The Fi-Tones made their first record release in September of 1955: 'Foolish Dreams' b/w 'Let's Fall In Love'. They unleashed a stream of recordings into 1959 but never managed to place on Billboard's national charts. The group was reconfigured in 1964 and became the Lloyd Davis Orchestra in the seventies, employed as the house band at the Blue Morocco Lounge in Bronx. Ron Anderson went another way, forming the Versatiles. Fi-Tones catalogs with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. Thanks to Goldberg (1 bracketed above) for lead vocal credits below.

The Cavaliers   1953

 Dolores

     Backing Roscoe Thorne

      Composition: Roscoe Thorne

 Dynaflow

     Lead: Cecil Holmes

      Composition: Dorsey/Terry/Art Shelton

  Peddlar of Dreams

     Backing Roscoe Thorne

      Composition: Churchill/Kohlman

  You Thrill Me So

     Lead: Lester Gardner

      Composition: Terry/Art Shelton

The Fi-Tones   1955

 Foolish Dreams

     Lead: Lloyd Davis

      Composition: Lloyd Davis

  It Wasn't a Lie

     Lead: Lloyd Davis

      Composition: Lloyd Davis

  Let's Fall In Love

     Lead: Gene Redd/Ron Anderson

      Composition: Ted Koehler/Harold Arlen

The Fi-Tones   1956

  I Call to You

     Lead: Gene Redd/Lowe Murray

      Composition: R. Stewart

  Love You Baby

     Lead: Gene Redd/Ron Anderson

      Composition: R. Mosley

The Fi-Tones   1957

  My Faith

     Lead: Lloyd Davis

      Composition: Lloyd Davis

  My Heart

     Lead: Lowe Murray

      Composition: Mattina/Cachoian

The Fi-Tones   1958

 Wake Up

     Lead: Reggie Barnes

      Composition: Lowe Murray

The Fi-Tones   1959

  Deep in My Heart

     Lead: Lowe Murray

      Composition: Lowe Murray

The Fi-Tones   1960

  Minnie

     Lead: Reggie Barnes/Gene Redd

      Composition: Gene Reed (on label)

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Fi-Tones

The Fi-Tones

Source: Vocal Group Harmony

  The Five Satins [1, 2] were originally formed in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1953/54 as the Scarlets [1, 2]. Wikipedia has that group consisting of Fred Parris, Lewis Peeples, Stanley Dortch, Ed Martin, Jim Freeman and Nat Mosley [sic] before the Rosalsky ['Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups'] configuration of Fred Parris (lead), Sylvester Hopkins (tenor), Nate Mosely (tenor), Albert Denby (baritone) and William Powers (bass). We go by mostly Rosalsky in this account, and likewise treat the Scarlets and Five Satins as two distinct groups, though both were led by Parris and interblend enough to give bewitched Aunt Clara here a flustering complex. Happily, 45Cat and Discogs below also help to keep one from losing it altogether. The Scarlets released their first plate, 'Dear One'/'I've Lost' (Red Robin 128) in 1954. That had been recorded at Bobby Robinson's record shop in Harlem. The Scarlets issued three more discs to their final 'Kiss Me'/'Indian Fever' (Red Robin 138) in 1955, the latter recorded while all were on leave from the Army. A few years later in '58 Parris, by then released from military duty in Japan, recorded 'The Voice' and 'She's Gone' (Klik 7905) with another configuration of the Scarlets. In the meantime the Five Satins had been formed. With Parris in the military and recording on leave personnel got shifty. We simplify with Rosalsky's bare bones crew of Parris, Al Derby (tenor), Ed Martin (baritone) and Jim Freeman (bass). 45Cat and Discogs list the Satins' first issue as 'All Mine'/'Rose Mary' in 1955 on Standord XEP 100 in 1955. Parris' composition, 'In the Still of the Nite' [*], followed in '56 on Standord XEP 200 and Ember 1005 w 'The Jones Girl' flip side. 'In the Still of the Nite' reached the No. 3 spot on Billboard's R&B in September. That had been recorded by the bare bones crew of four above. Denby then got separated by military service to Germany, Peebles to join Parris' organization again. July of 1957 saw 'To the Aisle' rise to #5 on Billboard, the Five Satins' second and last song to chart in the Top Ten. The group's last titles of note on Billboard were 'Shadows' at #27 in Nov 1959 and 'I'll Be Seeing You' at #14 in 1960 [Wikipedia]. The Five Satins appeared in the film, 'Sweet Beat', in 1959. 'In the Still of the Nite' was issued again in 1960 [Music VF/Discogs 1961], but the Satins' heydays were finished by then. They yet occasionally perform as of this writing nearly six decades later, led by Fred Parris and (not specifically mentioned in Rosalsky) Rich Freeman, the latter with Parris in time to put down 'She's Gone' in '58. Discos w production and songwriting credits for the Scarlets at 45Cat and Discogs. For the Five Satins at 45Cat and Discogs. For Fred Parris, who had performed with other groups like the Restless Hearts, at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Scarlets   1954

   Dear One

      Composition: Fred Parris

The Five Satins   1955

   All Mine

      Composition: Fred Parris

The Five Satins   1956

   In the Still of the Night

      Composition: Fred Paris

   To the Aisle

      Composition: Five Satins:

      Jim Freeman/Jessie Murphy/Bill Baker

      Tommy Killebrew/John Brown

   Wish I Had My Baby

      Composition: John Brown

The Five Satins   1957

   Our Anniversary

      Composition: Jessie Murphy/Jim Freeman

The Five Satins   1960

   I'll Be Seeing You

      Composition: Irving Kahal/Sammy Fain

The Five Satins   1962

   Do You Remember

     Johnny Green Orchestra

      Composition: George Grant

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Five Satins

The Five Satins

Source: Tunes Zone

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Heartbeats

The Heartbeats

Source: D00-Wop Blogg

 

Formed in 1953 in Jamaica Queens, the Hearts changed their name to the Heartbeats [1, 2, 3] to avoid confusion with a female doo wop group by that name. They can nevertheless be confused with the Heartbeats of Brooklyn [*] also recording about that time. The group's original members were Vernon Sievers (baritone), Wally Roker (bass), Albert Crump (first tenor), Robbie Tatum (second tenor) and lead vocalist, James Sheppard. 'Crazy For You' and 'Rockin-N-Rollin-N-Rhythm-N-Blues-N' was their first release in September 1955. In December of 1956 the group released 'A Thousand Miles Away' b/w 'Oh Baby Don't', the former to achieve a No. 5 spot on Billboard's R&B in December. That was, however, the Heartbeats' last arrival of note to Billboards' national charts. A succession of issues into 1959 failed to affect a lot, the Heartbeats hanging up the hat that year. Sheppard continued onward to form the Limelites [1, 2]. That group recorded until 1965 (Top Ten: 'Daddy's Home' '61 and 'Our Anniversary' '62) and performed until Sheppard's death in Manhattan on January 24 of 1970 [ 1, 2, 3]. Discographies of the Heartbeats w production and composing credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Discographies of Shep's Limelite's at 1, 2. Shepard sings lead on all titles below except as noted.

The Heartbeats   1955

   Crazy for You

      Composition: James Sheppard/William Miller

The Heartbeats   1956

   Darling How Long

     Lead: James Sheppard/Vernon Sievers

      Composition: William Miller/James Sheppard

   Oh Baby Don't

     Lead: Wally Roker/James Sheppard

      Composition:

      Billy Dawn Smith/William Miller

   A Thousand Miles Away

      Composition: James Sheppard/William Miller

The Heartbeats   1957

   Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool

      Composition: Jack Keller/Howard Greenfield

   I Won’t Be the Fool Anymore

      Composition: James Sheppard/Joe Thomas

The Heartbeats   1958

   Down on My Knees

      Composition: James Sheppard

The Heartbeats   1960

   It's All Right

   Lonely Lover

Shep & the Limelites   1961

   Daddy's Home

      Composition

      James Sheppard/Clarence Bassett/Charles Baskerville

 

 
  Lead tenor Billy Storm (Billy Spicer) was born in Dayton, Ohio, in 1938 [1, 2, 3, 4]. He began his recording career in 1955 with Brice Coefield and the Sabers [*]: 'Always Forever'/'Cool Cool Christmas'. Lead on those were Rip Spencer and Coefield respectively. He, Spencer, Coefield and Chester Pipkin then formed the Chavelles [*]. Rather swiftly deciding that the Chavelles weren't the equation they were seeking, the four then recorded 'Happenin' After School'/'My Unfaithful Love' in 1957 as the Gents. They then formed the Valiants [1, 2]. In 1958 while with the Valiants Storm changed his name from Spicer to Storm. During his time with the Valiants he also sang with the Squires [*]. After several releases the Valiants couldn't rise to the R&B Top 40, so the formula was changed yet again to the Untouchables [1, 2]. (Jason Ankeny at AllMusic has Herb Alpert making his debut recording on trumpet per 'Papa' in 1961.) Judging by the track below, one wouldn't know it.) While singing with the Untouchables Storm launched a solo career, finally releasing his first Top 40 song, 'I've Come of Age', in 1959. Storm sang with the Electras, a group formed by Chester Pipkin, in 1961: 'You Lied'/'Ten Steps To Love'. (They were called the Electras on the Infinity label, the Freedoms on Constellation.) In 1962 he recorded 'Just a Friend'/'Cap Snapper' with the Nuggets as William Jones. 1964 found him grooving 'Flamingo'/'Someone's in the Kitchen With Dinah' on the Skylark label with a group called the Charades. Storm first recorded with Africa in 1966: 'Please Don't Mention Her Name'/'The Warmest Love'. (This Storm isn't the same Billy Storm who recorded 'I Apologize' with the Tempests in '66 for issue in '67 [*].) Storm appeared with the Brothers and Sisters on the Bob Dylan album, 'Dylan's Gospel', in 1969, fading into obscurity thereafter. More of the Valiants and Untouchables under Brice Coefield. Storm discographies w various credits at 1, 2. Storm in visual media. He sang lead on all tracks below except as noted. Data per Goldberg. Credits to Billy Jones = Billy Storm. Titles are chronological only by year, alphabetical thereafter.

Billy Storm   1955

   Always, Forever

      With the Sabers:   Lead: Rip Spencer

        Composition: Sheridan Rip Spencer

Billy Storm   1956

   Valley of Love

      With the Chavelles

        Composition:

        Brice Coefield/Billy Jones

Billy Storm   1957

   Good Golly Miss Molly

      With the Valiants

        Composition:

        John Marascalco/Robert Bumps Blackwell

  This Is the Night

      With the Valiants

        Composition: Billy Jones/BriceCofield

        Chester Pipkin/Rip Spencer

Billy Storm   1958

  Angel of Mine

      With the Squires

        Composition: Fred Glickman

  Frieda, Frieda

      With the Valiants

       Composition: Billy Jones

  Lover Lover

      With the Valiants

        Composition: Billy Jones/BriceCofield

        Chester Pipkin/Rip Spencer

  Every Word of the Song

      As Billy Jones & the Squires on Deck 478

       As Billy Fortune & the Squires on Dice 478

       Composition: Dorinda Morgan

  Temptation of My Heart

      With the Valiants

        Lead: Chester Pipkin

        Composition: Chester Pipkin

  The Way to My Heart

      With the Squires

        Composition: Billy Jones/Jack Spicer

        Teddy Drake/Warren Joyner

  We Knew

      With the Valiants

        Composition: Billy Jones

Billy Storm   1959

  Dear Cindy

      With the Valiants

       Lead: Chester Pipkin

       Composition: Chester Pipkin

  Easy Chair

       Composition: Kenny Jacobson/Rhoda Roberts

  I've Come of Age

       Composition: Lou Stallman/Sid Jacobson

  You Just Can't Plan These Things

       Composition: Bob Hilliard/Robert Allen

Billy Storm   1961

  Dear One

       Composition: Fred Parris

  Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight

       With the Untouchables

        Composition: Calvin Carter/James Hudson

  A Kiss from Your Lips

      With the Storms

        Composition: Roquel Davis/Russ Fratto

  Ten Steps to Love

      With the Electras

       Lead: Warren Joyner

       Composition: Gary Hart (Gary Pipkin)

       John Carson/John Marascalco/Tony Kevin

   When You Dance

       Composition: Andrew Jones/Leroy Kirkland

  You Lied

      With the Electras

       Lead: Warren Joyner

       Composition:

       John Marascalco/Linda Carr/Warren Joyner

Billy Storm   1962

  Don't Let Go

       Composition: Jesse Stone

  Educated Fool

       Composition: Lydia Reed

  Just a Friend

      With the Nuggets

       Composition: Warren Joyner

  Love Theme from El Cid

       Composition:

       Miklos Rozsa/Paul Francis Webster

  Puppy Love Is Here to Stay

       Composition: Richard & Robert Sherman

Billy Storm   1966

  Please Don't Mention Her Name

       Composition: P. Vegas/G. McDaniels

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Billy Storm

Billy Storm

Source: Last FM

  Frankie Lymon [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] from Harlem, was born in 1942 to a maid and a truck driver. He was the elder brother of Louie Lymon. According to Frankie, in an interview with 'Ebony Magazine', he was pimping at age ten to augment income earned as a bagger at a grocery store. Howsoever, he released his first recording with the Teenagers at age 14 in December of 1955: 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love'/'Please Be Mine (Gee 1002) [45Cat/Gonzales]. That was one of five singles he placed on Billboard's R&B Top Ten at #7 in 1956. The others were 'Who Can Explain?' (#7), 'I Want You to Be My Girl' (#3), 'I Promise to Remember' (#10) and 'The ABC's of Love' (#8). He continued into the Top Ten in 1957 with 'Out In the Cold Again' peaking at Billboard's #10 spot. That was the year Lymon left the Teenagers for a solo career that wasn't nearly so spectacular. Nor was that of the Teenagers, phantoms by the early sixties. Drafted into the Army in 1965, Lymon was dishonorably discharged in 1967 for multiple AWOL charges as he attempted to stay active with gigs. He had wed Emira Eagle earlier that year. He died at the age of only 25 on Feb 27 of 1968 of a heroin overdose in his grandmother's bathroom in Harlem, having first used the drug at age fifteen. Discographies of Frankie Lymon w various credits at 1, 2, 3, 4. Lymon and his Teenagers in visual media: 1, 2.

Frankie Lymon   1956

   Baby Baby

       Composition: Glen Moore/Milton Subotsky

   I'm Not a Juvenile Delinquent

       Composition: George Goldner

   I'm Not a Know-It-All

       With the Jimmy Wright Orchestra

       Composition: Buddy Kaye/Fred Spielman

   I Want You to Be My Girl

       With the Jimmy Wright Orchestra

       Composition: George Goldner/Richard Barrett

   Why Do Fools Fall in Love

       Composition:

       Frankie Lymon/Herman Santiago/Jimmy Merchant

Frankie Lymon   1957

   Out in the Cold Again

       Composition: Ted Koehler/Rube Bloom

Frankie Lymon   1958

   Goody Goody

     Television performance

       Composition: Johnny Mercer/Matty Melneck

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers

Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers

Photo: Gee Records

Source: Michael Jackson Zene

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Turbans

The Turbans

Source: Russ & Gary's

It was 1955 in Philadelphia when the Turbans [1, 2, 3] signed their first recording contract with Herald Records. These Turbans are easily confused at multiple sources [including 2 above] with the group from Oakland which issued 'Tick Tock a Woo' in '55 [See Rosalsky and WayBackAttack]. Formed in 1953, original Turbans personnel were Al Banks (lead tenor), Matthew Platt (second tenor), Charlie Williams (baritone), and Andrew "Chet" Jones (bass). Their first release was 'Let Me Show You' with 'When You Dance' on rear. That climbed to Billboard's peak position in R&B, after which the Turbans never charted again to speak of ('When You Dance' at #114). Shuffling from label to label to not a lot of affect, the Turbans issued their last recording, 'I Wonder'/'The Damage Is Done', in 1962. Issues catalogs w composing and production credits at 1, 2. See also *. Al Banks sings lead on all tracks below.

The Turbans   1955

   Let Me Show You (Around My Heart)

       Composition: Alicia Evelyn/Leroy Kirkland

   When You Dance

       Composition: Andrew Jones/Leroy Kirkland

The Turbans   1956

   B-I-N-G-O (Bingo)

       Composition: Robert Riley

   I'm Nobody's

       Composition: D. Clowney/L. Kirkland

The Turbans   1960

   Diamonds and Pearls

       Composition: West Tyler

The Turbans   1962

   This Is My Story

       Composition: G. Forest/E. Levy

 

 
  The Chips [1, 2] (not to be confused with the later Chips who became the Astors [*]) were among the briefest-lived groups in doo wop. They came and went so fast that the photo to the right is out of focus. Forming in NYC to consist of Charles Kinrod Johnson (lead/baritone), Nathaniel Epps (falsetto), Paul Fulton (bass), Sammy Strain (first tenor) and Shedrick Lincoln (second tenor), they recorded 'Rubber Biscuit'/'Oh My Darlin'' (Josie 803) in 1956, toured for a while, then broke up in 1957. Only Sammy Strain [Classic Urban Harmony: 1, 2, 3, 4] continued to pursue a musical profession, later joining the Imperials, then the O'Jays, then the Imperials again until retirement in 2004. Multiple sources including Discogs, Itunes and Rocky52 have these Chips issuing 'Darling (I Need Your Love)'/'You're on My Mind' in 1961, that contested at 45Cat, AllMusic, etc.. 'Doo-WopCentrism' (Anthony Gribin/Matthew Schiff) has that plate released by a California group [*]. It is nowhere mentioned at Classic Urban Harmony, though the latter has the Chips reforming again in 1979 after the cover of 'Rubber Biscuit' by the Blues Brothers that year. That Chips consisted of all its original members except Strain who was working with the O'Jays at the time, his slot filled by Dave Eason. They released 'When I'm With You'/'Everyone's Laughing' (Clifton 45-54) in 1980 [45Cat] but evaporated soon thereafter.

The Chips   1956

   Oh My Darlin'

       Composition: Johnson

       Epps/Fulton/Johnson/Lincoln/Strain

       Also credited to Johnson only

   Rubber Biscuit

       Composition: Johnson

The Chips   1980

   Everyone's Laughing

       Composition: Calvin Carter

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Chips

The Chips

Photo: doo-wop.blogg.org

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg



Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Coasters

The Coasters

Source: Russ & Gary's

R&B group, the Coasters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], originally consisted of Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Bobby Nunn, Leon Hughes and guitarist, Adolph Jacobs (leaving in '59). Young Jessie replaced Hughes on a couple of early recordings. The Coasters made their studio debut with Atco Records in January of 1956. That February they issued 'Down in Mexico' b/w 'Turtle Dovin'. 'Down in Mexico' peaked at #8 on Billboard's R&B in March 1956. 'One Kiss Led to Another' reached the #11 tier in September. The Coasters were one of doo wop's more successful groups. In 1957 they topped Billboard's R&B twice with 'Searchin' and 'Young Blood' released back to back. 1958 saw 'Yakety Yak' reach #1, followed by 'Charlie Brown' at #2. 'Poison Ivy' reached Billboard's #1 spot in 1959. Leiber & Stoller's 'Yakety Yak' had been the inspiration for Boots Randolph's famous 'Yakety Sax' the same year ('58). The Coasters' last tune to disturb the Top Twenty was 'T'ain't Nothin' to Me' in March of 1964 at #20, that the month after the Beatles first arrived to the United States in Feb, and three months before the Rolling Stones in June. By that time doo wop had seen its heydays, the Coasters fading away with the rest of doo wop into the latter sixties but for oldies circuits and revivals, antiquated all of itself after ten years or so of popularity upon R&B moving the direction of soul and Motown due largely to producer, Berry Gordy Jr. [1, 2, 3]. Rock otherwise became preoccupied with the British Invasion, the Beatles bringing a whole new sound to rock called Mersey beat while the Stones brought their own interpretations of R&B. Come the seventies there were several groups performing as the already ancient Coasters, though the only sanctioned was Carl Gardner's whose wife, Veta, yet owns the Coasters name. Leon Hughes is the last surviving member of the original Coasters, yet performing as of this writing [*]. Discos of the Coasters w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. The Coasters in visual media. All titles below were composed by the songwriting team, Leiber & Stoller [1, 2, 3], except as noted.

