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Crests, The

American doo-wop group The Crests was formed by bass vocalist Jay Carter in the mid 1950s. The group included Talmadge “Tommy” Gough, Harold “Chico” Torres and Johnny Mastrangelo (Johnny Maestro). The lineup also originally included a female vocalist – Patricia Van Dross – who left in 1957.

The group were discovered in 1956 while singing in the New York City Subway by the wife of orchestra leader Al Browne. Browne connected the group with Joyce Records where they recorded their first two songs, My Juanita and Sweetest One.

Six Nights A Week reached #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts.

Touring constantly between 1958 and 1960, The Crests also appeared on television shows including American Bandstand.

Tommy Gough quit the group in 1961 and was replaced by Gary “Kit” Lewis. Maestro recorded with other backup singers under the name Johnny Maestro & The Crests while James Ancrum joined The Crests on lead vocals for Guilty (1962).

The group eventually became a lounge act, finally disbanding in 1973. Jay Carter reformed The Crests in 1980, auditioning over 200 singers at his studio, finally settling on Maestro sound-alike Bill Damon, Greg Sereck, Dennis Ray and New York drummer, Jon Ihle. The group continued touring well into the 1990s.

Johnny Mastrangelo (Maestro) died of cancer on 24 March 2010, aged 70. Tommy Gough died of throat cancer on 24 August 2014, aged 74.

Johnny Mastrangelo (Johnny Maestro)
Jay Carter
Harold “Chico” Torres
Tommy Gough
Gary “Kit” Lewis
James Ancrum
Patricia Van Dross