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This Week In Vocal Group History
February 1, 1969 The Brooklyn Bridge’s
debut disc, “Worst That Could Happen” peaked at #3. The lead singer was Johnny Maestro, formerly of The Crests, while the backup vocals were done by former members of The Del-Satins, the un-credited group on Dion’s 11 hits from “Runaround Sue” thru “Come Go With Me” (1961-1963).

1964 –
The quintessential party record “Louis, Louis” by The Kingsmen was declared pornographic by the Governor of Indiana, but an FCC investigation concluded “the record to be unintelligible at any speed we played it”.

Top Single:
“Where Or When” Dion & The Belmonts #4 1960 “Rum & Coca Cola” The Andrews Sisters #1 1945

Birthday: Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) 1934 Tommy Duffy (The Echoes) 1944

February 2, 1956 The Coasters
signed with Atco Records and went on to have 19 hits in 15 years.

Top Single:
“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” The Platters #1 1959


February 3, 1958 The Collegians
Doo Wop classic, “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” was issued.

1959 –
“This day the music died”. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (J.P. Richardson) died in a plane crash after their last tour date in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Top Single:
“Baby It’s You” The Shirelles #8 1962 “Green Tambourine” The Lemon Pipers #1 1968

David Lerchey (The Dell-Vikings) 1937 Charlie James (The Cleftones) 1939 Angelo D’Aleo (The Belmonts) 1940 Dennis Edwards (The Temptations) 1943


February 4, 1954 The Drifters
recorded “Honey Love” (#1 R&B, #21 Pop), their first single at Fulton Recording Studio in N.Y.C. along with their legendary versions of “White Christmas”, “Bells Of St. Mary’s” and the forerunner of “The Twist” “Whatcha Gonna Do” (#2 R&B).

1962 – Gene Pitney’s
first British tour opened with an appearance on ITV’s “Thank You Lucky Stars”.

Top Single:
“Speedo” The Cadillacs #4 R&B 1956 “Stayin’ Alive” The Bee Gees #1 1978

Birthday: Bernie West (The Five Keys) 1930 John Gambale (The Classics) 1942 Florence LaRue (The 5th Dimension) 1944

February 5, 1954
The McGuire Sisters fourth single “Pine Tree, Pine For Me” was released becoming their first charter.

Top Single:
“Earth Angel” The Penguins #8 1955

Cory Wells
(Three Dog Night)
1942 - 2015

February 6, 1965
Little Anthony & The Imperials classic “Hurt So Bad” charted en route to #10.

1971 – Marvin Gaye’s
critically acclaimed “What’s Goin’ On” Was released. It reached #2 Pop and #1 R&B.

Top Single:
“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes #1


February 7, 1953
The Buccaneers “Dear Ruth” was issued by two students working out of a store front in Philadelphia.

1964 – The Beatles
first U.S. visit started in New York.

Top Single:
“Walking In The Rain” Jay & The Americans #19 1970 “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” Paul Simon #1 1976

Harvey Herskowitz (The Quotations) 1943


February 8, 1962 The Beach Boys
(with Jaguars member Val Poliuto in for Al Jardine) recorded six demo ’s including what would become the basic tracks and vocals for their first two singles “Surfin’” and “Surfin’ Safari”.

1967 – Peter & Gordon (of “World Without Love” fame) broke up. Peter Ashers went on to manage Linda Ronstadt among others.

Top Single:
“I Started A Joke” The Bee Gees #6 1969 “Teen Angel” Mark Dinning #1 1960


February 9, 1964
The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Top Single:
“Hey Paula” Paul & Paula #1 1963


February 10, 1958
The Chesters debut “The Fires Burn No More” was released. The group went on to become Little Anthony & The Imperials.

1973 –
After composing the song “The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia” bobby Russell offered the tune to Cher, who turned it down. Russell then gave it to his wife Vickie Lawrence who had the #1 hit.

Top Single: “Do Something For Me” The Dominoes #6 R&B 1951 “Don’t” Elvis Presley #1 1958

Jimmy Merchant (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers) 1940 Nathaniel Mayer (The Fabulous Twilights) 1944

February 11, 1956
The first Rock & Roll stage show in the Brox, New York was held at the Opera House Movie Theater featuring The Cadillacs, The Heartbeats, The Valentines and The Bonnie Sisters.