The Coasters   1956

   Down in Mexico

   Turtle Dovin'

The Coasters   1957

   Young Blood

   Searchin'

The Coasters   1958

   Yakety Yak

       Tenor sax: King Curtis

The Coasters   1965

   Let's Go Get Stoned

       Composition:

       Nickolas Ashford/Valerie Simpson/Josephine Armstead

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Del Vikings

The Del Vikings

Source: 7tor

The Del Vikings (also the Dell Vikings) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] originally consisted of Clarence Quick, Kripp Johnson, Don Jackson, Samuel Paterson, Bernard Robertson and Clarence Harvey Ringo. The group was formed in 1955 by four airmen in the Air Force. This initially made it difficult on the group due to changes in tours of duty. Though their original baritone (Samuel Patterson) had to be replaced by Norman Wright they managed to adhere enough to make their first recordings for Fee Bee Records [*] in 1956: 'Come Go with Me'/'How Can I Find True Love'. Issued in December, 'Come Go with Me' reached Billboard's #2 R&B tier (#4 Hot 100) early the next year. Kripp Johnson's Dell-Vikings were created in 1957 when he was dropped out of a contract arranged with Mercury Records [*]. Mercury wanted the Del-Vikings but they were on paper to Fee Bee. Turns out that only Kripp Johnson was of legal age (21) when he signed up with Fee Bee. The others were released from their contract and moved to Mercury, retaining the Del-Vikings name. Johnson hung with Fee Bee with the new Dell-Vikings. The Del Vikings (not Dell Vikings) saw the Top Ten twice more in 1957 with 'Whispering Bells' (#5 R&B) and 'Cool Shake' (#9 R&B). They then relatively disappeared from the national spotlight, though they continued recording in one formation or another as late as 1977: 'Hollywood and Vine'/'Welfare Blues' (with Kripp Johnson). None of the original members of the Del Vikings were yet alive when Clarence Quick died in 1983 except Kripp Johnson, who followed in 1990. One of the Del Vikings' later formations performed on the PBS Broadcast of 'Doo Wop 50' in 1999. The group yet performs with much altered personnel as of this writing. Discos w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. The Del Vikings in visual media. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Del Vikings   1956

 Come Go with Me

       Lead: Norman Wright

       Composition: Clarence Quick

The Del Vikings   1957

 Friendly Moon

       Composition: Clarence Quick

 Whispering Bells

       Lead: Kripp Johnson

       Composition: Clarence Quick/Fred Low(e)ry

 Willette

       Lead: Chuck Jackson

The Del Vikings   1958

 String Along

       Composition: Clarence Quick

 Voodoo Man

       Lead: Clarence Quick

       Composition: Clarence Quick

The Del Vikings   1961

 Bring Back Your Heart

       Lead: Willie Glenn

       Composition: Kenney Seymour/Edward Ellen

  I'll Never Stop Crying

       Lead: Kripp Johnson

       Composition: Kripp Johnson

The Del Vikings   1963

 An Angel Up in Heaven

       Lead: Kripp Johnson

       Composition: Jimmy Krondes

 Cold Chills

     With the Sonnets

 Sorcerer's Apprentice

       Lead: Kripp Johnson

       Arrangement/Conducting: Richard Wolfe

       Composition: Fred Anisfield

       (Not Paul Dukas' symphonic poem of 1897)

  Too Many Miles

       Lead: Kripp Johnson

       Arrangement/Conducting: Chuck Sagle

       Composition: Fred Anisfield

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Falcons

The Falcons   1957

Source: Marv Goldberg

The Falcons [1, 2, 3, 4] first came together in Detroit in 1955, comprised of Eddie Floyd (lead), Bob Manardo, Arnett Robinson, Tom Shetler and Willie Schofield. There being numerous groups called the Falcons, they are easily confused with such as the Falcons of Columbus, OH, which issued 'My Only Love/Now That It's Over' in 1957 on Falcon 1006 [* (discrepancy appearing at *)/See also 45Cat and Discogs]. These Falcons released their first vinyl in 1956: 'Baby That's It' with 'This Day'. It took the Falcons another three years to place on Billboard, 'Just For Your Love' rising to #26 on the R&B in 1959. They followed that the same year with 'You're So Fine' peaking at #2. Their next and last to chart in the Top Ten was 'I Found a Love' in 1962. The Falcons saw their demise in 1963, though a later configuration with entirely different personnel arose to wear the name, releasing 'Standing On Guard' in 1966. They largely vanished from history after that. Discographies w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Falcons   1956

   Baby That's It

       Lead: Eddie Floyd

       Composition: Eddy & Rachael Floyd

The Falcons   1958

   This Heart of Mine

       Lead: Eddie Floyd

       Composition: Bob Hamilton

The Falcons   1959

   Country Shack

       Lead: Joe Stubbs

       Composition:

       Lance Finney/Robert West/Willie Schofield

   Goddess of Angels

       Lead: Eddie Floyd

       Composition: Willie Schofield

   You Must Know I Love You

       Lead: Joe Stubbs

       Composition: Willie Schofield/Robert West

   You're So Fine

       Lead: Joe Stubbs

       Composition: Lance Finney/Willie Schofield

The Falcons   1960

   The Teacher

       Lead: Joe Stubbs

       Composition: Dave Braithwaite/Eddie Powell

The Falcons   1962

   I Found a Love

       Lead: Wilson Pickett

       Composition:

       Wilson Pickett/Willie Schofield/Robert West

 

 
  The Four Tops [1, 2, 3, 4] were among the first of what would come to be called the Motown sound, a subgenre of R&B in the sixties and disco in the seventies. The Motown sound came to be due much to record producer, Berry Gordy Jr. [1, 2, 3], who founded Tamla, then Motown Records, in Detroit in 1959. Numerous Motown groups besides the Four Tops would be handled by Gordy at Motown: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the Contours, the Supremes, the Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas, to name but several. The Four Tops were formed in high school in Detroit with baritone, Levi Stubbs, as lead. They first recorded in 1956 on the Chess label as the Four Aims [*]: 'If Only I Had Known'/'She Gave Me Love' (Grady 012). The Aims soon changed their name to the Four Tops to avoid confusion with a pop group called the Ames Brothers, then released their debut plate, 'Could It Be You?'/'Kiss Me Baby' (Chess 1623). As rival to the Temptations, the Four Tops were among the most successful and enduring four-part harmonies of early rock n' roll. But it would take them until 1964 to begin placing in the Top Ten, 'Baby I Need Your Loving' reaching No. 4. 'I Can't Help Myself' topped both the R&B and US charts in May of 1965. 'Reach Out I'll Be There' did the same in September of 1966. Above twenty visits to Billboard's Top Ten were made until 1981 when 'When She Was My Girl' claimed No. 1 on the R&B. They would thereafter have to be satisfied with the Top Forty in the States, their last to so rise in 1988 being 'If Ever a Love There Was' at #31. 1988 also saw their last to score in the Top Ten in Great Britain with 'Loco In Acapulco' rising to #7. Among the factors that made the Four Tops such a huge success is that they stuck together. Their original personnel of Levi Stubbs [*], Abdul Fakir [*], Renaldo Benson [*] and Lawrence Payton [*] remained the same for the several years that they got nowhere while honing their craft, and they performed together until 1997 when Payton died [*], personnel changes thereafter occurring into the new millennium. The Four Tops were elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Benson died in 2005 [1, 2], Stubbs in 2008 [1, 2]. The Four Tops were elected into the newly formed R&B Hall of Fame in 2013. 'Billboard' magazine has placed them at #77 on their Top 100 Artists of All Time. 'Rolling Stone' has placed them at #79 on their 100 Greatest list. Fakir yet tours the United States as of this writing, also maintaining a Facebook page. Four Tops discos w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2, 3. See also *. Four Tops in visual media. Per below, D/H & H refers to the wrting partnership of Lamont Dozier/Brian & Eddie Holland [1, 2, 3].

The Four Tops   1956

   Could It Be You

       Composition: Roquel Davis

   Kiss Me Baby

       Composition: Roquel Davis

The Four Tops   1960

   Lonely Summer

       Composition: Al Kasha/Ira Kosloff

The Four Tops   1964

   Baby I Need Your Loving

       Composition: D/H & H

The Four Tops   1965

   I Can't Help Myself

       Composition: D/H & H

The Four Tops   1966

   It's The Same Old Song

      Filmed live

       Composition: D/H & H

   Reach Out I'll Be There

      'Ed Sullivan Show'

       Composition: D/H & H

The Four Tops   1967

   Bernadette

       Composition: D/H & H

   If I Were a Carpenter

       Composition: Tim Hardin

The Four Tops   1968

   Walk Away Renee

       Composition: Tim Hardin

       Michael Brown/Bob Calilli/Tony Sansone

The Four Tops   1970

   Still Waters Run Deep

    Album 

The Four Tops   1972

   Keeper of the Castle

       Composition: Brian Potter/Dennis Lambert

       Album: 'Keeper of the Castle'

The Four Tops   1977

   Feel Free

      Live on 'Soul Train'

       Composition:

       Dee-Dee McNeil/Fred Bridges/Lawrence Payton

The Four Tops   1981

   When She Was My Girl

      Live on 'Fridays'

       Composition: Larry Gottlieb/Marc Blatte

The Four Tops   1987

   I Believe in You and Me

       Composition: Sandy Linzer/David Wolfert

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Four Tops

The Four Tops

Source: Inside the Rock Era

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The G-Clefs

The G-Clefs

Source: Marv Goldberg

Their were several groups named after the clef symbol, such as the Clefs [*], the Four Clefs [*], the Teen Clefs [*] and the G-Clefs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], originally the Bob-O-Links formed in Boston circa 1952. Initial personnel were Ray Gipson (first tenor) and Joe Jordan (bass), with the brothers, Chris (second tenor), Teddy (baritone) and Tim Scott (baritone/bass/guitar). The G-Clefs gave their first public performances at a skating rink converted into a dance hall on Friday nights. They made their first demo in 1953 ('Ka-Ding Dong' and 'I'll Remember All Your Kisses'), but didn't release a record until 1956. Their first release was 'Ka-Ding Dong' with 'Darla, My Darlin'' on back. 'Ka-Ding Dong' took up residence on Billboard's R&B on the ninth floor [Music VF]. They appeared at the Apollo Theater in NYC for the first time in September of '56 ($500 for the week with a hotel bill for $750, notes Goldberg). The G-Clefs notched Billboard's pop chart at No. 9 in 1961 for 'I Understand', after which 'A Girl Has to Know' peaked at a negligible #81 in 1962 before the group dropped off Billboard altogether. But the G-Clefs didn't need Billboard to continue performing. In 1967 they recorded the live album, 'The G-Clefs on Stage', and pressed it on their own Spotlite label. Their first tour to Europe occurred the following year. They toured there again in 1970, as well as Japan in '70 and '71. The group performed into the new millennium as Ray Gipson (first tenor) with the brothers, Chris (second tenor), Teddy (baritone), Tim (baritone/bass/guitar) and Arnold (with the group since 1957 or '58). Ray Gipson died on January 4, 2015. G-Clefs discographies with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above). Robert Jordan = Joe Jordan.

The G-Clefs   1956

   'Cause You're Mine

       Lead: Teddy Scott

       Composition: Jack McDermott/Robert Jordan

   Darla, My Darlin'

       Lead: Ray Gipson/Joe Jordan

   Ka-Ding Dong

       Lead: Ray Gipson

       Composition: Robert Jordan

The G-Clefs   1957

   Is This the Way

       Lead: Joe Jordan

       Composition: Vellante/Tavares/Yakus

   Zing Zang Zoo

       Lead: Ray Gipson

       Composition: Robert Jordan/Teddy Scott

The G-Clefs   1962

   (There Never Was a Dog Like) LAD

       Lead: All

       Composition: Johnny Marks

 

 
  Originally the Charlemagnes, that group became the Blue Notes in 1954 with Harold Melvin its lead singer for a time. Melvin was a self-taught pianist born in 1939 in Philadelphia [1, 2, 3], which would become a hub for soul music as Melvin reached his prime years. He is among the numerous on this page who began their careers with doo wop before moving onward to other R&B, soul and disco as well in Melvin's case. The Blue Notes released their first single in 1956: 'If You Love Me'. Melvin's Blue Notes at that time consisted of Bernard Williams, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis Jr. and Franklin Peaker at lead. It would be another four years until the group charted on Billboard's R&B in 1960 with 'My Hero' reaching No. 19. Not until the seventies did the Blue Notes arrive to their glory days. Part of that equation was the replacement of lead singer since the mid sixties, John Atkins, with Teddy Pendergrass in 1970. Pendergrass had been a drummer with the Cadillacs. In 1972 'I Miss You' peaked at #7 on Billboard's R&B. 'If You Don't Know Me By Now' topped that chart the same year. 'The Love I Lost' topped the chart in 1973. That was followed in July of '75 with 'Hope That We Can Be Together' featuring Sharon Paige at #1. Come 'Wake Up Everybody' in Nov 1975. The meanwhile releasing other Top Ten singles, their last was 'Reaching for the World' in 1977. Pendergrass, become the group's main draw, had left the Blue Notes in '77 prior to that to pursue a solo career. He'd been replaced by David Ebo, with whom the group released its last Top Forty as well, 'Playin'', in 1980. Gil Saunders assumed Ebo's place at lead from '82 to '92, but by then the Blue Notes had seen their day. Ebo died on November 30 of 1993, only age 43. Melvin endured a stroke in 1996, dying the next year in March [*]. Pendergrass, who had enjoyed a spectacular career into the nineties, died relatively young as well, at age 59 in January of 2010 of respiratory failure. Discographies of issues with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. See also *. Melvin and his Blue Notes in visual media: 1, 2. G & H below = the partnership of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff [1, 2, 3].

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1956

   If You Love Me (Really Love Me)

       Composition:

       Edith Piaf/Geoffrey Parsons/Marguerite Monnot

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1960

   She Is Mine

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1967

   Go Away

       Composition: Harold Melvin

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1972

   If You Don't Know By Now

     Live on 'Soul Train'

       Composition: G & H

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1973

   The Love I Lost

       Composition: G & H

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1974

   Satisfaction Guaranteed

       Composition: G & H

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1975

   To Be True

       Composition: G & H

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1977

   Don't Leave Me This Way

       Composition:

       Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff/Cary Gilbert

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes   1981

   Tell Me Why

       Album: 'All Things Happen In Time'

       Composition: Harold Melvin/Martin O'Cornwell

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Harold Melvin

Harold Melvin

Source: Inside the Rock Era

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Linc-Tones

The Linc-Tones   1955

Source: Neil Sedaka

From Brooklyn, the Linc-Tones [1, 2] were formed in 1956 by high school students Hank Medress, Neil Sedaka. Eddie Rabkin and Cynthia Zolitin. They released their first recordings in 1956 ('While I Dream/I Love My Baby' their debut), after which they reshaped into the Tokens [1, 2] (as in "tokens of affection"). It took them several years to begin appearing on Billboard's charts. 'Tonight I Fell In Love' placed at #15 On Billboard's US in 1961. Later that year 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' [*] topped Billboard's US #1 (Billboard's R&B at #7). That was a major success tough to follow. The group sporadically placed in the Top Forty until 1969, 'She Let's Down Her Hair' the last to do so, peaking at #34 on Billboard's AC (Adult Contemporary). The Tokens were another of those doo wop groups that evolved through so many personnel changes that one requires quantum computing to keep track of it. Someone at RateYourMusic endeavored to make that easy at a glance before a fizzling system shutdown. It's Ok to look but don't attempt such yourself, especially if alone without a whistle. Suffice it to say that, of the original Linc-Tones, the core members of the Tokens were Medress and Sedaka, the latter soon leaving to pursue a solo career. The group had well run its course by the time Medress left in 1973. New configurations of the group arose into the new millennium, notably that formed by Jay Siegel, with the group since 1956. The Tokens yet perform as of this writing. Included below are a couple tracks by Darrell & the Oxfords, a group formed by Mendress and Tokens member, Jay Siegel. The latter yet tours as of this writing, maintaining a Facebook page. Discographies of the Tokens w production and composing credits at 1, 2. The Tokens in visual media. Per H. Jamiph 1964 below, that = the Tokens as decoded at Discogs: H. (Hank) Ja(y) mi(tch) ph(il). They also composed as J. Amiph (J.[ay] [H]a[nk] mi[tch] ph[il]) and J. Hamiph (J.[ay] Hank mi[tch] ph[il]).

The Tokens   1956

   Come Back Joe

       Composition: Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield

   Don't Go

       Unissued

       Lead: Hank Mendress

       Composition: Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield

   I Love My Baby

       Lead: Eddie Rabkin

       Composition: Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield

   Lover Lips

       Lead: Cynthia Zolotin

   While I Dream

       Lead: Neil Sedaka

       Composition: Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield

Darrell & the Oxfords   1959

   Picture in My Wallet

       Composition: Mel Mitchell/Rita Mann

   Roses Are Red

       Composition: Mel Mitchell/Rita Mann

The Tokens   1961

   The Lion Sleeps Tonight

       Composition: Solomon Linda/Hugo Peretti

       Luigi Creatore/George David Weiss/Albert Stanton

   Tonight I Fell In Love

       Composition: Hank Medress/Mitch Margo

The Tokens   1964

   Little Hot Rod Suzie

       Composition:

       Mitch & Phil Margo/Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

   My Friend's Car

       Composition:

       Mitch & Phil Margo/Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

   Swing

       Composition: H. Jamiph

The Tokens   1967

   Bye Bye Bye

       Composition:

       Mitch & Phil Margo/Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

   It's a Happening World

       Composition: Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil

   Portrait of My Love

       Composition: Cyril Ornadel/David West

The Tokens   1968

   How Nice?

       Composition:

       Mitch & Phil Margo/Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

The Tokens   1969

   She Let's Her Hair Down

       Composition: Leon Carr/Paul Vance

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Tokens

The Tokens

Source: Blog de Rock en Mexico

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Lewis Lymon & the Teenchords

Lewis Lymon & the Teenchords

Source: Discogs

 

Lewis Lymon [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] grew up in Harlem with his elder brother, Frankie Lymon. He made his first recordings with the Teenchords in 1956: 'I'm So Happy' with 'Lydia' flip side. Frankie had preceded Lewis to the recording studio in 1955, but Lewis who was two years younger, born in 1944, was quick at his heels in all but the audience he could draw. Having never placed on a Billboard chart, the Teenchords made their last recording in 1958 for the Juanita label: 'Dance Girl'/'Them There Eyes'. Lymon bowed off into the sunset after a release with the Townsmen in 1961, singing lead on only the first side: 'I Can't Go On'/'That's All I'll Ever Need'. Lymon's induction into the Army in the early sixties put the brakes on his career. He reincarnated the Teenchords in the seventies, and performed on occasion into the new millennium in some or other capacity. He is since deceased as of 2013. Discos of Lymon and his Teenchords w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

Louie Lymon   1956

   I'm So Happy

       Composition: Bobby Robinson

   Lydia

       Composition: Lewis Lymon

Louie Lymon   1957

   Dance Girl

       Composition: Les Cooper

   Honey Honey

       Composition: Richard Barrett/Bobby Robinson

   Please Tell the Angels

       Composition: Barrett/Lymon/Robinson

   Your Last Chance

       Composition: Bobby Robinson/Les Cooper

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Quintones

The Quintones

Photo: Phil Schwartz

Source: Rocker Stomp

Originally the Quintones first recorded in 1956, backing Jimmy Witherspoon's 'Still In Love' and 'My Girl Ivy'. At that time the group was comprised of Freddy Brown (first tenor), Donald Lawrence (first/second tenor), Dusty Moye (second tenor), Gerald Johnson (baritone) and Leon McClain (bass). They changed their name to the Quinns [1, 2, 3] in 1957 to avoid confusion with other bands called the Quintones. Their first release as the Quinns was 'Oh Starlight' b/w 'Hong Kong'. At that time personnel was Freddy Brown, Donald Lawrence, Richie Brown, Gerald Johnson and Leon McClain. Neither the Quintones nor the Quinns gained position on a Billboard chart before abandoning ship in 1965. Discographies at 1, 2. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Quintones   1956

   Still In Love

      With Jimmy Witherspoon

       Composition: Doc Pomus

The Quinns   1957

   Hong Kong

       Lead: Donald Lawrence

       Composition: Quinns/Coleman/Winley

   Oh Starlight

       Lead: Freddy Brown/Donald Lawrence

       Composition: Quinns/Coleman/Winley

The Quinns   1960

   Unfaithful

       Lead: Freddy Brown

       Composition: Browns

   Who Stole the Cookies

       I confess. Sorry. But you can't blame a kid for that [1, 2].

