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Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

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Maurice Williams was born in Lancaster, South Carolina at the beginning of World War II.

He wrote Stay while he was performing in a band as The Royal Charms, but the name collided with another group with a similar name so it was changed to The Zodiacs for a recording session with Al Silver’s turbulent Herald label  – and it stuck. The recorded version of Stay (1960) was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

At the time of Williams’ hit,  black music was still played on black radio stations in the US. Stay was a classic ‘crossover’ into a white-dominated music market.

A careful look at the cover art of the LP of the same name (1960) gives nothing away: there are no portraits on the back cover, and the girl and boy models on the front cover are both white.

Since the hit single was unexpected the album was not ready at the same time (it was eventually released three months later). Subsequently it died a death, although this highly desirable slice of classic 1960 doo-wop would set you back at least £200 today.

Williams continues to perform in the US today.

Maurice Williams
Vocals
Henry Gatson
Vocals
Willie Jones
Vocals
William Massey
Vocals
Norman Wade
Vocals
Wiley Bennett
Vocals
Charles Thomas
Vocals
Little Willie Morrow
Vocals
Albert Hill
Vocals

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