Crew Cuts, The

The song Sh-Boom was originally recorded early in 1954 by The Chords. But it was the version by Canadian group The Crew Cuts (released later the same year) which attracted the attention of the record-buying public. The recording has often been viewed as the first notable move away from the middle-of-the-road sound to something resembling rock 'n'(...)

Danny & The Juniors

Danny and The Juniors (originally The Juvenairs) all attended John Bartram High School in Philadelphia and formed in 1955, practicing their harmonies in a car initially, before graduating to street corners when they became more confident. In 1957 the group began to target record producer John Madara, making it a ritual to sing under his(...)

Dells, The

The Dells have been around so long they make The Rolling Stones look like young whippersnappers. Starting out in Chicago as a Doo Wop group called The El Rays, they signed to Checker in 1953. In 1954 they moved to Vee-Jay Records where they recorded their first hit, Oh What A Night. They then moved into the slick supper(...)


1955 saw the rise to prominence of several black vocal groups in the USA. Amongst them were; The Orioles (their 1948 hit It's Too Soon To Know is often cited as the first real doo-wop record), The Crows, The Clovers, The Penguins, The Harptones, The Chords ("Sh-boom, life is but a dream..."), The Spaniels, The Cadillacs, The Five Royales, The(...)

Dovells, The

The Dovells were an American vocal group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name The Brooktones. Their first single was No, No, No which was a minor local hit. Summers and Dennis left the group, forming The Gems with Mark Stevens and Alan Horowitz in 1960, while the remaining Brooktones signed(...)

Five Satins, The


Flamingos, The

Cousins Jacob 'Jake' Carey and Ezekial 'Zeke' Carey formed this doo-wop group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting Paul Wilson and Johnny Carter at a black Messianic Jewish synagogue. Earl Lewis soon joined them, and after a series of name changes, (The Swallows, El Flamingos, The Five Flamingos), wound up being known as The Flamingos. Sollie(...)

Four Aces, The

Four Lads, The

Impalas, The

The Impalas formed in 1958 in Brooklyn, New York, with Tony Carlucci singing first tenor, Lenny Renda singing second tenor, and Richard Wagner singing baritone. They began practicing in the back room of a candy store and on local street corners, where they were heard by Joe Frazier, who called himself 'Speedo'. His offer to help(...)

Lettermen, The

The Lettermen's first break came when they were spotted by comedian George Burns who took them on tour with him. Jack Benny then "stole" them for his tour. Then their first single, The Way You Look Tonight, took off and sold more than a million copies. Their debut album, A Song For Young Love, was a #1(...)

Marcels, The

Blue Moon was the only song by Richard Rodgers and Lorenzo Hart not to have been written for a musical. Originally composed as a ballad of beauty it started life as Make Me A Star for a Jean Harlow movie. The song (and the star) were dropped from the film, and Rodgers and Hart re-worked the song into Blue(...)

Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

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  -(...)

Moonglows, The

Originally formed in Louisville, Kentucky as The Crazy Sounds, the group moved to Cleveland where disc jockey Alan Freed renamed them The Moonglows (after his own nickname 'Moondog'). Freed helped to promote the group during their early years and, in a common practice of the day, often took a co-writer credit as compensation for his efforts. Lead(...)

Olympics, The

The Olympics began life in 1954 as The Challengers while still at high school in Compton, California. Their debut single, Western Movies (1958), reached #8 in the USA and made the UK Top 20, and featured a comic narration about the singer's girlfriend being addicted to cowboy movies. Just as The Olympics began to realise real success,(...)

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