       Lead: Frenchie Concepcion

 

 
  The Schoolboys [1, 2] were a group of Harlem kids consisting of Leslie Martin (lead), Roger Hayes (tenor), James McKay (baritone) and Renaldo Gamble (bass) upon formation in 1956. Gonzales has 'Please Say You Want Me' and 'Shirley' recorded on November 1 that year, issued on November 26 per Okeh 7076. Music VF has the former peaking on Billboard's R&B at #13, the latter at #15. Which werre the last the Schoolboys saw of the national charts, releasing only three more records: 'Mary'/'I Am Old Enough' and 'Pearl'/'Carol' in 1957, then 'Angel of Love’ b/w 'The Slide' in 1958. They then forged a pink Permission to Be Absent slip and went back to class. Discos w credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Schoolboys   1956

  Please Say You Want Me

       Composition: Donald Hayes/Irving Nahan

  Shirley

       Composition: Gene Redd Sr.

The Schoolboys   1957

  Carol

       Composition: Donald Hayes/Schoolboys

  Mary

       Composition: Gene Redd Jr./Lowe Murray

  Pearl

       Composition: Polk/McDaniel

The Schoolboys   1958

  Angel of Love

       Composition: Donald Hayes

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Schoolboys

The Schoolboys

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg
  The Velours, from Brooklyn [1, 2, 3, 4], were originally the Troubadours, formed in 1953. They changed their name to the Velours in 1956. They released their first dish, 'My Love Come Back' with 'Honey Drop' flip side, in July 1956 on Onyx 501. At that time the group consisted of Jerome Ramos (tenor), John Cheatdom (first tenor), Donald Haywoode (second tenor), Marvin Holland (bass) and Kenneth Walker (lead tenor). Personnel changes would rapidly occur, including the addition that year of piano player, Calvin McClean, the replacement at baritone by John Pearson, and at bass by Charles Moffitt [membership at a glance/See also *]. The Velours claimed Billboard's US chart at No. 83 twice in 1957 and 1958 with 'Can I Come Over Tonight' and 'Remember'. They wouldn't chart again. By 1961 things were getting discouraging, group members falling away. By 1967 it was Ramos, Haywoode, John Cheatdom and new tenor, Richard Pitts. The end of the Velours that year was a surprise, finding themselves billed as the Fabulous Temptations on a tour to the UK. They billed themselves as the Fantastics on their next tour there the next year, also beginning to record as such in 1968 per 'Baby Make Your Own Sweet Music'/'Who Could Be Loving You' (MGM 1434/13982). Pitts left in 1972. Goldberg lists the Fantastics' last plate as 'Ten Minutes That Changed the World'/'Take Away the Feeling' (Bus Stop 1032) in 1975. Moffitt resurrected the Velours that year, running the group until he was shot to death in Dec 1986. Eulis Mason assumed his place until his death on October 31 of 2016. As for Cheatdom, after the Fantastics he went on to put the Realistics together in 1976, touring internationally until 1983. He issued his autobiography, 'Keeping Doo Wop Alive', in 2018. Velours discographies w credits at 1, 2. The Fantastics at *. Lead data below per Goldberg (1 bracketed above).

The Velours   1956

   Honey Drop

       Lead: Donald Haywoode

       Composition: Marvin Holland/Jerome Ramos

   My Love Come Back

       Lead: Jerome Ramos

       Composition: Marvin Holland/Jerome Ramos

   Romeo

       Lead: Jerome Ramos

       Composition: John Cheatdom/Donald Haywoode

The Velours   1957

   Can I Come Over Tonight

       Lead: Jerome Ramos

       Composition: Donald Haywoode/Jerry Winston

   This Could Be the Night

       Lead: Jerome Ramos

       Composition: Donald Haywoode/Jerry Winston

The Velours   1959

   Blue Velvet

       Lead: Keith Williams

       Composition: Bernie Wayne/Lee Morris   1950

   Tired of Your Rock & Rolling

       Lead: All

The Velours   1967

   I'm Gonna Change

       Composition: Angelo Cifelli/Mike Petrillo

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Velours

The Velours   1957

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

The Belmonts [*] portion of Dion and the Belmonts [1, 2, 3, 4] were so named because two pairs of the group lived near a Belmont Avenue, one in Bronx, the other in Brooklyn. Dion DiMucci [1, 2, 3] was himself born in Bronx in 1939. DiMucci gave his first performance at age fourteen in Philadelphia on the 'Teen Club' television show. In 1957 DiMucci bought some studio time to record four singles for his mother as a Valentines Day gift. Those caught the attention of Irv Spice at Mohawk Records who teamed DiMucci with a group called the Timberlanes [*]. Mohawk released 'The Chosen Few' with 'Out In Colorado' in 1957 for air time, then handed it over to Jubilee for distribution. Also releasing their first record with Mohawk that year was a trio called the Belmonts. Consisting of Freddie Milano (2nd tenor with Dion), Carlo Mastrangelo (bass/baritone with Dion) and Angelo D'Aleo (1st tenor with Dion), they issued 'Teenage Clementine'/'Santa Margherita' with Milano as lead on 'Teenage Clementine' and D'Aleo as lead on 'Santa Margherita'. Dimucci hadn't known the Timberlanes when he recorded with them. Thinking them not his style, he was teamed with the Belmonts for their first release in 1957 as Dion & the Belmonts: 'We Went Away'/'Tag Along', also for Mohawk. The group then moved to Laurie Records where 'I Wonder Why' reached Billboard's #22 spot in 1958, after which they found themselves on Dick Clark's 'Saturday Night Beechnut Show'. 'No One Knows' reached Billboard's #12 in R&B the same year. The group enjoyed two Top Ten singles in 1959: 'A Teenager in Love' at #5 and 'Where Or When' at #3. The Belmonts split from DiMucci in 1960, their first issue for Laurie apart from him was 'We Belong Together'. DiMucci continued onward to a solo career, releasing the album, 'Alone With Dion', in 1960. In 1961 DiMucci saw 'Runaround Sue' go gold, topping Billboard at #1. He then left the band to go solo, using the Del Satins for a backup group. He then began to tour internationally and entered his blues period in the latter sixties. DiMucci reunited with the Belmonts in 1966 for the release of the LP, 'Together Again', in 1967, to small success. They reunited again in 1972, recording a live album at Madison Square Garden. A final reunion was held at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island in 1973. DiMucci turned to Catholicism in 1979, releasing gospel into the eighties. He was back with rock in 1987 for a concert at Radio City Music Hall in NYC (released on CD in 2005). In 1988 Dimucci issued his autobiography, 'The Wanderer', written with assistance from Davin Seay. In 1989 he was elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame per his solo career. (He'd placed nine songs on Billboard's US Top Ten between 1961 and 1968.) Dion & the Belmonts were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000. DiMucci has performed well into the new millennium, releasing 'Tank Full of Blues' [*] in 2011 and 'New York Is My Home' [*] in 2016. Dion had contributed to the composition of several Top Ten releases by the Belmonts. Three of those were co-written with Ernie Maresca: 'Runaround Sue' (#1 '61), 'Lovers Who Wander' (#3 '62) and 'Donna the Prima Donna' (#6 '63). His own composition, 'Little Dianne', had risen to #8 on the pop chart in July 1962. November of '62 saw 'Love Came to Me' reach #10, that coauthored with John Falbo. Various other credits per discos of Dion's Belmonts at 1, 2. Of Dimucci.

Dion and the Timberlanes   1957

   The Chosen Few

       Composition: Allan Mirchin

   Out in Colorado

       Composition: Sigler/Gold

Dion and the Belmonts   1957

   Santa Margherita

       Lead: Angelo D'Aleo

       Composition: Fred Patrick

   Teenage Clementine

       Lead: Freddie Milano

       Composition: Patrick/Weiner/Glen

Dion and the Belmonts   1958

   I Wonder Why

       Composition: Melvin Anderson/Ricardo Weeks

Dion and the Belmonts   1959

   That's My Desire

       Composition: Helmy Kresa/Carroll Love   1956

   A Teenager In Love

    'Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show'

       Composition: Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman

   A Teenager in Love

    Studio Version

       Composition: Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman

Dion and the Belmonts   1961

   Tell Me Why

       Composition:

       Buzzy Helford (Helfand)/Don Carter

Dion   2011

   Tank Full of Blues

       Composition: Mike Aquilina/Dion DiMucci

     Album: 'Tank Full of Blues'

Dion   2016

   New York Is My Home

     Music video w Paul Simon

       Composition:

       Mike Aquilina/Dion DiMucci/Scott Kempner

     Album: 'New York Is My Home'

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Belmonts

The Belmonts

Source: Bons Tempos

 

The Bobbettes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] were among a number of doo wop bands hailing from Harlem in the fifties. The group included Reather Dixon, Laura Webb, Helen Gathers and sisters, Emma and Jannie Pought. They first came together as the Harlem Queens. Upon finding a manager, James Dailey, he changed their name to the Bobbettes before signing up the girls with Atlantic. They released their first single, 'Mr. Lee' [1, 2] in June of 1957, backed with 'Look At the Stars' (1144). 'Mr. Lee' topped Billboard's R&B chart and placed at #6 on the Hot 100. The Bobbettes aired on Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand' on September 2 of '57 [IMDb]. Several other releases made their way into the Top 100, 'I Don't Like It Like That' their last in 1961 at #72. The group eventually disbanded in 1974 to tour the oldies circuit. As of this writing Emma Pought remains the last surviving member of the Bobbettes. Discographies w various credits at 1, 2.

The Bobbettes   1957

   Mr. Lee

       Composition: Bobbettes

   Look at the Stars

       Composition:

       Emma Pought/Helen Gathers/Reggie Obrecht

The Bobbettes   1958

   Um Bow Bow

       Composition: Bobbettes

   Zoomy

       Composition: Emma Pought/Reggie Obrecht

The Bobbettes   1960

   Dance with Me Georgie

       Composition: Bobbettes

The Bobbettes   1961

   Mr. Johnny Q

       Composition: Bobbettes

   Teach Me Tonight

       Composition: Gene DePaul/Sammy Cahn

The Bobbettes   1962

   Over There

       Composition: Sidney Barnes/Teddy Vann

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Bobbettes

The Bobbettes   1960

Source: Marv Goldberg

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Chantels

The Chantels

Source: Old School Music Lover

 

Arlene Smith, hailing from the Bronx, was composer and lead singer of the female doo wop group, the Chantels [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Together with Smith the original group was comprised of Sonia Goring, Rene Minus, Jackie Landry Jackson and Lois Harris [membership over the years at a glance]. The girls had gone to school at St. Anthony of Padua in Bronx, naming themselves after a rival school, St. Frances de Chantal. The Chantels released their first record, 'He's Gone', in August of 1957. It placed on Billboard's pop chart at #71. 'Maybe' climbed to #2 on Billboard's R&B in 1958. 'Every Night' and 'I Love You So' reached the Top Twenty in 1958 as well (#16 and #14 respectively). Smith left the group in 1959 for a solo career, as well as Harris to go to college. Temporarily left as a trio, Sonia, Jackie and Lois joined Richard Barrett of the Valentines for 'Come Softly to Me'/'Walkin' Through Dreamland' (Gone 5056). Sonia and Lois joined Barrett on 'Summer's Love'/'All Is Forgiven' (Gone 5060). Though Smith was replaced by Annie Smith (no relation) for a brief time, the group continued as a quartet filled by various in addition to Sonia, Jackie and Lois. In 1959 'Look In My Eyes' peaked at #6 on Billboard's R&B. 'Well, I Told You' (a response to Ray Charles' 'Hit the Road, Jack') sold well in 1961, hanging out at #29 on Billboard. Personnel began shifting around again in the early sixties, its mainstays during that decade being Jackie Landry, Sonia Goring and Renee Minus. Arlene Smith released one single with the same in 1970. Smith reformed the Cnantels for a time in the seventies but her solo career took priority. The Chantels were resurrected in 1995 with Noemi Ortiz at lead. Smith sang with the Chantels the last time on a 1999 PBS broadcast called 'Doo Wop 50', singing 'Maybe'. The Chantels with Ortiz yet perform as of this writing, consisting of Sonia Goring Wilson, Lois Harris Powell, Renee Minus White. Issues discographies of the Chantels w various credits at 1, 2. The Chantels in visual media.

The Chantels   1957

   He's Gone

       Composition: Arlene Smith/George Goldner

The Chantels   1958

   Every Night (I Pray)

       Composition: George Goldner

    Maybe

       Composition: On label: Casey/Goldner

       Also credited: Richard Barrett/Arlene Smith

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Charts

The Charts 1957

Source: Marv Goldberg

 

Originally called the Thrilltones upon formation in 1956, the Charts [1, 2, 3] were a Harlem group that released its first single, 'Deserie', in May of 1957. The original ensemble consisted of Joe Grier (lead), Stephen Brown (first tenor), Glenmore Jackson (second tenor), Leroy Binns (baritone) and Ross Buford (bass). Grier was drafted into the Army in 1958, after which he pursued the saxophone (featured on 'Wobble Wobble' in 1962 by the Soul Rockers). Brown and Binns kept the Charts, which never charted, performing into the eighties. Grier resurrected the group with new members in 1985. He and Binns performed with another version of the group on the PBS broadcast of 'Red, White and Rock' in 2002. Discos w various credits at 1, 2. Grier sings lead on titles below.

The Charts   1957

   Dance Girl

       Composition: Les Cooper

   Deserie

       Composition: Clarence Johnson/Les Cooper

   Why Do You Cry

       Composition: Clarence Johnson/Joe Grier

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Crests

The Crests

Source: Discogs

Johnny Maestro (John Mastrangelo) [1, 2, 3] joined the Crests as their lead vocalist in 1956 [1, 2, 3]. Together with Maestro, the Crests were originally a quintet consisting of Talmadge Gough (tenor), Harold Torres (baritone), J.T. Carter (baritone/bass) and Patricia Van Dross (tenor). The last dropped out early when her mother wouldn't allow her to tour. The Crests released their first discs for Joyce Records [*] the following year: 'My Juanita/'Sweetest One' and 'No One To Love'/'Wish She Was Mine'. 'Sweetest One' managed to reach the #86 spot on Billboard's US pop chart [*]. Pat dropped out of the group before it shifted over to the Coed label [ *] in 1958 because her mother wouldn't allow her to tour. The Crests were then a quartet to record 'Twenty-One Candles', released as 'Sixteen Candles', and peaking at #2 on the Hot 100, #4 on the R&B. They never duplicated that success but managed to place a few songs in the Top Thirty to 1960, 'Trouble In Paradise' their last at #20. Maestro left the Crests in 1961 to pursue a solo career. He gained a couple spots on the Top Forty that year with 'Model Girl' (#20) and 'What a Surprise' (#33) [*], but wouldn't do so well again until 1968 when he was with the Brooklyn Bridge: 'Worst That Could Happen' filling Billboard's #3 spot [*]. The Crests continued in one configuration or another into the new millennium [*]. Founder of the Crests and bass vocalist, JT Carter, yet preforms as of this writing [*]. As for Maestro, he continued recording with the Brooklyn Bridge as late as 1988, a span of two decades. But beyond 'Worst That Could Happen' in '68 the only other release by Brooklyn Bridge to reach a Top Forty chart was 'Free As the Wind', peaking at #36 in 1970 on Billboard's AC (Adult Contemporary). Maestro died of cancer at his home in Cape Coral, Florida, in March of 2010 [*]. Crests discos w production and songwriting credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Maestro and his Crests in visual media.

The Crests   1957

   My Juanita

       With the Al Browne Orchestra

       Composition: Al Browne/Mastrangelo

  Sweetest One

       With the Al Browne Orchestra

       Composition: Al Browne/Mastrangelo

The Crests   1958

  Beside You

       Composition: Bert Keyes/Billy Dawn Smith

  Let Me Be the One

       Composition: Barry Mann

  Let True Love Begin

  Sixteen Candles

       Composition: Allyson Khent/Luther Dixon

  Strange Love

The Crests   1959

  The Angels Listened In

     Television performance

       Composition: Billy Dawn Smith/Sid Faust

The Crests   1960

  If My Heart Could Write

       Composition: Bob Schell/Fred Weismantel

  Journey of Love

       Composition:

       Allyson Khent/Billy Dawn Smith/Miriam Lewis

  Step By Step

       Composition: Billy Dawn Smith/Ollie Jones

Johnny Maestro   1960

  I'll Be True

       Composition: Call Mann/Dave Appell

The Crests   1962

  Guilty

       Composition:

       Gus Kahn/Harry Akst/Richard Whiting   1931

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Dubs

The Dubs   1957

Source: Marv Goldberg

It was 1956 when the Dubs [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] released their first record as the Marvels ('I Won't Have You Breaking My Heart'/'Jump Rock and Roll') [*]. Those Marvels were from Harlem, not to be confused with the later Washington DC gang [*]. The Dubs' original members were Richard Blandon (lead), Cleveland Still (first tenor), Billy Carlisle (second tenor), James Miller (baritone) and Thomas Gardner (bass), replaced in 1957 by Tommy Grate. Their first releases as the Dubs were 'Don’t Ask Me to Be Lonely' and 'Could This Be Magic'. 'Could This Be Magic' was their only song to place strong on Billboard at No. 23 on the Hot 100. The Dubs wrapped up business in November of '58, though Blandon, who was singing with the Vocaleers, reconfigured the group in '59, various formations occurring into the nineties even after Blandon's death in 1991. Blandon sings lead on all titles below but as noted. Dubs discos with various credits at 1, 2.

The Marvels   1956

   I Won't Have You Breaking My Heart

       Composition: Johnson/Relnick/Miller

   Jump Rock and Roll

       Composition: Johnson/Relnick/Miller

The Dubs   1957

   Could This Be Magic

       Composition: Richard Blandon

   Don’t Ask Me to Be Lonely

       Composition: Richard Blandon

The Dubs   1958

   Beside My Love

       Lead: Leslie Anderson

       Composition: Hiram Johnson/Thomas Gardner

   Be Sure My Love

       Composition: Richard Barrett/Stuart Wiener

   Chapel of Dreams

       Composition: Billy Myles

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers

Source: Shady Dell Music

The Isley Brothers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] were a little unusual as doo wop goes in that they not only remained intact, approaching sixty years now, but have been a stellar soul group nigh the whole time. The Brothers were originally a gospel group, but as doo wop recordings go they rocked from the begin, eventually developing into one of soul music's supergroups. They originally consisted of four: O'Kelly, Rudolph, Ronald and Vernon, until Vernon died at age thirteen (struck by a car as he was riding his bicycle). The group began releasing records in 1957 ('The Cow Jumped Over The Moon'/'Angels Cried' for Teenage Records). Their first big national splash was 'Twist and Shout' in 1962, reaching #2 on Billboard's R&B. From that time until 2001 the Isley Brothers placed 26 songs in the R&B Top Ten alone (their last being 'Contagious' in 2001), not including Billboard's Hot 100 or the UK charts. Their first to top Billboard's R&B at No. 1 was 'It's Your Thing' in 1969. That was composed by Kelly, Ronald and Rudolph Isley, all of the Isley brothers to contribute to top titles. Younger brothers, Ernie and Marvin, as well as brother-in-law, Chris Jasper, were made members in 1973. 'Fight the Power' topped the R&B chart in 1975, 'The Pride' in 1977. 'Take Me to the Next Phase' reached Billboard's top tier in R&B in 1978, followed by 'I Wanna Be With You' in 1979. The Isley Brothers did it again in 1980 with 'Don't Say Goodnight'. O'Kelly died in 1986. In 1989 Rudolph quit the group to become a minister. Ronald, the last surviving original Isley, yet performs as of this writing with Ernie Isley [*]. Compositions by the Isley Brothers at *. Discos of Isley Brothers releases w various credits at 1, 2, 3. See also *. Isley Brothers in visual media. All tracks below from 1985 onward are music videos. See also *.

