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This Week In Vocal Group History

December 16, 1931 The Mills Brothers recorded their second #1 “Dinah” only this time the lead singer was Bing Crosby.

1983 – The Who disbanded

Top Single: “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” Gladys Knight & The Pips #2 1967 “Jailhouse Rock” Elvis Presley #1 1957

December 17, 1941 The Four Vagabonds recorded “The Duke of Dubuque” their first of 16 singles, just 10 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Top Single: “Time Will Reveal” DeBarge #1 R&B 1983

Birthday: Arthur Neville (The Neville Brothers) 1937 Eddie Kendricks) The Temptations 1939 Wanda Hutchinson (The Emotions) 1951

December 18, 1954 The Rivileers “For Sentimental Reasons” and The Counts “Let Me Go Lover” were released.

1971 – Jerry Lee Lewis’ marriage to his 13 year old cousin ended in divorce after 13 years.

Top Single: “Rubberband Man”
The Spinners #2 1976 “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” The Tokens #1 1961

December 19, 1955 One of the first singles on George Goldner’s Gee label, “You Baby You” by The Cleftones was issued. Carl Perkins recorded his immortal “Blue Suede Shoes” at Sun Studios.

Top Single: “Rags To Riches” The Dominoe s #3 R&B 1953 “Come See About Me” The Supremes #1 1964

December 20, 1954 The Penguins headlined the Christmas show at the Embassy Auditorium in Los Angeles.

1980 – Jackie English, a white songwriter who became known for only having song recorded by black artists such as Geroge Benson, Ronnie Laws, Patrice Rushen and Eloise Laws among others finally had a record by a white artist when she charted with “Once A Night” from the movie “Hopscoth”. The artist was herself.

Top Single: “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him
Goodbye” Steam #4 1969 “Leaving On
A Jet Plane” Peter, Paul & Mary #1 1969


December 21, 1968
The Brooklyn Bridge debut single “Worst That Could Happen” charted on it’s way to #3. The vocalists in “The Bridge” were Johnny Maestro of The Crests and Dion’s former back up
group The Del-Satins.

Top Single: “I Heard It Through The
Grapevine” Marvin Gaye #1 1968


December 22, 1956 The Los Angeles born and bread Four Preps had their debut 45 “Dreamy Eyes” chart.

1962 – The Crystals “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” was released rising to #11 only it wasn’t The Crystals but studio singers Darlene Love & The Blossoms.

Top Single: “In The Still Of The Night”
The Five Satins #8 R&B 1956 “Telstar”
The Tornadoes #1 1962

Birthday: Robin & Maurice Gibb
(The Bee Gees) 1949

December 23, 1955 The Five Keys and
The Turbans among others tore the house down at Dr. Jive’s Brooklyn Paramount Christmas show.

1964 – Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) suffered a nervous breakdown during a flight from Los Angeles to Houston. He gave up performing and was replaced for gigs by studio musician Glen Campbell and later ex-Rip Chord member Bruce Johnson.

Top Single: “Teardrops”
Lee Andrew & The Hearts #29 1957 “You Send Me” Sam Cooke #1 1957

Birthday: Eugene Record (The Chi-Lites) 1940

December 24, 1999 Zeke Carey, leader
of The Flamingos of “I Only Have Eyes
For You” and “I’ll Be Home” fame died today. The Flamingos were considered by many fans and historians as the greatest vocal group of all time. Zeke, born January 24, 1933 was 66.

Top Single: “How Deep Is Your Love” The Bee Gees #1 1977

December 25, 1965 The former backup group for Major Lance, the Chicago based, Artistics made their chart debut with “This Heart of Mine” eventually reaching #25.

1954 – The Penguins classic “Earth Angel” charted en route to #8. It is considered to be the most popular Rock & Roll oldie of all time.