The Isley Brothers   1957

   Angels Cried

      First release   Composition:

       Caesar Petrillo/Don Canton/Ira Kosloff

  The Cow Jumped Over the Moon

      First release

       Composition: Billy Gordon/Ronald Isley

  Don't Be Jealous

       Composition: Ronald Isley

The Isley Brothers   1958

  I Wanna Know

       Composition: R. Isley/Kelly Isley

  My Love

       Composition: Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers   1959

  Respectable

       Composition: Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley

  Shout Part 1/Shout Part 2

      Studio version

       Composition: Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley

  Shout

      Live on the 'Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show'

       Composition: Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley

The Isley Brothers   1960

  Gypsy Love Song

       Composition: Harry Smith/Victor Herbert

  Open Up Your Heart

       Composition: Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley

The Isley Brothers   1966

  This Old Heart of Mine

       Composition: Holland–Dozier–Holland/Sylvia Moy

       (Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland)

The Isley Brothers   1973

  Summer Breeze

      Live on 'Soul Train'

       Composition: Jim Seals/Dash Crofts

The Isley Brothers   1974

  Live It Up

       Composition: Isley Brothers including Chris Jasper

      Album: 'Live It Up'

The Isley Brothers   1976

  Harvest for the World

      Album

The Isley Brothers   1980

  Don't Say Goodnight

       Composition: Isley Brothers

       (Including Chris Jasper and Marvin Isley)

      Album: 'Go All the Way'

The Isley Brothers   1983

  Here We Go Again

       Composition: Isley Brothers

       (Including Chris Jasper and Marvin Isley)

      Album: 'The Isley Brothers Live!'

The Isley Brothers   1985

  Caravan of Love

       Composition:

       Ernie Isley/Chris Jasper/Marvin Isley

The Isley Brothers   1986

  Insatiable Woman

       Composition:

       Chris Jasper/Ernie Isley/Marvin Isley

The Isley Brothers   1996

  Let's Lay Together

       Composition: Robert Kelly

  Tears

       Composition:

       Babyface (Kenneth Brian Edmonds)

The Isley Brothers   2001

  Contagious

       Composition: Robert Kelly

The Isley Brothers   2003

  What Would You Do?

       Composition: Robert Kelly

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Jesters

The Jesters   1958

Source: Discogs

The Jesters [1, 2] were the formation of a group of junior high school students who made their way from singing beneath an elevated train station in Harlem to their first record releases in 1957. The original group consisted of Lenny McKay (lead), Adam Jackson (lead), Anthony Smith (second tenor), Leo Vincent (baritone) and Noel Grant (bass). The Jesters' initial releases were ''So Strange'/'Love No One But You' (Winley 218) and 'Please Let Me Love You'/'I'm Falling in Love' (Winley 221). Try as they might, the Jesters never could prank Billboard into a decent spot, not even on April Fools' Day, the day that I myself became famous [1, 2, 3, 4]. (You've not heard of me because I had to make a nationwide apology whilst admitting that I wasn't really famous at all. My fame was then rescinded and everywhere expunged to properly reflect that it had been a trick, that is, false news.) The Jesters ventured their final release in 1961 per Winley 252: 'Uncle Henry's Basement'/'Come Let Me Show You'. Other groups recording as the Jesters on other labels aren't to be confused. The Jesters performed together sporadically into the seventies. They did release a disc for Starlight in 1986: 'What Now My Love'/'The Beating Of My Heart'. Jackson died in 1994. Catalogs of issues w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Lead data below thanks to Unca Marv (1 bracketed above).

The Jesters   1957

   I'm Falling in Love

       Lead: Adam Jackson

       Composition:

       Ethel Byrd/George Jackson/Paul Winley

   Love No One But You

       Lead: Lenny McKay/Adam Jackson

       Composition: David Clowney

   Please Let Me Love You

       Lead: Lenny McKay/Adam Jackson

       Composition:

       Ethel Byrd/George Jackson/Paul Winley

   So Strange

       Lead: Lenny McKay/Adam Jackson

       Composition: David Clowney

The Jesters   1958

   Oh Baby

       Lead: Adam Jackson

       Composition: Jackson/Winley

The Jesters   1960

   The Wind

       Lead: Adam Jackson

       Composition:

       Strong/Eubank/Hunter/Gutierriez/Edwards

 

 
Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Kodaks

The Kodaks

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg
Formed in Newark, New Jersey, someone might have been serving cheese when the Kodaks [1, 2] decided what to call themselves. The original quartet was Jimmy Patrick (lead/first tenor), William Franklin (second tenor), Larry Davis (baritone) and William Miller (bass) until Pearl McKinnon replaced Patrick as lead, making the Kodaks a quintet [other later members: *]. The Kodaks released their first record in late 1957 with the Fury label: 'Teenager's Dream' with 'Little Boy and Girl' flip side. Their second release, "Oh Gee, Oh Gosh" b/w "Make Believe World," was in the spring of 1958. That summer Davis and Franklin were replaced by Richard Dixon and Harold Jenkins, present on 'My Baby and Me' b/w 'Kingless Castle' and 'Runaround Baby' b/w 'Guardian Angel'. The Kodaks never attained to national recognition, remaining an East Coast act not large enough for Kodak to sue if it was even aware of the group using its name. They made two more attempts in '58 with 'My Baby and Me'/'Kingless Castle' and 'Guardian Angel'/'Runaround Baby' before Patrick left the group to briefly join the Monotones. Then McKinnon ran off to get married in 1959. The Kodaks continued onward with the J&S and Wink labels but dissolved in 1961. McKinnon formed Pearl & the Deltars in '61, recording a single for Fury to small success. She later became lead singer for a reformation of the Teenagers in the seventies. Discos of Kodaks releases w various credits at 45cat and discogs.

The Kodaks   1957

   Little Boy and Girl

       Composition: Bobby Robinson

   Teenager's Dream

       Composition: Pearl McKinnon

The Kodaks   1958

   Guardian Angel

   Kingless Castle

       Composition: Pearl McKinnon

   Runaround Baby

       Composition: Bobby Robinson

 

 

  The Mello-Kings [1, 2, 3] were a white quintet formed in high school in 1956. Called the Mellotones at first, they consisted of brothers Jerry and Bob Scholl, Eddie Quinn, Neil Arena and Larry Esposito. The Mello-Kings released their first record, 'Tonite Tonite' with 'Do Baby Do' (Herald 502), in April 1957 [45Cat]. Some thousand copies had been released as the Mellotones before discovery that that name was taken by Jerry Carr's group ('Rosie/I'll Never Fall In Love Again' Gee GG 1037), the Mellotones thereat changing their identity. 'Tonite Tonite' shook little fruit from Billboard's tree at #77 on the Hot 100. Several recordings afterward saw little harvest as well, even as the group aired on 'American Bandstand' on Sep 3 of '57 [IMDb]. Personnel was already beginning to alter in '58, thereafter on a continual basis. The group was a trio by the time it released 'But You Lied'/'Walk Softly' in October of '62, after which they acknowledged the writing on the wall. Flashback and Lana Records each later released one disc of earlier recordings to no affect in '65 and '66. The Mello Kings were refashioned in 1966 by Eddie Robbins (Eddie Rabinowitz), performing, though not recording, until 1973. Discos of issues w credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Mellotones   1957

   Tonite Tonite

       Composition: Billy Myles

The Mello-Kings   1957

   Chapel on the Hill

       Composition: Billy Myles

   Sassafras

       Composition: F. Slay/B. Crewe

The Mello-Kings   1959

   Running to You

       Composition: Dick Levister/Edward Quinn Jr.

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Mello-Kings

The Mello-Kings

Source: Tickets Inventory

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Monotones

The Monotones

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

The Monotones [1, 2, 3, 4] first got together in Newark, New Jersey in 1955. They assumed the name to indicate one voice from out of their multiplicity, originally consisting of Charles Patrick (lead), Warren Davis (1st tenor), George Malone (2nd tenor), Frankie Smith (bass), John Ryanes (2nd bass) and Warren Ryanes (baritone). In 1956 they claimed first prize on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour with a rendition of the Cadillac's 'Zoom'. They released their first single for Mascot (Hull subsidiary) in December of 1957, 'Book of Love'. When it was recognized that 'Book of Love' was a big fish the song was reissued on Chess in February the next year to handle distribution. The song peaked at #3 on Billboard's R&B in March of '58. Unfortunately that was the Monotones' last appearance on Billboard. One chart out of a multiplicity of issues meant the plugging of their leak by the time of their last recording session in 1962: 'Book Of Dance' and 'Toast to Lovers' released on a Hull album that year, titled 'Your Favorite Singing Groups'. The Monotones have been infinitely reconfigured since then, one such formation yet active into the new millennium. Discos of issues w credits at 1, 2. The Monotones in visual media.

The Monotones   1957

   Book of Love

        Composition: Monotones

  You Never Loved Me

        Composition: Monotones

The Monotones   1959

   Fools Will Be Fools

        Composition:

       Rose Marie McCoy/Charlie Singleton

 

 
  Norman Fox & the Rob Roys [1, 2, 3, 4] took their name after the cocktail (scotch, vermouth, bitters). Though popular on the East Coast the group never arrived to the national spotlight. Formed in 1956 in the Bronx, the Rob Roys consisted of Norman Fox (lead), Bob Trotman (first tenor), Andre Lilly (second tenor), Robert Thierer (baritone) and Marshall Helfand (bass). They issued a total of three plates during their existence, other recordings released much later in the eighties and nineties. Their first record in 1957 issued on Backbeat 501: 'Tell Me Why' b/w 'Audry'. 1958 witnessed 'Dance Girl Dance'/'My Dearest One' (Backbeat 508). Their last disc, 'Pizza Pie'/'Dream Girl', released on Capitol 4128 in 1959, but was pulled midissue due to contractual dispute with Backbeat. In 1962 Fox and his group recorded 'Aggravation' and 'Lonely Boy' as the Tradewinds for Bob Shad's Time label, those unissued. One version or another of the Rob Roys reunited on rare occasion to as late as the nineties. The recorded 'Rainy Day Bells' in 1974/75. Four released songs for Starlight appeared in '91, revisions of 'Dream Girl', 'Pizza Pie' and 'Tell Me Why' plus a cover of the Heartbeats' 'Your Way'. 1993 saw revisions of 'Dance Girl Dance' and 'Lover Doll' with other covers. Fox and Robert Thierer kept the group performing into the new millennium, the Rob Roys website listing performances to as late as April 2015. Issues discos w various credits at 1, 2.

Norman Fox & the Rob Roys   1957

  Audry

        Composition: Andre Lilly/Don Carter

  Tell Me Why

        Composition:

        Buzzy (Marshall) Helfand/Don Carter

        (Don) Carter also credited on label

Norman Fox & the Rob Roys   1958

 Dance Girl Dance

        Composition:

        Robert Thierer/Don Carter/Bob Trotman

  Do Re Mi

        Recorded '58   Unissued

        Composition: Norman Fox

  Lover Doll

        Recorded '58   Unissued

        Composition: Norman Fox

Norman Fox & the Rob Roys   1959

  Dream Girl

        Pulled midissue

        Composition: Norman Fox

Norman Fox & the Tradewinds   1962

  Lonely Boy

        Recorded '62   Unissued

Norman Fox & the Rob Roys   1974

  Rainy Day Bells

        Recorded '74   Unissued

        Composition: Neil Sedaka/Howie Greenfield

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Rob Roys

The Rob Roys

Source: White Doo-Wop Collector

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Shells

The Shells

Source: Music AmneZia

Based in Brooklyn, the Shells [1, 2, 3] gathered together in 1957 as Nate Bouknight (lead) Randy Shade Alston (tenor), Bobby Nurse (tenor), Danny Small (bass) and Gus Geter (baritone). They released their first record the same year on Johnson 104: 'Baby oh Baby' with 'Angel Eyes' behind. 'Baby Oh Baby' charted on Billboard's US at #23. And that was it. The group issued 13 more records until the summer of '63 [1 above/lists at 45cat and discogs not entire], also sharing an LP with the Dubs that year. But the bear wouldn't yield any honey so the Shells disappeared before appearing overmuch, which has happened several times in the history of rock according to 1, 2.

The Shells   1957

  Baby Oh Baby

       Composition:

       Hiram Johnson/Nathaniel Bouknight/Walter Coleman

The Shells   1960

  Made for Lovers

       With Roy Jones

        Composition: L. Jones/Hiram Johnson

The Shells   1961

  Baby Walk on In

        Composition: Shade Alston

  Explain It to Me

        Composition:

        Nathaniel Bouknight/Hiram Johnson

  My Cherie

      Recorded 1957

        Composition:

        Nathaniel Bouknight/Hiram Johnson

The Shells   1962

  Deep in My Heart

        Composition: Bob Staunton

  (It's a) Happy Holiday

        Composition: Bob Staunton

  A Toast to Your Birthday

        Composition: Bob Staunton/Carl Fisher

The Shells   1963

  On My Honor

        Composition: Gus Geter/Danny Small

  Our Wedding Day

        Composition: Peter Alonzo/Vincent Catalano

  Scratch My Name Off the Mail Box

       With Gene Holiday

        Composition: Florence Weisenfreund

The Shells   1976

  If You Were Gone From Me

        Lead: Nathaniel Bouknight

 

 
  The forming of the Silhouettes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] returns to 1954 with the Balladeers which, amidst personnel changes, became the Gospel Tornadoes, then the Thunderbirds, then finally the Silhouettes: Rick Lewis, Earl Beal, Bill Horton and Raymond Edwards. Their first release occurred in November 1957 on the Junior label: 'Get a Job' and 'I Am Lonely'. 'Get a Job' foretold their future when it reached the top of Billboard's R&B the next year. But they didn't believe in signs and stubbornly persisted, not again to chart nationally, though releasing numerous recordings into 1968. In 1961 Horton and Edwards quit the group, the Silhouettes reemerging in 1962 with Cornelius Brown and John Wilson filling their spots. No luck. But they still wouldn't get a job. Not until their last disc in '68 for Goodway Records ('Not Me Baby'/'Gaucho Serenade') did they finally concede to the possibility of getting a job. Even Horton, who'd begun a solo career in '64, admitted about the same time that a job might work better. Can't blame them, want ads eternally depressing. And yet the Silhouettes remained rebellious, reforming in 1982 to release an album of original material titled (what else?) 'Workin' Hard'. The group last performed together in 1993. None of the original Silhouettes are yet living. As for Brown, he passed away in 1991. John Wilson became a minister in 2009. Discographies w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. The Silhouettes in visual media. All titles below were composed by the Silhouettes. Lead data thanks to Marv Goldberg.

The Silhouettes   1957

   I Am Lonely

        Lead: Bill Horton

The Silhouettes   1958

   Bing Bong

        Lead: Bill Horton

   Get a Job

        Live on 'American Bandstand'

        Lead: Bill Horton

   Headin' for the Poor House

        Lead: Ray Edwards

   Voodoo Eyes

        Lead: Bill Horton

The Silhouettes   1963

   Rent Man

        Lead: John Wilson

    Your Love (Is All I Need)

        Lead: John Wilson

The Silhouettes   1962

   I Wish I Could Be There

        Lead: John Wilson

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Silhouettes

The Silhouettes   1990

Source: Marv Goldberg

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Slades

The Slades

Source: Brian Lee's Colorradio

 

Most doo wop groups were from the Northeast, but the Slades [1, 2, 3, 4] were from Austin, Texas. Comprised of Don Burch, Bobby Doyle, John Goeke and Tommy Kasper, the Slades first recorded with Atlantic Records as the Spades in 1957: 'Baby' b/w 'You Mean Everything to Me'. Unfortunately, though their calling card referred to the playing card there were objections to their name registered by various radio stations (racial connotations). Atlantic made what it thought to be the less expensive decision, stopped press, then reissued the record with the group renamed the Slades. Mattered not. The Slades never could grab a spot on Billboard's national Top Forty, though 'You Cheated' came close at #42 in 1958. In 1961 the Slades shook it up a bit, recording with Joyce Harris. 'I Cheated' with Harris is thought to be their last record release. As of this writing all the original Slades are yet living except Doyle, who was blind, dying in July of 2006 in Austin. Discos with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2.

The Spades   1957

   You Mean Everything to Me

        Composition: Tommy Kaspar

The Slades   1958

   You Cheated

        Composition: Don Burch

   You Gambled

        Composition: Ray Campi

   The Waddle

        Composition: Theo Theobalt

The Slades   1959

   You Must Try

        Composition: Don Burch

The Slades   1961

   Do You Know What It's Like to Be Lonesome

       With Joyce Harris

        Composition: Joyce Harris

   I Cheated

       With Joyce Harris

        Composition: Joyce Harris/Don Burch

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Tom and Jerry

Tom & Jerry

Source: Discogs

Tom and Jerry (who were Tom Graph and Jerry Landis, who were Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel) were a doo wop collaboration [1, 2] formed in 1957. They released their first plate of collaborative compositions that same year: 'Hey School Girl' with 'Dancin' Wild' flip side. Other titles they co-wrote were 'Our Song' ('58), 'That's My Story' ('58) and '(Pretty Baby) Don't Say Goodbye' [sessions]. In 1961 Landis (Simon) met a group of musicians called the Crew-Cuts with whom he and Graph (Garfunkel) formed the band Tico (Mickey Borack) and the Triumphs [1, 2], releasing 'Motorcycle' in 1962. Tom & Jerry issued their final record, 'I'm Lonesome' b/w 'Looking At You', in 1963. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.] The pair would become Simon and Garfunkel in 1964 (see A Birth of Folk Music).

Tom and Jerry   1957

   Hey School Girl

      Side A   Composition: Graph/Landis

   Dancin' Wild

      Side B   Composition: Graph/Landis

Tom and Jerry   1959

   Baby Talk

      Composition: Melvin Schwartz

Tom and Jerry   1962

   Motorcycle

      Side A    With Tico and the Triumphs

      Composition: Jerry Landis

   I Don't Believe Them

      Side B    With Tico and the Triumphs

       Composition: Jerry Landis

 

 
  Based in the Bronx, the Tonettes (not to be confused with the later Tonettes issuing on Volt in 1962) [1, 2] first recorded in 1957 as the Claremonts: 'Why Keep Me Dreaming' with 'Angel of Romance' back side. By 'Oh! What a Baby' in 1958 they were the Tonettes. Consisting of Diana and Sylvia Sanchez with Josephine Allen, they got together with Vince Castro in 1958 to release several records, beginning with 'Bong Bong'. The Tonettes made their last recordings in 1958, retiring in 1962. Though well-known on the East Coast they never rose to national acclaim nor Billboard's Hot 100. Tonettes discography w credits at Discogs.

The Claremonts   1957

   Angel of Romance

       Composition: Diane Sanchez/Lou Ezzo

   Why Keep Me Dreaming

       Composition: Diane Sanchez/Lou Ezzo

The Tonettes   1958

   Oh What a Baby

       Composition: Josephine Allen/Lou Ezzo

   Uh-Oh

       Composition: Diane Sanchez/Lou Ezzo

   He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me

       Composition: Diane Sanchez/Lou Ezzo

   Bong Bong

      With Vince Castro

       Composition: Charles Merenstein/Vince Castro

   'Cause I Love You

      With Vince Castro

       Composition: Vince Castro

   Too Proud to Cry

      With Vince Castro

       Composition:

       Jimmy Stokley/Marlon Hargis/Sonny Lemaire

   You're My Girl

       With Vince Castro

       Composition: Lou Ezzo/Vince Castro

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Tonettes

The Tonettes

Source: Bob Reuter

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Aquatones

The Aquatones

Source: SirBasildeBrush

The Aquatones [1, 2, 3] came gurgling up in 1956 per Dave Goddard (piano), Larry Vannata (alto and tenor sax) and Gene McCarthy (clarinet), adding 17-year old soprano Lynne Nixon in 1957. They burbled their first single for Fargo in 1958: 'You' b/w 'She's the One for Me'. 'You' was composed by Vannata and charted on Billboard's R&B at No. 11, the Hot 100 at No. 21. The Aquatones never could blub their way to another dry spot on Billboard's chart, their eighth and last bubbles for Fargo in 1961: 'Say You´ll Be Mine' b/w 'My Treasure'. Fargo tossed them a ring buoy in the form of an album of previously recorded material in 1964, but the Aquatones were drowned by then. Issues discos with various credits at 1, 2.

The Aquatones   1958

   She's the One for Me

       Composition: Dave Goddard/Larry Vannata

   You

       Composition: Dave Goddard/Larry Vannata

The Aquatones   1959

   My Treasure

       Composition: Dave Goddard/Larry Vannata

 

 
  The Edsels [1, 2, 3] were originally called the Essos, after the oil company. The group consisted of George Jones Jr. (lead), Larry Green (first tenor), James Reynolds (second tenor), Harry Green (baritone) and Marshall Sewell (bass). Their first release in 1958 came off the press erroneously titled 'Lama Rama Ding Dong'. But the educated public wouldn't have it until it was spelled right. It was released again in 1961 with the correct title, 'Rama Lama Ding Dong', and rose to the #21 spot at Billboard. By that time the group had aired on Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand' on Dec 7 of 1960. The Edsels released several more records into 1962, but they were a beached whale by then. They released a couple discs of new material in 1965, then flapped one last fin one last time in 1968 for Tammy Records: 'Hide and Seek'/'Another Lonely Night'. Reynolds performed with his sons as recently as 2006 on their CD, 'The Reynold Brothers'. The current group, Eddie & the Edsels, has no relation to these Edsels. Discos of issues w various credits at 1, 2.

The Edsels   1958

   Lama Rama Ding Dong

       Composition: George Jones Jr.

The Edsels   1960

   What Brought Us Together

       Composition: George Jones Jr./Larry Green

The Edsels   1961

   Count the Tears

       Composition: Edsels

The Edsels   1962

   Could It Be

       Composition: Marshall Sewell

   My Whispering Heart

       Composition: George Jones Jr.

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Edsels

The Edsels

Source: Rock Is Power

  Formed in 1957, the Elegants [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] consisted of Vito Picone (lead singer), Carman Romano (baritone), James Moschella (bass), Arthur Venosa (first tenor) and Frank Tardogano (second tenor). Picone and Romano had known one another since first grade of elementary school, and had formed group called the Crescents w Pat Cordel in 1955. A singing contest won them a recording contract, whence they issued two compositions by Picone in 1956, 'My Tears'/'Darling Come Back'' (Club 1011/Michele 503/Victory 1001). Once they put together the Elegants they issued 'Little Star'/'Getting Dizzy' (APT 25005) in June of 1958, 'Little Star' to top both Billboard's R&B and pop charts the next month. That was, however, the last they saw of Billboard, even though they aired on 'The Dick Clark Show' on August 9 of '58 [IMDb]. After the issue of 'Belinda'/Lazy Love' in 1965 the Elegants released no records until Picone reformed the group to issue 'It's Just A Matter Of Time'/'Lonesome Weekend' in 1974 on the Bim Bam Boom label. The group then released nothing until Picone decided their first and only album was due per 'A Knight With the Elegants' for the Crystal Ball label in 1981. In 1982 'Ghetto Slide'/'Hypnotized' was released by Real Music. There have been personnel changes but the Elegants have done the distance, performing at Radio City Music Hall eight times. They are yet active today with Picone leading the group. Issues discos of the Elegants w production and songwriting credits at 1, 2. Tracks below are in alphabetical by year.

The Crescents   1956

   Darling Come Back

       With Pat Cordel

       Composition: Vito Picone

   My Tears

       With Pat Cordel

       Composition: Vito Picone

The Elegants   1958

   Getting Dizzy

       First issue   Composition: Elegants

   Goodnight

       Composition: Arthur Venosa

   Little Star

       First issue   Composition:

       Arthur Venosa/Vito Picone

   Please Believe Me

       Composition: Vito Picone

The Elegants   1959

   Get Well Soon

       Composition: Arthur Venosa

   Still Waiting

The Elegants   1961

   Happiness

       Composition: Arthur Venosa

   It's Just a Matter of Time

The Elegants   1963

   A Dream Can Come True

       Composition: McWain/Heard/Keeling/Aycock

   Dressin' Up

       Composition: Arthur Venosa

The Elegants   1965

   Belinda

       Composition: John Illum/Timm Bo Madsen

   Lazy Love

       Composition:

       Barbara Baer/Eliot Greenberg/Robert Schwartz

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Elegants

The Elegants

Source: Deco Sound

  The Equadors [1, 2] were formed in Philadelphia in 1955 as the Chants, consisting of Al Turner (lead), Oscar Drummond (first tenor), Rilly Foreman (second tenor), Lynn Thomas (baritone) and Reginald Grant (bass). The group also employed Mitchell Robinson on guitar and Billy Davis on drums. The Chants made an unreleased demo with 'Linda' and 'Daddy Rock' before changing their name to the Equadors. The existence of other groups called the Equadors make them easy to confuse with the group from Chicago which issued 'Let Me Sleep Woman' in 1959 with Chuck Berry. Gonzales lists yet another Equadors, possibly a Michigan group, issuing 'You're My Desire' on the Miracle label in 1961. In any case, Goldberg nowhere refers to anything about either. 45Cat and Discogs treat them as separate entities as well. The first issue of these Equadors was an EP in 1958 with 'Sputnick Dance'/'I´ll Be The One' A side and 'A Vision'/'Stay a Little Longer' B side [*]. Release on an EP made it a pain in the neck for DJs to play only the first song on either side. That might have been a good way to get the second song on either side played. Then again, it may have gotten the group less airtime due to presenting disc jockeys with a hassle. Howsoever, that problem was addressed by RCA Victor upon issuing "A Vision' with 'Sputnik Dance' on a regular 45, released with the same EP number (EPA 4286). The Equadors were renamed the Modern Ink Spots in 1960 by the Jolly Joyce Booking Agency to play supper clubs. In 1962 they took up bassist, Gary Evans, who would sing lead as well. Also that year Billy Davis was replaced by Claude Higgs on drums. Saxophonist, Charlie Gilbert, would also join the group that year. The only record the group released as the Modern Ink Spots was 'Spotlight Dance'/'Together (In Your Arms)' (Rust 5052) in 1962. Booked for gigs in Quebec, the existence of another Canadian group called the Modern Ink Spots forced them to change their name to the Cardinals, after the earlier Cardinals. They recorded 'Why Don't You Write Me'/'Sh-Boom' (Rose 835) as such before leaving Canada to become the Modern Ink Spots again. The group eventually folded in 1965 when lead, Al Turner, decided to become a policeman (yet a sergeant as of this writing). The group continued without Turner about another year, then dispersed. Equadors discography w credits at Discogs. Per below, lead on all titles are sung by Al Turner except as noted.

The Equadors   1958

   I'll Be The One

      First issue   Composition: Al Turner

   Sputnik Dance

      First issue   Composition: Al Turner

   Stay a Little Longer

       Composition: Leroy Kirkland/Rose Marie McCoy

   A Vision

       Composition: Al Turner

The Modern Ink Spots   1962

   Spotlight Dance

      Lead: Gary Evans

       Composition: Modern Ink Spots

  Together

       Composition: Modern Ink Spots

The Cardinals   1963

   Why Don't You Write

       Composition: Laura Hollins

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Fascinators

The Fascinators

Source: Discogs

 

The Fascinators [1, 2] were a Brooklyn group (not to be confused with the Los Angeles Fascinators who issued 'Can't Stop' on Blue Lake 112 in May of '55, nor several other Fascinators in Disco-File) comprised of Tony Passalaqua (lead), Angelo La Grecca (aka La Green and Lagreca - baritone), Nick Trivatto (tenor), Ed Wheeler (tenor) and George Cernacek (bass). The Fascinators grooved their first record for Capitol in 1958: 'Chapel Bells' with 'I Wonder Who'. They issued 'Who Do You Think You Are'/'Come to Paradise' and 'Oh Rose Marie'/'Fried Chicken and Macaroni' in 1959, but ran out of fuel by the time Capitol reissued 'Chapel Bells'/'I Wonder Who' in 1961. Passalaqua had meanwhile changed his name to Tony Richards and made his first release with the Twilights in 1960 ('Please Believe in Me'/'Paper Boy') [*]. 'Shout My Name'/'Summer Is Coming', also for Colpix Records, were released the following year. Richards then briefly joined the Dedications. Not until 1970 did Richards (Passalaqua) find himself on a Billboard chart, singing with the Archies on their last release in 1970, 'Who's Your Baby' peaking at #40 in 1970. Fascinators discos w credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Fascinators   1958

   Chapel Bells

       Composition: Anthony Passalacqua

   I Wonder Who

       Composition: Anthony Passalacqua

The Fascinators   1959

   Fried Chicken and Macaroni

       Composition: Jesse Stone

   Oh Rose Marie

       Composition: George Cernacek/Nick Trovato

       Angelo La Grecca/Anthony Passalacqua/Ed Wheeler

   Come to Paradise

       Composition: George Cernacek/Nick Trovato

       Angelo La Grecca/Anthony Passalacqua/Ed Wheeler

   Who Do You Think You Are

       Composition: Anthony Passalacqua

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Fiestas

The Fiestas

Source: Mental Itch

From Newark, New Jersey, the original Fiestas [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] were Tommy Bullock (lead vocals), Eddie Morris (tenor), Sam Ingalls (baritone) and Preston Lane (bass). Their first record release in 1958 was actually two, one version of 'So Fine'/'Last Night I Dreamed' with piano introductions and a ZTSP number on the label, another the same year without piano introductions and missing a ZTSP number. Be as may, 'So Fine' reached the #3 spot on Billboard's R&B, #11 on the pop chart. 'Broken Heart' peaked at the #18 spot in R&B in 1962, which is the last the Fiestas danced onto Billboard's Hot 100. That, however, wasn't the end of the Fiestas, continuing to record in one manifestation or another as late as 1978, 'ESP'/'One More Chance' and 'Thanks for the Sweet Memories'/'One More Chance' for Arista that year. Bullock was the last original member with a later reformation of the group in 1996. Another configuration, none original, were active in 2002. Discos of the Fiestas with production and songwriting credits at 1, 2.

The Fiestas   1958

   Last Night I Dreamed

       Composition:

       Johnny Otis by lawsuit (uncredited on label)

   So Fine

       Composition: Jim Gribble

The Fiestas   1961

   Look at That Girl

       Composition: Eddie Morris/Randall Stewart

   She's Mine

       Composition: Eddie Morris/Randall Stewart

The Fiestas   1962

   Broken Heart

       Composition: Gene Redd/Ronald Moseley

   I Feel Good All Over

       Composition: Otis Blackwell/Winfield Scott

The Fiestas   1963

   The Gypsy Said

       Composition: Gene Redd/Lowe Murray

The Fiestas   1986

   Mexico

      Recorded 1958

      Erroneously credited to the Chimes

 

 
  From Brooklyn, the Five Discs had the problem of being the Five Discs [1, 2]. Formed as the Flames in 1954, they originally consisted of Mario DeAndrade (lead), Andy Jackson (bass), Joe Barsalona (baritone), Paul Albano (first tenor), Tony Basile (second tenor) and Joe Brocco. Joe Albano was an ambulance driver who became the group's manager. The Flames recorded their first demo in 1957, but changed their name to the Five Discs before their first release for Emge Records in 1958: 'I Remember' b/w 'The World Is a Beautiful Place'. 'I Remember' charted in NYC at #28 and Boston at #2. Though charting regionally, the Five Discs never charted nationally. The group began shifting personnel in 1960, Lenny Hutter and John Russell replacing DeAndrade and Andy Jackson respectively. That trend continued [*], the addition of Eddie Pardocchi in 1962 particularly notable. The Five discs tried recording on every label on the East Coast, also changing their manager in '63 to Herb Kessler. But neither were of assistance. The Five Discs simply weren't popular. So they tried to fool the world into thinking they were the Boyfriends in 1964. Because you have to be popular to be a boyfriend. But they were found out, so not allowed to go national. When Albano, Barsalona and Pardocchi put another quintet together in 1972 they made the mistake, yet again, of admitting that they were the Five Discs. But not even being honest about it helped. That group quickly disbanded, only for another Five Discs to arise in 1980 per Pardocchi, disband in 1982, then arise yet again in the nineties per Pardocchi. Five Discs catalogs with various credits at 1, 2.

The Five Discs   1958

  Bells

      Recorded 1957 [Gonzales]

     Issued on Crystal Ball 136   1980

  I Remember

       Composition: Joe Arbano

The Five Discs   1959

  Roses

       Composition: Levinthal/DeAndrade

The Five Discs   1962

  Never Let You Go

       Composition: Five Discs

  That Was the Time

       Composition: George Pafundi/Wilmar Walker

The Five Discs   1963

  This Love of Ours

      Recorded 1963 [Doo-wop.blogg.org]

     Issued on Crystal Ball 141   1981

The Boyfriends   1964

  Let's Fall In Love

       Composition: Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The 5 Discs

The original Five Discs

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

 

Formed in 1958 in Brooklyn, the Impalas [1, 2, 3], named after the Chevrolet car, consisted of Joe Frazier, Richard Wagner, Lenny Renda and Tony Carlucci. Not to be confused w several other Impalas listed in Gonzales' Disco-File, such as those of Washington DC: 'For the Love of Mike'/'I Need You So Much' on Checker 999. Both Doo-wop.blogg.org and Discogs document issues in 1958 which Gonzales lists separately from an other Impalas without linking references, such as 'First Date' on Hamilton 60026 and 'Gotta Girl' w Bobby Byrd on Corvet 1018. As Jay Warner's 'American Singing Groups', thus Rosalsky also, list 'First Date' as by these Impalas we include it with reference to 1, 2, 3. Other sources make no mention of it. The Impalas were discovered by DJ, Alan Freed [1, 2, 3, 4], who helped the group sign up with MGM Records on its Cub label. Their first issue, if not 'First Date', is thought to have been 'Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)' b/w 'Fool, Fool, Fool' (Cub K 9022) in 1959. 'Sorry' went gold, #2 on Billboard's pop chart, #14 on it's R&B, #28 in the UK. (The British themselves produced very little doo wop, an essentially American genre. See, however, the Southlanders, Neville Taylor and the Cutters and Emile Ford and the Checkmates [1, 2, 3].) But the Impalas (and their namesakes) were one of doo wop's numerous drive-by groups, disbanding the next year. Frazer went on to join Love's Own in 1973. He resurrected another version of the Impalas in 1980 with which he toured. Impalas discographies w credits at 45Cat and Discogs. The latter's inclusion of 'Why?'Gotta Girl' w Byrd would seem mistaken, there no other reference found to indicate that it was recorded by the same Impalas.

The Impalas   1958

   First Date

       Possibly an other Impalas

       Composition: Mango/Beltz/Pappas

The Impalas   1959

   Sandy Went Away

       Composition: Arthur Zwirn/Harry Giosasi

   Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)

       Composition: Arthur Zwirn/Harry Giosasi

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Impalas

The Impalas

Source: Mental Itch

 

  In 1957 there existed a group in Brooklyn called the Chesters consisting of Clarence Collins, Tracy Lord, Nathaniel Rogers, and Ronald Ross. They were joined by Anthony Gourdine (b '41) as lead, who had sang with the Duponts. The Chesters released 'The Fires Burn No More'/'Lift Up Your Head' in 1957 for Apollo Records. The group became the Imperials in 1958 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], Gourdine christened Little Anthony by DJ, Alan Freed [1, 2, 3]. Little Anthony and the Imperials recorded 'Tears on My Pillow' in '58. The song achieved the #2 spot on Billboard's R&B, #4 on the Hot 100. The Imperials would become a world-class doo wop and soul group, rivaling those so prominent as the Isley Brothers. They visited the Top Ten again in 1964 with 'I'm On the Outside' reaching #8 on the R&B, followed by 'Goin' Out of My Head' at #6. The group's last to visit the Top Ten was 'Hurt So Bad' in 1965 at #3. That was also the year of their last Top Forty on the Billboard US, at #34 with 'I Miss You So'. Their last Top Forty on the R&B was 'I'm Falling in Love with You' at #25 in 1974. Not until 2002 did the Imperials issue a live album: 'Up Close & Personal', the album, 'Pure Acapella', also released that year. Among other awards, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Though the Imperials have seen not a few personnel changes over the decades they're yet active touring with Gourdine yet at helm. Discographies of releases w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Anthony and the Imperials in visual media.

The Chesters   1957

  The Fires Burn No More

       Composition: Anthony Gourdine

  Lift Up Your Head

       Composition: Anthony Gourdine

Little Anthony & the Imperials   1958

  Tears on My Pillow

       Composition: Sylvester Bradford/Al Lewis

Little Anthony & the Imperials   1959

  Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop

       Composition: Bob Smith

Little Anthony & the Imperials   1964

  Goin' Out of My Head

       Composition: Bobby Weinstein/Teddy Randazzo

  I'm on the Outside (Looking In)

       Composition: Teddy Randazzo/Bobby Weinstein

  Make It Easy on Yourself

       Composition: Burt Bacharach/Hal David

Little Anthony & the Imperials   1965

  Hurt So Bad

       Composition: Teddy Randazzo/Bobby Weinstein

Little Anthony & the Imperials   1985

  Tears on My Pillow

    Filmed live

       Composition: Sylvester Bradford/Al Lewis

Little Anthony & the Imperials   2008

  Hurt So Bad

        Live on the 'Dave Letterman Show'

       Composition: Teddy Randazzo/Bobby Weinstein

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Little Anthony & the Imperials

Little Anthony & the Imperials

Source: Our Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Impressions

The Impressions

Source: Google Play

Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks and Arthur Brooks left Chattanooga for Chicago where they formed the original Impressions with Jerry Butler and composer, Curtis Mayfield [1, 2, 3, 4], releasing their first titles in April of 1958 on both shellac and vinyl: 'For Your Precious Love'/'Sweet Was the Wine' (Falcon 1013). 'For Your Precious Love' reached #3 on Billboard's R&B, #11 on its Hot 100. The group appeared on 'The Dick Clark Show' on 12 July, 1958 [*]. It's first of five appearances on Clark's 'American Bandstand' to as late as 1974 was on Sep 4 of '58. Jerry Butler left the Impressions in 1960, leaving Curtis Mayfield as lead singer on 'Gypsy Woman', reaching the #2 tier on Billboard's R&B in 1961. They then proceeded to become among the most prominent R&B groups for the next thirty years. Endeavoring to list the number of songs they placed in the Top Ten is futile because I can't count that high. Titles that topped Billboard's R&B at No. 1 were 'It's Alright' in 1961, 'Keep On Pushing' and 'Amen' in 1964, 'We're a Winner' in 1967 and 'Choice of Colors' in 1969. The Impressions were still making the Top Forty in 1977 with 'This Time' at #40 on the R&B. The group's first LP had been 'The Impressions' as of 1963. Mayfield left the group after its recording of the album, 'Check Out Your Mind', in 1970, after which personnel altered fairly often, Sam Gooden the mainstay to this day. The group released their first single in over three decades in 2013 with Daptone Records: 'Rhythm!' on a 7" with 'Star Bright' back side [*]. (Daptone records on analogue tape.) Discos of Impressions issues at  1, 2, 3, 4. Songwriting credits at 1, 2.