Top Single: “Don’t Think Twice” The Wonder Who #12 1965 “Brand New Key” Melanie #1 1972

O’Kelly Isley (The Isley Brothers) 1937


December 26, 1964“Let’s Lock The Door” by Jay & The Americans charted en route to #11. It was their 4th of 18 hits in 8 years. During the groups career they had two lead singers named Jay. Original lead Jay Traynor for the first few hits and Dave Blatt who changed his name Jay Black.

Top Single: “Goin’ Out Of My Head” Little Anthony & The Imperials #6
1964 “I Feel Fine” The Beatles #1 1964

Birthday: Abdul “Duke” Fakir (The Four Tops) 1935 Phil Spector (The Teddy Bears) 1940


December 27, 1964 The Supremes made their TV debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show”.

1975 – The Four Seasons
charted with “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)”. It went to #1.

Top Single: “Someday We’ll Be Together” Diana Ross & The Supremes #1 1969

Birthday: John “Buddy” Bailey (The Clovers) 1931

December 28, 1983 Beach Boy Dennis Wilson, the only real surfer in the group, drowned while swimming off his boat moored in Marina Del Rey, California. He was 39.

Top Single: “Why” Frankie Avalon #1 1959

December 29, 1962 The Crystals charted with “He’s Sure The One I Love” (#11). Unfortunately, as with their previous hit “He’s A Rebel” it wasn’t The Crystals singing on the record but Darlene Love & The Blossoms thanks to the decision making shenanigans of producer Phil Spector.

1956 – Elvis Presley set a record that will doubtless stand forever. In his first year of Pop chat success he registered 17 singles on the Top 100, the last being his audition song at the age of 10 “Old Shep”.

Top Single: “White Christmas” The Drifters #12 R&B 1956 “The Chipmunk Song” The Chipmunks #1 1958

Birthday: Jerry Gross (The Dovels) 1942

December 30, 1950 Billy Ward & The Dominoes (with bass Bill Brown on lead) recorded their mega-hit “60 Minute Man” which went on to spend three and a half months at #1 R&B in 1951 (#17 Pop).

1957 – The Diamonds 10th hit “The Stroll” charted giving rise to the popular dance of the same name.

Top Single: “I Second That Emotion” The Miracles #4 1967 “Hello, Goodbye” The Beatles #1 1967

December 31, 1960“There’s A Moon Out Tonight” by The Capris charted eventually reaching #3. The group had given up two years earlier and disbanded only to regroup when the record hit the charts.

Top Single: I Know I’m Losing You” The Temptations #8 1966

Birthday: John Denver (The Mitchell Trio) 1943

Legendary Artists
Show Support for Turtles Victory

In September, the 1960s band The Turtles won a critical legal victory in their lawsuit against Sirius XM. The Turtles sued because Sirius XM has taken the position that it doesn't need permission - and therefore doesn't need to pay for use of - pre-1972 recordings protected under state law, even though it does pay for post-1972 recordings that are protected by federal law. This relates to an issue that SoundExchange has long been fighting - the failure of some large digital radio services to pay for the use of such vintage recordings. We think Sirius XM's position is wrong as a matter of law, and definitely wrong as a matter of justice!

On the Hill & In the Know
Congressional Rewind: Abbreviated September Session

During the week of September 15, the House Judiciary Committee held two copyright hearings. The first hearing was part of the Committee's comprehensive copyright review and discussed a provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that prohibits people from circumventing technical protection measures. This makes it illegal for pirates to even decrypt digital copyrighted works, often the first step before making an illegal copy. The second was an oversight hearing on the Copyright Office, where Maria Pallante, Register of Copyrights, testified. Pallante focused on bringing the Copyright Office into the 21st Century, with Committee Members agreeing that there is a need to update and modernize the Copyright Office.  

Congress has now left town to focus on the November election. They will make their way back to Washington, D.C. after voters have their say, for one last shot at getting their business done before the 113th Congress comes to an end.


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The Lettermen Hits Medley Performance Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee
November 6, 2013

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