The Impressions   1958

   Come Back My Love

      Composition: Clyde Otis/Roy Hamilton

   For Your Precious Love

      Composition:

      Arthur Brooks/Richard Brooks/Jerry Butler

The Impressions   1961

   Gypsy Woman

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

The Impressions   1963

   It's All Right

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

The Impressions   1965

   Its All Right

       Live on 'Hollywood A Go Go'

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

   People Get Ready

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

The Impressions   1967

   It's All Over

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

   We're a Winner

       Television performance

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

The Impressions   1975

   Same Thing It Took

      Composition:

      Ed Townsend/Chuck Jackson/Marvin Yancy

 

 
  It was 1955 in Detroit where Smokey Robinson [1, 2, 3] came together with what would later become the Miracles. The career of Robinson & the Miracles coincides with what would come to be called the Motown sound, a subgenre of R&B in the sixties and disco in the seventies. The Motown sound came to be much due to record producer, Berry Gordy Jr. [1, 2, 3], who founded Tamla, then Motown Records, in Detroit in 1959. Numerous Motown groups would be handled by Gordy at Motown: the Four Tops, the Contours, the Supremes, the Temptations, Martha & the Vandellas, to name but several. At first called the Five Chimes, original members were William "Smokey" Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronald White, Clarence Dawson and James Grice. They soon changed their name to the Matadors and recorded an acetate demo in 1955. (That found release in the sixties on an album titled 'Roadhouse Presents The Great Unreleased Group Sounds', credited as Smokey and Group.) The Silhouettes made a big fuss in January of 1958 with 'Get a Job'. A lot of responses were recorded: 'I Found a Job' by the Heartbeats, 'I Got a Job' by the Tempos and 'I Got Fired' ('59) by, my kind of group, the Mistakes. In 1958 the Miracles released their own response with their first single for End Records: 'Got a Job'. By that time the group consisted of Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, Ronald White, Bobby Rogers and Claudette Robinson, the last whom Smokey would wed in November 1959. (Other members of the Miracles into the new millennium.) The Miracles placed in Billboard's Top 100 but the month before with 'Bad Girl' at #93. 'Shop Around' topped Billboard's R&B in 1960, #2 on the US. Happy day for Berry Gordy who had founded Motown Records only the year before, 'Shop Around' to sell a million copies. (Gordy had founded Tamla Records in 1959 prior to Motown.) From that point onward the Miracles became one of the brighter burning stars in the rhythm and blues galaxy. Like most groups, an appearance on Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand' was requisite to going national. Dick Clark decided many a career, an arbiter of who was or wasn't the best talent, exercising huge prestige in the industry. Coinciding with such publicities was the billing of the Miracles as the "Motown" (Detroit) sound, to become a subgenre of R&B. By 1965 it required the release of a double album, 'From the Beginning', to compile the Imperials' greatest hits. The group was grossing about $150,000 a year about that time from investments and royalties. They were commanding between $100,000 and $250,000 a night on tour. The Miracles consistently placed in the Top Ten and Forty until 1975 when 'Gemini' peaked at only #43. But they still reached #5 on Billboard's R&B that year with 'Love Machine' (#1 on the US). Their list of Top Ten songs in R&B alone would too bloat this paragraph, perhaps to bursting. For safety purposes I will risk mention of only of those which topped at No. 1: After 'Shop Around' came 'You've Really Got a Hold On Me' in 1962. 'I Second That Emotion" topped in 1967. 'The Tears of a Clown' followed in 1970, also peaking at #1 on the US. Smokey left the Miracles in 1972 along with Claudette. His final concert performances with the Miracles were released by Tamla on an album titled 'Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: 1957–1972'. The Miracles continued onward with Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White and Billy Griffin to release the album 'Renaissance' in 1973. Griffin had a solo career to return to in 1980 and Moore wanted off the road. Rogers and White carried on with Dave Finley and Carl Cotton as the New Miracles until 1983. In 1993 Rogers, White and Finley reformed with Sydney Justin. White died in 1995 of leukemia but the Miracles performed in one formation or another into the new millennium. Bobby Rogers died in March 2013. As for Robinson, his career after leaving the Miracles in 1973 was as remarkable as it had been with the Miracles. He started that year with 'Sweet Harmony' at #31 on Billboard's R&B. Then 'Baby Come Close' placed at #7 later that year. Only to list all the songs Robinson placed in the Top Ten of R&B alone (his last being 'Everything You Touch' in 1990 peaking at #4) courts danger alike filling a tire with too much air. Again, for safety purposes I hazard only Robinson's No. 1 titles on Billboard's R&B (certainly not the pop charts): 'Baby That's Backatcha' was spelled poorly but topped the R&B in 1975 anyway. 'Being With You' followed in 1981. 'Just to See Her' topped Billboard's AC (Adult Contemporary)in 1987. Ranking at #20 on the 'Rolling Stone' list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, Robinson was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame that year as well. As recently as 2014 Robinson peaked on Billboard's album chart at #12 with 'Smokey & Friends', a suite of duets with such as Elton John, Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor. He yet tours the United States as of this writing while maintaining pages at Facebook and Twitter. Robinson was responsible for numerous compositions employed by both the Miracles and other artists. Titles written for such as Mary Wells include 'Operator' ('62), 'My Guy' ('64) and 'When I'm Gone' ('66). He authored such as 'As Long As I Know He's Mine' for issue by the Marvelettes in '63 and 'Automatically Sunshine' for the Supremes in '72. Among titles Robinson composed for the Miracles were 'Christmas Everyday' ('63), 'Would I Love You' ('64) and 'More Love' ('67). See also compositions in visual media. Discographies of issues with various other credits at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Robinson & the Miracles in visual media.

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1958

   Got a Job

      Composition: Curtis Mayfield

      Berry Gordy/Tyrone Carlo/William Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1959

   Bad Girl

      Composition: Berry Gordy/Smokey Robinson

   (You Can) Depend on Me

      Composition: Berry Gordy/Smokey Robinson

   I Love Your Baby

      Composition: Berry Gordy/Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1960

   Shop Around

      Composition: Berry Gordy/Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1964

   You Really Got a Hold On Me

     'Shindig'

      Composition: Smokey Robinson

   You Really Got a Hold On Me

     'T.A.M.I Show'

      Composition: Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1965

   Going to a Go-Go

      Composition: Marvin Tarplin/Robert Rogers

      Warren Moore/Smokey Robinson

   Ooo Baby Baby

     'Ready, Steady Go'

      Composition: Warren Moore/Smokey Robinson

   The Tracks of My Tears

      Composition:

      Marvin Tarplin/Warren Moore/Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1966

   Save Me

      Composition:

      Robert Rogers/Warren Moore/Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson & the Miracles   1970

   Tears of a Clown

        Television performance

      Composition:

      Henry Cosby/Stevie Wonder/William Robinson

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Source: What's Going On Now

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Shields

The Shields

Source: Discogs

The Shields, [1, 2, 3] as in shielded from audience, consisted of Frankie Ervin (lead), Jesse Belvin (falsetto/tenor), Johnny Watson (bass), Mel Williams (2nd tenor) and Buster Williams (2nd tenor). The group was put together with the intention of producing a single studio record, a cover of the recently released Slades' tune, 'You Cheated'. The Shields' version of 'You Cheated' proved more popular than what the Slades were selling. 'You Cheated' by the Slades reached the #42 spot on Billboard in August of '58. The rendition performed by the Shields reached #12 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B the same month. The Shields first released 'You Cheated' with 'That's the Way It's Gonna Be' back side for Tender Records. It quickly passed to Dot for distribution, backed with 'Nature Boy'. Attaining to greater success than was first envisioned, it was decided that the Shields ought continue making records. Unfortunately Ervin was pretty dissatisfied that he received neither credits for arranging 'You Cheated', singing lead on 'You Cheated', nor royalties. Such resulted in Ervin taking a swing at producer and manager, George Motola (owner of Tender Records who had named the group), who then replaced Ervin with Johnny White. Matola then had trouble keeping a Shields group together for tours, running through above ten personnel replacements in the brief time that the Shields name existed without any actual group. Motola owned the lot and he wasn't going to divvy with a group in which he had no real interest. The Shields were an entirely different ensemble by the time it made its last release in 1960 (released by both Transcontinental and Falcon): 'The Girl Around The Corner'/'You'll Be Coming Home Soon'. The Shields released only eight singles during its brief career. Who knows what they might have done by retaining Ervin, but the group went poof due to mismanagement on the cheap intentionally absent of future vision. Discographies with credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Tracks below are alphabetical, not chronological, by year.

The Shields   1958

   Believe Me

      Composition: George Motola/Hal Winn

   Fare Thee Well

      Composition: M. Boyd

   I'm Sorry Now

      Composition: George Motola/Eddie Brandt

   You Cheated

      Composition: Don Burch

The Shields   1959

   Play the Game Fair

      Composition: Don Burch

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Shirelles

The Shirelles

Source: Great Song

 

Female doo wop group, the Shirelles, never topped Billboard's R&B charts, but they came pretty close with eight songs rising to the Top Ten between 1960 and '64, and twice topped Billboard's pop chart. They were formed in 1957 for a high school talent show by Shirley Owens, Doris Coley, Addie Harris and Beverly Lee. The Shirelles released their first record, 'I Met Him On a Sunday' in 1958 for Decca Records. The song charted on Billboard's Hot 100 at #49 that April. In 1959 the Shirelles traded Decca for Alan Freed's Scepter label. The group's initial Top Ten was 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' in 1960, topping Billboard's pop chart and reaching #2 on the R&B. The Shirelles rose three times to the #2 spot on Billboard's R&B in 1961 with 'Dedicated to the One I Love', 'Mama Said' and 'Bog John'. 'Baby It's You' found the #3 tier that year as well. In 1962 the Shirelles topped the pop chart with 'Soldier Boy', #3 on the R&B. 'Foolish Little Girl' rose to the fourth tier on the Hot 100, #9 on the R&B. The group's last to enter the Top Ten was 'Tonight You're Gonna Fall in Love with Me' in 1964 at #4. Their last to achieve the Top Twenty was also that year, 'Sha-La-La' peaking at #15. 1964 was the last time the Shirelles saw the Top Forty as well, with 'Are You Still My Baby' rising to #37 on the R&B, though 'Last Minute Miracle' came close in 1967 at #41 (#99 on the Hot 100). All to say that the Shirelles made a pretty big fuss despite their major rival, the Supremes. Coley left the group in 1968 to attend to family, after which the Shirelles continued as a trio. Coley returned in 1975 to replace Owens who was moving onward to a solo career that year. Harris died of heart attack in 1982 at the Hyatt Regency after a performance in Atlanta. Coley died of breast cancer in 2002 in Sacramento. Beverly Lee, eventually coming to own the Shirelles trademark, remains the mainstay of the group, yet performing as of this writing. Discographies w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs. The Shirelles in visual media. References: 1, 2. 3, 4, 5, 6. DooWopHeaven: 1, 2, 3, 4.

The Shirelles   1958

   I Met Him on a Sunday

      Composition: Shirelles:

      Addie Harris/Beverly Lee/Doris Coley/Shirley Owens

The Shirelles   1959

   Dedicated to the One I Love

      Composition: Florence & Stan Greenberg

The Shirelles   1960

   Boys

      Composition: Luther Dixon/Wes Farrell

The Shirelles   1961

   Baby It's You

      Composition:

      Burt Bacharach/Mack David/Barney Williams

   Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

      Composition: Gerry Goffin/Carole King

The Shirelles   1962

   Soldier Boy

      Composition: Luther Dixon/Florence Greenberg

 

 
  In 1958 lead vocalist, Jimmy Beaumont, got together with Wally Lester, Jack Taylor, Joe Verscharen and Janet Vogel [1, 2] to form the Crescents in Pittsburgh, which name was changed to the Skyliners [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] briefly before making their first record release in December of 1958 for Calico, owned by Lennie Martin. The group was named by its manager, Joe Rock, after the song, 'Skyliner', by Charlie Barnet. Though all the Skyliners contributed to composition, main writers were Beaumont and Rock with orchestral arrangements by Martin. The Skyliners' initial issue, 'Since I Don’t Have You' (b/w 'One Night, One Night') peaked at #3 on Billboard's R&B (#12 on the US) in February of '59. Later that year 'This I Swear' saw #20 on the R&B, #26 on the pop chart. 'Pennies From Heaven' charted on the Hot 100 at #24 in May of 1960. 'The Loser' peaked at #34 in 1965, which is the last the Skyliners saw of Billboard. Taylor was the first original member to leave the Skyliners, drafted into the Army in 1965. Lester and Verscharen hung with group until 1972. The album, 'The Skyliners', was released in 1978. At that time the group consisted of Jimmy Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Jimmie Ross and Bobby Sholes. Vogel committed suicide in 1980 (age 37). Longtime manager and producer, Joe Rock, died in 2000 upon unsuccessful heart surgery. Verscharen passed away in 2007 of cancer. Lester died of pancreatic cancer in April 2015. Beaumont died of cancer ten years later on October 7, 2017 [*], the last formation of the Skyliners having consisted of Nick Pociask, Rick Morris and Donna Groom as of this writing. Donna Groom's husband, Mark Groom, had been a drummer with the Skyliners a quarter of a century. Skyliners discographies w credits at 45Cat and Discogs. Skyliners in visual media.

The Skyliners   1958

   Since I Don't Have You

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

   With All My Heart and Soul

      Unissued until 'Pre Flight' on Relic 5053   1985

The Skyliners   1959

   If I Loved You

      Composition: Rodgers & Hammerstein

   This I Swear

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

The Skyliners   1960

   Believe Me

      Composition: Richard Barrett

   Pennies from Heaven

      Composition: Arthur Johnston/John Burke

The Skyliners   1961

   The Door Is Still Open

      Composition: Chuck Willis

   I'll Close My Eyes

      Composition: Billy Reid   1945

      Lyrics revised by Buddy Kaye   1947

The Skyliners   1963

   I'd Die

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

The Skyliners   2005

   Since I Don't Have You

       Live

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Skyliners

The Skyliners

Source: Jazz Wax

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Students

The Students

Source: Marv Goldberg
Joining together in 1956 in Cincinnati, the Students [1, 2, 3, 4] consisted of Leroy King (lead), Dorsey Porter (first tenor), Roy Ford (second tenor), John Bolden (baritone), Richard Johnson (bass) and Ralph Byrd (guitar). The Students released their debut single in 1958: 'I'm So Young' b/w 'Every Day Of The Week'. That didn't grab a lot of attention until its reissue on Argo Records in 1961, peaking at #26 on Billboard's R&B. But the several brief years that the Students went to school as vocalists were apparently not that great, or there were other factors, as they dropped out in 1962. Not the most prolific of recording artists, with issued plates one could count on one hand, their only other original tracks after '58's 'I'm so Young' were 'My Vow to You' b/w 'That's How I Feel' in 1959. They had also backed Jimmy Coe on 'Wazoo!!' in '58. Johnson yet performs with the newest formation of the Students as of this writing [Russ & Gary's], still eluding their Chaperones after all these years. Discographies w credits at 1, 2.

The Students   1958

   Every Day of the Week

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

      Arrangement/Conducting: Jimmy Coe

   I'm So Young

      Composition: Joe Rock/Skyliners

      Arrangement/Conducting: Jimmy Coe

   My Vow to You

      Composition: Students

The Students   1959

   That's How I Feel

      Composition: Students

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Chaperones

The Chaperones

Source: Joe Troiano

Unfortunately, the Students from Cincinnati were unable to behave. Therefore, the Chaperones from Long Island [ 1, 2, 3]. The Chaperones were originally the Sharptones and Fairlanes, said to have changed their name to better associate with a dance and prom theme. Original members were Tony Amato (lead), Roy Marchesano (first tenor), Tommy Ronca (second tenor), Nick Salvato (baritone) and Dave Kelly (bass). It is believed the Chaperones cut their gums in the recording studio backing up Lee Adrian on 'Barbara, Let's Go Steady' in 1959. Their debut release on their own was 'Cruise to the Moon' b/w 'Dance With Me' in 1960, Rich Messina replacing Kelly as bass. The Chaperones released their last recordings in 1961: 'Blueberry Sweet'/'The Man From The Moon'. Their only other record issue had been 'My Shadow And Me'/'Shining Star' in 1960, following 'Cruise to the Moon'. All said, the Chaperones might have released a single or so more than their charges, the Students, but they never placed a title on Billboard. The Chaperones nevertheless remained active performing at nightclubs. Ronca currently lives in Maricopa, AZ, as a record producer, caring not a whit about the Students. Salvato, who owns the Chaperones trademark since 1987, which rights he shares among original members, yet ramrods the latest edition of the Chaperones, none of whom care about the Students either. Amato had died in 1990. Marchesano died in 1994. Chaperones discos w various credits at 1, 2.

The Chaperones   1959

   Barbara Let's Go Steady

       With Lee Adrian

      Composition: Schwartzberg (Lee Adrian)

The Chaperones   1960

   Cruise to the Moon

      Composition: Chaperones

   Dance with Me

      Composition: Chaperones

The Chaperones   1961

   My Shadow and Me

      Composition: Chaperones

   Shining Star

      Composition: L. Jordan/S. Belle

The Chaperones   1962

   Close Your Eyes

       With Lou Jordan

      Composition: Vinnie Catalano/Pete Alonzo

  Paradise for Two

       With Lou Jordan

      Composition: Lou Jordan/Sally Belle

The Chaperones   1963

   Blueberry Suite

      Composition: Saul Davis

 

 
  The Eternals [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were five Puerto Ricans from the Bronx. The original members of the group were Charlie Girona (lead), Ernie Sierra (2nd tenor), Alex Miranda (bass), Fred Hodge (1st tenor), and Arnie Torres (baritone). The Eternals (not to be confused with the later Canadian group) were originally the Gleamers and the Orbits, changing to the Eternals upon hiring Bill Martin as manager toward the release of their first record on the Hollywood label in April of 1959: 'Rockin' in the Jungle' with 'Rock & Roll Cha Cha' on back. 'Rockin'' peaked at #78 on Billboard's R&B in July of 1959, after which the Eternals disappeared from the charts, 'Babalu's Wedding Day'/'My Girl' also released in 1959. Jay Warner ['American Singing Groups'] has that pulled from distribution due to lawsuit brought by the Eternals' manager (unidentified, perhaps Martin) against unspecified booking agents. Warner also comments upon what must have been a surprising experience circa 1960 when the group had to lip-sync an entire unidentified title at a concert at 33 rpm instead of 45. 'Blind Date'/'Today' (Warwick 611) saw issue in Dec of 1960. Singing lead was new member, George Villanueva. Rosalsky has the Eternals discouraged by a lawsuit between Hollywood Records and Warwick which prevented them from recording for two years, they shutting up shop in '62 [Warner]. The Eternals were reformed in 1972 by original members, Sierra and Torres. The newest configuration, yet performing as of this writing, is led by Sierra with George Villanueva, Herman Velez, Tito Santiago and Freddie Clavel (bass) [*]. Eternals discos w credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Eternals   1959

  My Girl

      Composition: Martin/Hodge/Sierra

      Arrangement/Conducting: Joe René

  Rock & Roll Cha Cha

      Composition: Bill Martin/Charlie Girona

   Rockin' in the Jungle

      Composition: Bill Martin/Charlie Girona

The Eternals   1961

   Blind Date

      Composition: Charlie Girona/Arnie Torres

   Today

      Composition: Charlie Girona

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Eternals

The Eternals

Source: White Doo-Wop Collector

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Impacts

The Impacts

Source: White Doo-Wop Collector

The original members of the Impacts [*] were Steve Liebowitz, Horace Brooks, Robert Barber, Kenneth Seymour and Helen Powell. Liebowitz and Powell would marry. The Impacts are thought to have released their first record on the Watts label in May of 1958 [Gonzales]: 'Now Is the Time' b/w 'Soup'. That was followed, with Charles Mattocks replacing Liebowitz, by 'Croc-O-Doll'/'Bobby Sox Squaw' and 'Canadian Sunset'/'They Say' in 1959. Powell and Baber were replaced by Paul Fulton and Sammy Strain (both from the Chips) to release 'Help Me Somebody'/'Darling Now You're Mine' in 1961. The group reconstituted as the Blue Chips [*] for about a year in 1961 with Bert Can replacing Fulton. Their initial record as such was 'Puddles Of Tears'/'The Contest', followed by 'Let It Ride'/'Adios Adios', also in 1961. In 1962 the Blue Chips released 'Promise' b/w 'One Hen'. Seymour then replaced George Kerr later that year in the Imperials for a brief time. A new formation of the Impacts issued 'Just Because'/'Pigtails' and 'Wishing Well'/'Heartaches' in 1965. Their next and last issue was 'Could You Love Me'/'My World Fell Down' in 1967. Other members of the Impacts had been Harold "Curly" Jenkins (from the Kodaks and would later work with the Imperials), Renaldo Gamble (bass from the Schoolboys and the Kodaks) and Allen Morton (from the Chips). Impacts discography. Blue Chips discography.

The Impacts   1958

   Now Is the Time

      Composition: Seymour/Liebowitz/Willard

   Soup

      Composition: Johnny Wesley

The Impacts   1961

   Darling Now You're Mine

      Composition: Barrett

   Help Me Somebody

      Composition: Barrett/Evans

The Blue Chips   1961

   Puddles of Tears

      Composition: Edward Ellen

The Blue Chips   1962

   One Hen

      Composition: Hugo/Luigi/George Weiss

 

 
  The Mystics [1, 2, 3, 4,, 5] were formed in Brooklyn in 1958, releasing their first recording in 1959: 'Hushabye' backed by 'Adam and Eve'. 'Hushabye' peaked at #20 on Billboard's US that May. At that time the group was composed of Al Contrera (bass), Al Cracolici (baritone), Phil Cracolici (lead), George Galfo (2nd tenor) and Bob Ferrante (1st tenor). 'Don't Take the Stars' reached #98 on the US in October of '59, after which the Mystics dropped off Billboard's Top 100 for good. Both Paul Simon and Jay Traynor would sing lead with the Mystics in 1960, but both would soon leave to pursue their careers otherwise, Simon to resume his partnership with Art Garfunkel as Tom and Jerry, Traynor to form Jay & the Americans. The Mystics were another of numerous doo wop groups very popular on the East Coast while existing in stealth beneath the national spotlight. You'd might not have heard of them if you lived in Flagstaff, Arizona. But if you lived in NYC and followed music you'd have definitely known who they were. Their last release for Laurie was 'Sunday Kind of Love'/'Darling I Know How' in 1961, after which they exchanged nightlife for day jobs, all but Galfo becoming recording engineers. A later reformation of the group by the Cracolici brothers and Al Contrera released 'Now That Summer Is Here'/'Prayer To An Angel' in 1982. Those were included on the album of the same year, 'Crazy For You'. Original member, George Galfo, released a CD in 2004 titled 'Hushabye Again' with a later configuration of the group. As of this writing he and Phil Cracolici yet perform with the newest manifestation of the Mystics including Rocky Marsicano and Ralph Varrone [*]. Mystics discos w various credits at 45Cat and Discogs.

The Mystics   1959

   Adam and Eve

      Composition: Ken Hana Jr.

   Hushabye

      Composition: Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman

   So Tenderly

      Composition: Beverly Ross/Jeff Barry

The Mystics   1961

   Darling I Know Now

      Composition: Ralph Lizano

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Mystics

The Mystics

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Radiants

The Radiants

Source: Rock Tour Database

Not to be confused with Cleve Duncan & the Radiants, this Radiants [1, 2, 3] originally formed as a gospel group in Chicago in 1960. (Cleveland Duncan was lead singer for the Penguins. He released a couple records in '59 and '60 with his own formation of the Radiants. There was also a Jan & the Radiants, a Randy & the Radiants and a Maurice & the Radiants, only the last of any relation to this Radiants.) Consisting of Maurice McAlister (lead), Wallace Sampson (baritone), Jerome Brooks (second tenor), Elzie Butler (bass) and Charles Washington (first tenor), the Radiants released their first record in 1962: 'Father Knows Best' b/w 'One Day I'll Show You'. 'Father Knows Best' attained to the #100 tier on Billboard's Hot 100. Personnel began switching in 1964, McAlister and Sampson continuing with Leonard Caston Jr.. That formation issued 'Voice Your Choice' in 1964 (R&B #10) and 'Ain't No Big Thing in '65 (R&B #14). Caston was replaced by James Jameson in 1965 to issue "Baby You've Got It'. The group was comprised of Sampson, Jameson, Mitchell Bullock and Victor Caston when it issued 'Don't It Make You Feel Kinda Bad' in 1967 (R&B #47). The group also took the R&B #37 spot with 'Hold On' in 1968, their last release. The Radiants continued performing until 1972. Radiants discos w credits at 1, 2.

The Radiants   1962

   One Day I'll Show You

      Composition:

      L. Jackson/Maurice (Smokey) McAlister

The Radiants   1964

   Ain't No Big Thing

      Composition: Gerald Sims(s)

   Voice Your Choice

      Composition: Gerald Sims/Maurice McAlister

The Radiants   1965

   Baby You Got It

     Television performance

      Composition: Maurice McAlister/Terry Vail

   (Don't It Make You) Feel Kind of Bad

      Composition:

      Billy Davis/Carl Smith/Raynard Miner

      Arrangement: Phil Wright

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Chiffons

The Chiffons

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

The Chiffons [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were named after a sheer fabric in a plain weave, upgraded from "old rag" in French: chiffe. Those hand-me-up girls were originally a trio of Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee, formed at James Monroe High School in Bronx in 1960. Sylvia Peterson was added and the group made its first release in 1960: 'Tonight's the Night'. That rose to only #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 that September. (The Shirelles' version did much better the same month at #14 on the R&B and #39 on the Hot 100.) But in February of 1963 the Chiffons nearly squashed Billboard's R&B when 'He's So Fine' plopped on top, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 as well. Billboard's R&B was crushed from the 6th level down in June that year upon 'One Fine Day', the song at #5 on the Hot 100. The Chiffons tried to flatten the charts altogether in November as well, but Billboard's R&B resisted at level 6 again, #36 on the Hot 100. As if that weren't bad enough, the album, 'He's So Fine', sumoed both the R&B and pop charts at #1. Who knows that the Chiffons didn't eat spinach or chew Doublemint Gum, for they were a double group in 1963 as well, releasing 'My Block'/'Dry Your Eyes' and 'When The Boy's Happy'/'Hockaday Part 1' for the Rust label as the Four Pennies. They may or may not have chewed on 'Bubble Gum' by the Vacels in '62 [*]. Nevertheless, not real successful as the Pennies, they continued as the Chiffons, smashing Billboard's Hot 100 from the 10th level down (#31 UK) with 'Sweet Talkin Guy'. So much Play-Doh to the Chiffons, Billboard wearied of having to rebuild all the time so it wouldn't let them near the Top Forty evermore in the United States. In the UK, however - where they thought they were safe upon Judy Craig being the first to abandon the group in 1970, leaving the Chiffons only a trio as it continued into the seventies - they didn't see it coming when an overseas issue of 'Sweet Talkin Guy' crunched the UK Singles Chart from the 4th tier down in 1972. The group has variously resurrected with a lighter touch since then, Judy Craig yet performing on the East Coast. Barbara Lee passed away of heart attack in May of 1992. Discographies for the Chiffons at 45Cat and Discogs. The Chiffons in visual media.

The Chiffons   1963

   My Block

       As the Four Pennies

      Composition: Carl Spencer/Jimmy Radcliffe

   He's So Fine

      Composition: Maxwell Anderson/Ricardo Weeks

   I Wonder Why

      Composition: Ronald Mack

   One Fine Day

      Composition: Carole King/Gerry Goffin

The Chiffons   1964

   When Summer's Through

      Composition: Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

      Mitch Margo/Phil Margo

The Chiffons   1966

   Down Down Down

      Composition: Bob Miranda/Dave Libert

   I Have a Boyfriend

      Composition:

      Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry/Tokens

   Out of This World

      Composition: Doug Morris/Eliot Greenberg

   Sweet Talking Guy

      Composition: Doug Morris/Eliot Greenberg

The Chiffons   1968

   Just for Tonight

      Composition:

      Ritchie Adams/Wes Farrell/Larry Kusik

 

 
  The Cruisers, from Philadelphia [1, 2], were among multiple street corner (doo wop) groups so named, such as those from Washington DC [*], and those from Texas who issued 'An Angel Like You' in 1962. Nor is there any relation with the Cruisers of the 1983 film, not about doo wop, 'Eddie and Cruisers'. So far as known, there never was an actual group called Eddie and the Cruisers beyond the film itself. These Cruisers consisted of Eugene Williams (lead), McKinley Anthony (2nd tenor), Paul Long and Randy Hamilton. Their initial vinyl was in 1960 on the V-Tone label: 'Miss Fine' b/w 'If I Knew' and 'Don't Tease Me' b/w 'Crying Over You'. 'If I Knew' reached the #102 tier on Billboard's Hot 100, after which the Cruisers never visited the national charts again. The Cruisers performed on the East Coast another seven years before making their next recording in '67, now on the Gamble label: 'I Need You So'/'Take a Chance'. They then waited two years to issue their last release in 1969, also on Gamble: 'Picture Us'/'Mink and Sable Mable'. The Cruisers then faded into obscurity but for little more on the internet than these discos with credits: 1, 2.

The Cruisers   1960

   If I Knew

      Composition: Eugene Williams

   Miss Fine

      Composition: Paul Long

The Cruisers   1967

   I Need You So

      Composition: Tommy McLain

The Cruisers   1969

   Mink and Sable Mable

      Composition:

      Bunny Sigler/Gene Dozier/Phil Hurtt

   Picture Us

      Composition:

      Bunny Sigler/Gene Dozier/Phil Hurtt

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Cruisers

The Cruisers

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Dialtones

The Dialtones

Source: Randy & the Rainbows

 

Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking [1, 2, 3, 4]? Apparently not if the Dialtones [1, 2] are still on the phone. Between Gonzales, Discogs and references above it wouldn't appear that these Dialtones from Queens are the same as those who issued 'Don't Let the Sun Shine on Me' on Dial 4054 in 1967. This group consisted of Rosalie Calindo (lead), Frank Safuto (first tenor), Dominick Safuto and Eddie Scalla. They released their first vinyl in 1960, 'Til I Heard It From You' with 'Johnny' B side. Formed in 1959 when Dominick Safuto was only 12 years old, the Dialtones were yet another brief-lived doo wop ensemble, wrapping it up in 1961 upon backing Billy Daye on 'Twenty Four Hours'. Dominick, then in high school, would go on to form other groups such as the Encores, the Counts and Randy (Dominick) & the Rainbows [1, 2, 3].

The Dialtones   1960

   Johnny

      Composition: Joe DeAngelis/Johnny Sardo

   Til I Heard It from You

      Demo

      Composition: Joe DeAngelis/Johnny Sardo

   Til I Heard It from You

      Composition: Joe DeAngelis/Johnny Sardo

 

 
  Formed in 1959 in Yonkers, the Dreamers are easy to confuse with multiple groups called the same, such as Donnie & the Dreamers, the Dreamers of Philadelphia [*] or the British band (not doo wop) Freddie & the Dreamers [1, 2]. These Dreamers scratched their debut vinyl for Golddisc in Sep 1960 per 'Natalie' b/w 'Teenage Vows of Love', released in Dec 1960 [Gonzales/Rosalksky]. At that time the group consisted of Frank Cammarata (lead), Bob Malara (tenor), Luke Beradis (baritone/tenor), Dominic Canzano and John Trancynger. Berardis and Canzano were replaced by Frank Nicholas and Frank DiGilio before releasing 'Because of You'/'Little Girl' in '62. Rosalsky has the Dreamers recording four more unspecified tunes before separating in 1965. Gonzales [Disco-File] has them recording more than that on unspecified dates which went toward the album, 'Yesterday, Once More', issued in 1987 on Dream DRT223 [Discogs]. Gonzales has Cammarata, Nicholas, Trancyger, Tony Federico and Bruce Goldie on those. As for the Dreamers at Discogs, they are listed issuing 'Oh Yeah'/'Only Your Love' as early as 1958 on the Canadian label, Delta. 45Cat has the Dreamers from Bronx issuing those on Bullseye in the States. Since Bronx is just south of Yonkers (these Dreamers) we hazard those aren't the same group as this. (45Cat, however, also lists 'Because of You' and 'Little Girl' by the Dreamers of Bronx.) Gonzales doesn't list them together and Rosalsky doesn't mention those titles. As for '(That's Why) I Sing This Song' on Apt Records [at Discogs], Rosalsky comments those aren't the same Dreamers, and those titles are absent from Gonzales altogether.

The Dreamers   1960

   Natalie

      Composition: Dreamers

   Teenage Vows of Love

      Composition:

      Neil Stevens/Arthur Ripp/Nick Smith

The Dreamers   1962

   Little Girl

      Neil Stevens/Arthur Ripp/Nick Smith

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Dreamers

The Dreamers

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Jordan & the Fascinations

Jordan & the Fascinations

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

 

There were actually kind of two Jordan & the Fascinations. The first was formed in Akron, Ohio, by Jordan Zankoff (Jordan Christopher) [1, 2, 3] with Gene Blackford, Darrel McDonald and Phill DiMascio, all students at Buchtel High School. That group released one 45 on the Sure label in 1960: 'It's Midnight'/'Doom Bada Doom'. Prior to that a group in Queens, New York, called the Debonairs had became the Boulevards, releasing 'Delores'/'Chop Chop in the Wall' in 1959 for the Everest label [1, 2]. The Boulevards had recruited Zankoff upon his moving to NYC in 1961 (removing his mustache with his last name, becoming Jordan Christopher). The second Jordan & the Fascinations was created with members, Frankie Zazzo, Lou Adessa and Jim Alessandria. Their first release is thought to have been: 'I'll Be Forever Loving You'/'My Imagination' in 1961, followed by 'My Baby Doesn't Smile Anymore'/'Love Will Make Your Mind Go Wild' and 'Give Me Your Love'/'Once Upon A Time'. The group completed its total catalogue of eight singles in 1962 with 'If You Love Me Really Love Me'/'I'm Goin' Home'. Zankoff then moved onward to join the Wild Ones playing at the Peppermint Lounge in NYC. The Wild Ones, with Zankoff, would issue 'Wild Thing' in 1965, though it was the Troggs who topped Billboard's chart with it the next year. Christopher (Zankoff) then made a career of acting, before dying of heart attack in New York City on January 21, 1996. Discographies of Fascinations issues at 1, 2. Of Jordan Christopher at 1.

The Boulevards   1959

   Chop Chop in the Wall

      Composition: Lou Adessa

   Delores

      Composition: Jim Allesandria

The Fascinations   1960

   Midnight

      Composition: Gene Blackford

Jordan & the Fascinations   1961

   Give Me Your Love

      Composition: Lou Adessa

   I'll Be Forever Loving You

      Composition: Leon Arnold/Ted Daniels

   Love Will Make Your Mind Go Wild

      Composition: Curtis Williams

   My Imagination

      Composition:

      Paul Poveromo/Peter Zanfardino Jr.

   Once Upon a Time

      Composition: Lou Adessa

Jordan & the Fascinations   1962

   If You Love Me Really Love Me

      Composition:

      Marguerite Monnot/Geoffrey Parsons/Édith Piaf

   I'm Goin' Home

      Composition: Lou Adessa

 

 
  The O'Jays from Canton, Ohio [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], drew their name from DJ, Eddie O'Jay, who named them after himself. They had small clue when they formed as the Triumphs in 1958 that they would become one of R&B's most successful groups. Originally consisting of Eddie Levert (lead), Walter Williams, Bobby Massey, Bill Isles and William Powell on drums, they changed their name from the Triumphs to to the Mascots [*] to make their first recordings for King: 'Story Of My Heart'/'Do The Wiggle' and 'Lonely Rain'/'That's The Way I Feel'. The group was already recording as the O'Jays by the time of their release in 1961. Dispute remains as to the release of their first recordings as the O'Jays. Our best guess is that 'Miracles'/'Can't Take It' was first released on Daco in Detroit in 1960, then reissued in 1961 by Apollo. The O'Jays made their first move on Billboard's Top 100 in 1963, placing 'Lonely Drifter' at the #93 spot on their US chart. Their first to rank on Billboard's R&B Top Forty was 'Let It All Hang Out' in 1965 at #28. Their initial Top Ten in R&B was 'I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow' in 1967 at #8. Numerous tunes by the O'Jays ranked in the Top Ten. Those that topped the charts at No. 1 were "Backstabbers' in 1972, 'Love Train' in 1973 and 'Give the People What They Want' in 1975 followed by 'I Love Music'. 1976 saw three of their efforts at the top of the R&B: 'Stairway to Heaven', 'Livin' for the Weekend' and 'Message in Our Music'. 'Darlin' Darlin' Baby' stood atop the R&B in 1977, then 'Used to Be My Girl' in 1978. 'Lovin' You' reached No. 1 in 1987, then 'Have You Had Your Love Today' in 1989. The O'Jays didn't issue their last Top Ten title until 1991 with 'Keep On Lovin' Me' peaking on the R&B at #4. That was the O'Jays' 25th title to rank in the Top Ten. Their last to achieve the Top Forty wasn't until 1997 with 'Baby You Don't Know' at #34. The O'Jays kept in the Top 100 until their last in 2004 with 'Make It Up' reaching the #74 spot. Apparently not limited by linear space-time, the O'Jays yet perform as of this writing with Eric Grant and original members, Levert and Williams. (Isles and Massey left the group in 1972. Powell died of cancer in 1977.) Among composers who helped put the O'Jays on the map were Ken Gamble and Leon Huff [*], Richard and Robert Poindexter [*], Jackie Members [*] and Dwain Mitchell [*]. Terry Stubbs [*] collaborated with Levert and Williams on 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'Keep on Lovin' Me' in 1991. The O'Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. O'Jays discos w various credits at 1, 2, 3.

The O'Jays   1958

   Miracles

      Composition: Davis

The O'Jays   1963

   Lonely Drifter

      Composition: O'Jays

The O'Jays   1964

   Oh How You Hurt Me

      Composition: O'Jays

The O'Jays   1965

   Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)

      Composition: Naomi Neville

      Arrangement: Harold Battiste

The O'Jays   1970

   Deeper

       Live on 'Soul Train'

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

The O'Jays   1972

   Back Stabbers

      Composition: Gamble & Huff/Bunny Sigler

   Love Train

       Live on 'Soul Train'

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

   (They Call Me) Mr. Lucky

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

   When the World's at Peace

      Composition: Gamble & Huff/Bunny Sigler

The O'Jays   1973

   Now That We Found Love

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

      Arrangement: Norman Harris

The O'Jays   1975

   How Time Flies

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

   I Love Music

      Composition: Gamble & Huff

   Livin' for the Weekend

      Composition: Gamble & Huff/Cary Gilbert

   Never Break Us Up

      Composition: Leon Huff

The O'Jays   1978

   Brandy

       Filmed Live

      Composition: Joseph Jefferson/Charles Simmons

The O'Jays   1984

   Give My Love to the Ladies

      Composition: Bunny Sigler/Marvin Morrow

   Let Me Show You

      Composition: James Sigler

The O'Jays   1987

   Let Me Touch You

      Composition:

      Gerald Levert (son of Eddie)

The O'Jays   1989

   Friend of a Friend

      Composition: Dwain Mitchell/Eddie Levert

      Terry Stubbs/Walter Williams

The O'Jays   1993

   No Can Do

      Composition: Dwain Mitchell/Eddie Levert

      Sherena Wynn/Walter Williams

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The O'Jays

The O'Jays

Source: Penny Liberty

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Del Satins

The Del Satins

Source: White Doo-Wop Collector

Formed in Manhattan in 1958, the original five Del Satins [1, 2, 3, 4] took their name in honor of the doo wop groups, the Dells and the Five Satins. The original group had already going through rapid personnel changes by the time of its first release in Sep 1961 [Disco-File]. It was Stan Ziska (lead), Fred Ferrara (baritone), brother Tom Ferrara (bass), Leslie Cauchi (first tenor) and Bobby Failla (second tenor) who appeared on the group's debut record, 'I'll Pray for You'/'I Remember the Night' (credited to the Dell Satins on End 1096). The group began backing Dion DiMucci of Dion & the Belmonts fame in 1961, DiMucci having left that group for a solo career. Of the numerous titles the Del Satins released, none saw Billboard's national charts. They did, however, chart with Dion as the uncredited backup on 'Runaround Sue' (#4 R&B #1 Hot 100), 'The Majestic' (#36 Hot 100) and 'The Wanderer' (#2 Hot 100) in 1961. The Del Satins issued it's last 45 in 1967: 'Love, Hate, Revenge'/'A Little Rain Must Fall'. By the time they issued their debut album, 'Out to Lunch', in 1972 the group had long since been through multiple personnel changes. One says "debut album" because Stan Zisca reshaped the Del Satins and released the LP, 'Still Wandering', in 1991. He would go on to form the group, Tangerine. Zisca, Cauchi, and brothers Fred and Tom Ferrara, occasionally reincarnated the Del Satins over the years. They yet tour to this day (Facebook) with the exception of Fred who died on October 21 of 2011. Del Satins discos w various credits at 1, 2.

The Del Satins   1961

   I'll Pray for You

      Composition: Stan Siska

   Remember

      Composition: Stan Siska

   The Wanderer

       Backing Dion DiMucci

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

The Del Satins   1962

   Teardrops Follow Me

      Composition: Stan Vincent

      Arrangement/Conducting: Glen Stuart

The Del Satins   1963

   Oh Happy Day

       Backing Dion DiMucci

The Del Satins   1965

   A Girl Named Arlene

      Composition: Mitch & Phil Margo

      Hank Medress/Jay Siegel

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: Donnie and the Dreamers

Donnie & the Dreamers

Source: Joe Troiano

 

Donnie & the Dreamers [1, 2] were one of the many doo wop groups from Bronx. They were formed in 1961 by Louis Burgio (lead), Peter Vecchiarelli, Andy Catalano (tenor) and Frank Furstaci (baritone). 'Count Every Star' b/w 'Dorothy' was their first release in 1961 for the Top Rank label. It broke into the Top Forty at #35. 'My Memories of You' squeaked like my tiny bathtub duck at #79. The Dreamers didn't have time to walk a mile for a Camel [1, 2] since their career was only three months and three plates long. The group did make another attempt that year as Kenny & the Whalers with 'Life Is But a Dream'. But Ahab would have none of it and made them walk the plank. Glub glub, bubbles, the whole thing, while making tasty dishes for hungry fishes. After that drifted past the group made a final attempt with 'I Won't Cry Anymore'/'Because of You' in 1962 as Vinny Catalano & the Day Dreams. But the big Billboard sign faded away into a fog as the Dreamers vanished into consciousness with it. Louis Burgio (Donnie) died on May 2 of 2012 in Danbury, Connecticut [*]. Catalogs w various credits at 1, 2.

Donnie & the Dreamers   1961

   Carole

      Composition: Joe Francavilla/Tommy Austin

   Count Every Star

      Composition: Bruno Coquatrix/Sammy Gallop

   Dorothy

      Composition: V. Downs/J. Burgio

   Life Is But a Dream

      As Kenny and the Whalers

   My Memories of You

      Composition: Raoul Cita

   Ruby My Love

      Composition: Peter Vecchiarelli/Vinny Catalano

   Teenage Love

      Composition: Goldman/Vincent Catalano

Vinny Catalano & the Day Dreams   1962

   I Won't Cry Anymore

      Composition: Al Frisch

 

 
  Larry Chance [*] chose the name, the Earls, at random from a dictionary. The Earls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5/not *] had earlier been the Hi-Hatters. From Bronx, the Hi-Hatters were singing in front of a subway station in New York City in 1959 when Johnny Powers of Rome Records asked them to record some tracks. They recorded four, were paid, but little else came of it. Not until 1961 did the Hi-Hatters, now the Earls, release their first single, 'Life is But a Dream' b/w 'It's You". To small fanfare that, the group issued 'Remember Then' in '62, which peaked at #29 on Billboard's R&B, #24 on the Hot 100. The Earls issued numerously thereafter, their last 45 thought to be in 1977: 'Tonight' b/w 'Meditation'. Discogs has them issuing the album, 'Live!', in 1987 on Rainbow Records [*]. The Earls didn't make a giant spectacle. but after numerous configurations over the decades they yet perform as of this writing while maintaining a page at Facebook. Discography w credits at Discogs. Per below, 'Borders, Language, Culture', is performed live with radio opinion monger, Michael Savage.

The Earls   1961

   Cross My Heart

      Composition: Larry Figueiredo/Robert Deldin

   Life Is But a Dream

      Composition: Hy Weiss/Raul Cita

   Looking for My Baby

      Composition: Morra/Georgian

   Lost Love

      Composition: Curtis/Golder

   Whoever You Are

      Composition: E. J. Stevens

The Earls   1962

   Remember Then

      Composition:

      Tony Powers/Beverly Ross/Stan Vincent

The Earls   2007

   Borders, Language, Culture

       Filmed live with Michael Savage

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Earls

The Earls   1962

Source: All Music

  Formed in Brooklyn, the Jive Five [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] released their first record, 'My True Story' b/w 'When I Was Single' in 1961. 'My True Story' rose to #1 on Billboard's R&B, #3 on the Hot 100. The group put three more titles in the Top Forty during its career: 'These Golden Rings' (1962 #27 R&B), '' (1965 #26 R&B #36 Hot 100) and 'Sugar' (1968 #34 R&B #119 Hot 100). The Jive Five's last 45 release was in 1970: 'I Want You to Be My Baby', reaching only the #50 spot on Billboard's R&B. Original members were Eugene Pitt [*], Jerome Hanna, Richard Harris, Thurmon Prophet and Norman Johnson. The group has naturally seen personnel changes over the decades. Pitt performed with his Earls into the new millennium until his death on June 29, 2018 [*]. The Earls maintain a Facebook page. Issues discos w various credits at 1, 2.

The Jive Five   1961

   My True Story

      Composition:

      Eugene Pitt/Oscar Waltzer/Joe Rene

      Production: Joe Rene

The Jive Five   1962

   Beggin' You Please

      Composition:

      Dossie Terry/Leslie (Lester) Butler/Malou Rene

   Do You Hear Wedding Bells

      Composition: Eugene Pitt

   These Golden Rings

      Composition: Eugene Pitt/Malou Rene

   What Time Is It

      Composition:

      Bob Feldman/Jerry Goldstein/Richard Gottehrer

The Jive Five   1964

   United

      Composition:

      Clarence Johnson/John Hicks/Lawrence Robinson

The Jive Five   1966

   You

      Composition: M. Curtis/J. Meyer

The Jive Five   1992

   My True Story

       Filmed Live

      Composition:

      Eugene Pitt/Oscar Waltzer/Joe Rene

   Never, Never

       Filmed Live

      Composition: Eugene Pitt/Malou Rene

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Jive Five

The Jive Five

Source: Amazon

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Marcels

The Marcels

Source: Doo-Wop Blog

 

First formed in 1959 in Pittsburgh, the Marcels [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] became rich upon their very first record release in 1961, a cover of 'Blue Moon' that topped the R&B, Hot 100 and UK charts. 'Blue Moon' was a ballad originally composed by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934. The Marcels issued one more title to place in the Top Ten that year, 'Heartaches (#19 R&B #7 Hot 100), then began to fade into obscurity. The Marcels were named after a hairstyle called the Marcel wave, accomplished with a curling iron, that was popular in the twenties along with the bob cut. Original members were Cornelius Harp (lead), bass Fred Johnson (bass), Gene Bricker, Ron Mundy and Richard Knauss. The group began splintering in August of 1961, thereafter to embrace multiple personnel over the years as it continued recording into and throughout the eighties. Gene Bricker died in 1983. Harp, Johnson, Knauss and Mundy appeared on the PBS special, 'Doo Wop 50' in 1999. The Marcels were elected into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. Lead singer, Harp, died on June 5 of 2013 [*]. The Marcels continue to tour as a quartet with a couple of its older members. Though none original, current member, Richard Harris, has been with the Marcels since 1962. Discographies of Marcels releases w various credits at 1, 2.

The Marcels   1961

   Blue Moon

      Composition: Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart   1934

   Heartaches

      Music: Al Hoffman   1931

      Lyrics: John Klenner

The Marcels   1962

   Loved Her the Whole Week Through

      Composition: Hoffman/Isle

The Marcels   1963

   One Last Kiss

      Composition: Charles Strouse/Lee Adams

 

 
  The Monterays, one of countless groups so named, formed in the Bronx in 1958 consisting of Guy Villari, Sal Cuomo, Chuck Fassert and Ernie Maresca [1, 2, 3, 4]. That year they demoed 'Santa Claus (He Gained More Weight)' with 'Christmas Time Angel' for Seville Records, gone unissued. They couldn't catch fish with that so they changed their name to the Desires [*] to record 'I Ask You' with 'Story of Love' flip side. Likely recorded in 1958 (for Seville), that record wasn't released until June of 1962. Not to be confused with the Los Angeles Regents [*], this Regents [*] consisted of Guy Villari (lead), Sal Cuomo (first tenor), Charles Fassert (second tenor), Danny Jacobuccia (baritone) and Tony Gravagna (bass) at the time of their first record release in 1960 on Kayo 101 C-O: 'That's What I Call A Good Time' b/w 'No Hard Feelings'. In 1961 'Barbara-Ann' peaked #7 on the R&B chart, #13 on the US. Two months later in July 'Runaround' reached #30 on the R&B, #28 on the US. The Regents began recording as the Runarounds [not *] in 1961, releasing 'Mashed Potato Mary' b/w 'I'm All Alone'. In 1962 the Runarounds were a quartet spelled Run-A-Rounds consisting of Guy Villari, Chuck Fassert, Ronnie Lapinsky and Sal Corrente. The group recorded 'Unbelievable'/'Hooray For Love', after which Corrente dropped out. The Run-A-Rounds issued one more 45 in 1963, 'Let Them Talk'/'Are You Looking For a Sweetheart'. Perhaps "Run-A-Rounds" required too many dashes, as it was the Runarounds that released 'Carrie (You're an Angel)'/'Send Her Back' in 1964. Be as may, the Runarounds issued only two more 45s: 'Perfect Woman'/'You're a Drag' in 1966 and 'You Lied'/'My Little Girl' in 1967. The Regents have been twice resurrected by Villari with new members in 1973 and 1995. He passed away on Sep 21 of 2017 [*]. Discos of Regents issues w various credits at 1, 2. The Runarounds at 1, 2, 3.

The Monterays   1958

   Christmas Time Angel

      Unissued demo   Release unknown

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

   Santa Has Gained More Weight

      Unissued demo   Release unknown

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

The Regents   1961

   Barbara-Ann

      Composition: Fred Fassett

   Don't Be a Fool

      Composition: Sal Cuomo

   I'm So Lonely

      Composition: Don Jacabucci/Sal Cuomo

   Laura My Darling

      Composition: Sal Cuomo

   Liar

      Composition: Sal Cuomo

   Runaround

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

The Regents   1962

   I Ask You

      As the Desires

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

   Lonesome Boy

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

   Story of Love

      As the Desires

      Composition: Ernie Maresca

The Run-A-Rounds   1963

   Hooray for Love

      Composition: Thomas Bogdany

   Unbelievable

      Composition: Ernie Maresca/Pete Barron

The Runarounds   1964

   Carrie (You're an Angel)

      Composition: Thomas Bogdany

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Regents

The Regents

Source: Doo-Wop Blogg

 

  The Blenders from Chicago [*] are thought to have released their first plate in 1962 for Cortlandt Records: 'Everybody's Got A Right'/'What Have You Got'. The group consisted of Harold Jones, Albert Hunter, Goldie Coates, Delores Johnson and Gail Mapp singing lead. (Though the group released records as Baby Jane & the Blenders and Goldie Coates & the Blenders, Gail Mapp remained lead.) In 1963 'Daughter' made Billboard's US chart at No. 67. They issued several more records that went nowhere, also recording as the Candles on a disc for Nike Records in 1964. The group's last release is thought to be 'Love Is a Good Thing Going'/'Your Love Has Got Me Down' in 1966 for Mar-V-Lous Records. Discos of issues at 1, 2. Not to be confused with other groups by the same name such as the much earlier NYC Blenders.

The Blenders   1957

   I Asked for Your Hand

       Composition: Lowell Kirby

The Blenders   1962

    Love Is a Treasure

       Composition: Bill Erman

The Blenders   1963

   Daughter

       Composition: Hilliard Jones

   Everybody's Got a Right

       Composition: Hilliard Jones

The Blenders   1964

   Down on My Knees

       As the Candles

       Composition: Colbert

The Blenders   1966

   Your Love Has Got Me Down

       Composition: Jimmy Jones

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Blenders

The Blenders

Source: Discogs

  The Corvairs [1, 2] were comprised of Joe Shepard (tenor), Nelson Shields (second tenor), Prince McKnight (tenor), Ronald Judge (baritone) and Billy Faison (bass). The car after which they named themselves is a portmanteau of Chevrolet's Corvette and Bel Air. The group had evolved out of the earlier Leaders [1, 2, 3] which had consisted of Harry Burton (1st tenor), Edward "Snipper" Alston (2nd tenor), Nelson Shields (2nd tenor), Ronald Judge (baritone) and Charles Simpson (bass). Among eight titles recorded for Glory Records were three issued plates in '55 and '56: 'Stormy Weather'/'A Lover of the Time' (Glory 235), 'Nobody Loves Me'/'Dearest Beloved Darling' (Glory 239) and 'Can't Help Lovin' That Girl of Mine'/'Lovers' (Glory 234). 'Dry Your Eyes' and 'I Almost Lost My Mind' went unreleased. In 1960 Judge and Shields formed the Corvairs to release to release first record in 1962: 'True True Love' b/w 'Hey, Sally Mae' (Comet 2145). The Corvairs released 'Don't You Know'/'No Tears Left For Crying' (Leopard 5004/United Artists 600) in April 1963, accidentally credited to the West Siders [*]. 'Ain't No Soul (In These Old Shoes)' b/w 'Get a Job' (Columbia 43861was the Corvairs last release in 1966 for a total of eight titles in their catalogue of issues plus two as the Westsiders. 'I Don't Wanna Be Without You Baby'/'Girl with the Wind in Her Hair' had been released in '63 on Leopard 5005, 'Swinging Little Government'/'Love, Love My Friend' on Columbia 43603 in '66.). The Corvairs, though, had trouble making wind. Maybe it was their car [1, 2]. Leaders issues w credits at 45Cat. Corvairs at Discogs. Lead data below thanks to Goldberg.

The Leaders   1955

   A Lover of the Time

       Lead: Edward Alston

       Composition: Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler

   Stormy Weather

       Lead: Harry Burton

       Composition: Harry Burton/Edward Alston

The Corvairs   1962

   Hey, Sally Mae

       Lead: Nelson Shields

       Composition:

       Floyd McRae/Frank Moore/Gerald Perkins

   True True Love

       Lead: All

       Composition: H. Karas/Harvey Ackerman

The Corvairs   1963

   Girl with the Wind in Her Hair

       Lead: Nelson Shields

       Composition: Casey Spencer

       Arrangement/Production: Joe Rene

   I Don't Wanna Be Without You Baby

       Lead: Joe Sheppard

       Composition: Eugene Pitt/Malou Rene

       Arrangement/Production: Joe Rene

The Corvairs   1966

   Ain't No Soul (In These Old Shoes)

       Lead: Nelson Shields

       Composition: A. Resnick/J. Levine

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Corvairs

The Corvairs

Source: Discogs

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Duprees

The Duprees

Source: Blog de Rock en Mexico

The original members of the Jersey City Duprees [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] were Michael Arnone, Joe Santollo, John Salvato, Tom Bialoglow and lead singer, Joey Canzano (Joey Vann). Personnel changes would ensue, notably Vann's replacement in 1964/65 by Mike Kelly current with their switch from Coed to Columbia [Warner]. The Duprees had released their first recording, 'You Belong to Me' b/w 'Take Me As I Am' in 1962. 'You Belong to Me' peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart that August. The group landed three other singles in the Top Ten as well: 'My Own True Love' (October 1962 #2 AC #13 Hot 100), 'Why Don't You Believe Me' (August 1963 #10 AC #37 Hot 100), and 'Have You Heard' (November 1963 #8 AC #18 Hot 100). From '63 throughout the sixties the Duprees issued numerous titles to disappointing results, thus renaming themselves the Italian Asphalt and Pavement Company (I.A.P. Co.) in 1970 to release 'Check Yourself' on Colossus C 110DJ and Colossus CS 110. Despite rotation of personnel the Duprees yet perform as of this writing, though with none of their original members [*] inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006. Santollo had long since died on June 4, 1981. Vann, who had left the Duprees to pursue a solo career, issuing 'Try to Remember'/'My Love, My Love' (Coed CO 606) in '65 [*], died on February 28, 1984. His last tracks with the Duprees had been with the Coed label ('I'm Yours'.'Wishing Ring' CO 596), Kelly taking his place upon their move to Columbia with 'Around the Corner'/'They Said It Couldn't Be Done' (4-43336). Kelly had resigned from the Duprees in 1977. Arnone, who in 1990 had largely exchanged singing with the Duprees for managing them, passed away on October 27, 2005. Kelly followed on August 12, 2012 [*]. Salvato had left the group in the early eighties and became a booking agent. Bialoglow, who had left the Duprees in latter '63, lmaking it a quartet, later formed a group called Twilight Time and has performed with Joe Zisa [1, 2, 3, 4]. The current Duprees are run by Tony Testa, longtime guitarist for the Duprees. Pages are maintained at Facebook for both the original and present-day Duprees. Duprees discographies with various credits at 45Cat and Discogs. The Dprees in visual media.

The Duprees   1962

   You Belong to Me

       Composition:

       Chilton Price/Pee Wee King/Redd Stewart

The Duprees   1963

   Have You Heard

       Composition:

       Lew Douglas/Frank LaVere/LeRoy Rodde

   I Gotta Tell Her Now

       Composition: Fred Weismantel

   It Isn't Fair

       Composition:

       Richard Himber/Sylvester Sprigato/Frank Warshauer

   Love Eyes

       Composition:

       Canzano (Vann)/Mike Mazzeo/Rodger Genger

   The Sand and the Sea

       Composition: Chester Shull/George Hoven

   Take Me As I Am

       Composition: Canzano (Vann)/Santollo

The Duprees   1964

   Where Are You

       Composition: Jimmy McHugh/Harold Adamson

The Duprees   1970

   Check Yourself

      As the Italian Asphalt & Pavement Company

       Composition: Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff

The Duprees   1975

   Delicious

       Composition: David Anthony Weiner

 

 

Birth of Rock & Roll: Doo Wop: The Quartertones

Chip (left) and the Quartertones

Source: White Doo-Wop Collector

Chip Kopaczewski first recorded with the Quartertones [1, 2. 3] in 1964. That group didn't last as long as the list of its original members: Chip Kopaczewski (lead), Tony Galantino (baritone/bass), Jimmy Murkens (1st/2nd tenor), Dick Curry (baritone/2nd tenor) and Jimmy Gleason (1st tenor). The Quartertones released 'You Were My Baby'/'Simple Simon' on Carlton 604 into the Philadelphia region in '64. Which came to be their entire catalogue, 'He's in Love with Sandra' and 'She Walked Away' unissued. The group was abandoned in the summer of '65 as Kopaczewski and fellow member, Tony Galantino, joined the Intentions [1]. (45Cat lumps together another Philadelphia Intentions with this one which consists of, so far as identified in Disco-File, different personnel. Tracks in question: 'Mr Misery' and 'Summertime Angel' on Jamie 1253. RateYourMusic similarly lists an Intentions which is a different group in Gonzales, moot titles being 'Don't Forget That I Love You'/'The Night Rider' on Philips 40428.) Other Intentions members were Eddie Sachetti (lead/1st tenor), Albert DiPrieto (baritone) and Charlie Votta (1st tenor). That group released 'I'm in Love With a Go Go Girl'/'Wonderful Girl' on Melron 5014 in 1965, the same year their musical venture was finished. Kopaczewski, Galantino and Votta then attended Cheney University in Pennsylvania together, not to enter into the music business again. By Kopaczewski's time doo wop had been losing air. That wasn't due to the British Invasion, as one might variously read, since that was a largely different audience. What eroded away doo wop was producers like Berry Gordy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], who was taking R&B the soul and Motown direction while such as Phil Spector was aligning vocal harmony with rock [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Chip Kopaczewski   1964

   Simple Simon

       With the Quartertones

       Composition: Frederick/Kopaczewski

  You Were My Baby

       With the Quartertones

       Composition: Frederick/Gleason

Chip Kopaczewski   1965

   I'm in Love With a Go Go Girl

        With the Intentions

       Composition: Scip Kopaczewski

 

 
  We suspend this history of doo wop with Chip Kopaczewski.

 

 

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