1964 – The Beatles
played their first U.S. concert at Washington D.C.’s Washington coliseum along with The Chiffons and Tommy Roe. 8,600 people attended but barely a word was heard form the mop tops who couldn’t compete with the avalanche of teen screams.

Top Single: “Adorable/Steamboat” The Drifters #5 R&B 1956 “Kharma Chameleon” Culture Club #1 1984

John Mills (The Mills Brothers) 1889

February 12, 1957 The Coasters
recorded their 2-sided hit “Searchin’” (#3 Pop, #1 R&B) and “Youngblood” (#8 Pop, #1 R&B) at Hollywood Records in Los Angeles.

Top Single: “Sincerely”
The McGuire Sisters #1 1955

Gene McDaniels (The Sultans, The Admirals) 1935 Cynthia Philips (Wilson Phillips) 1968 Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) 1954

February 13, 1959 The Skylines performed their first single “Since I Don’t Have You” on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Three days later orders for 100,000 copies came in.

1981 – Pink Floyd’s
“Dark Side Of The Moon” L.P. became rocks longest running album at 402 weeks. It went on for another 158 weeks (560 total)

Top Single: “My Girl” The Temptations #5 1965 “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” The Righteous Brothers #1 1965

Gene Ames (The Ames Brothers) 1925 Dorothy McGuire (The McGuire Sisters)

February 14, 1953
Al Silver started Herald Records which became one of the premier vocal group outlets of the 50 ’s with recordings by the Mello-Kings and Nutmegs.

1961 – The Platters
sued their label, Mercury records, after amassing 32 hits because the label refused to issue singles not sung by lead Tony Williams who left the group in 1960. As the debate raged Mercury released 12 more 45’s through 1964, all old previously recorded material.

Top Single: “Love Machine” The Miracles #8 1976 “Celebration” Kool & The Gang” #1 1981

Phyllis McGuire (The McGuire Sisters) 1931


February 15, 1961 The Marcels
recorded seven songs for their first legendary L.P. including “Most Of All”, “Sunday Kind Of Love”, “Peach Of Mind” and the international Doo Wop hit “Blue Moon”.

1954 – Joe Turner
recorded the classic “Shake, Rattle & Roll” six months before Bill Haley’s hit version.

Top Single:
“Worst That Could Happen” The Brooklyn Bridge #5 1969 “Everyday People” Sly & The Family Stone #1 1969

Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead at 74
Feb 4, 2016, 6:13

Image result for Maurice White earth wind and fire

Maurice White performing on stage with Earth, Wind, Fire on March 14, 1979 in the Netherlands.Rob Verhorst/Redferns Maurice White performing on stage with Earth, Wind, Fire on March 14, 1979 in the Netherlands. 1K SHARES Email Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like "September," ''Shining Star" and "Boogie Wonderland," died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said. White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson's Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing. "My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep," Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes." In Memoriam: Notable People Who Died in 2016 SLIDESHOW: In Memoriam: Notable People Who Died in 2016more + Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band centered featuring the two White brothers, singer Philip Bailey and the distinctive horn section, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Image result for Maurice White earth wind and fire

The band's most successful period started with the 1975 album "That's The Way of The World" and continued through the rest of the decade. Other hits included "Serpentine Fire," ''That's the Way of the World" and a cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life." White publicly revealed he had Parkinson's at the time of the band's Hall of Fame induction, but he had shown symptoms of the neurological disease back in the 1980s. He stopped touring with the band in 1995 because of weariness from the road combined with his health problems. White said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2000 that he wanted the band's music to inspire instead of just entertain. "That was the whole objective, to try to inspire young people to believe in themselves and to follow through on their ideas," he said. "We've touched so many people with these songs." A former session drummer, White founded the band Salty Peppers in the Chicago area in the late 1960s and had some modest success in the Midwest. After relocating to Los Angeles and ditching all of the band members except Verdine, he renamed the outfit Earth, Wind & Fire after the three elements in his astrological chart. Bailey's bright falsetto defined many of Earth, Wind & Fire's hits. "We experienced pure magic together," Bailey said during the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, standing next to White.

Image result for Maurice White earth wind and fire

The band's early sound was jazzy, but evolved into an exuberant, horn-driven mix of jazz, funk, gospel and Big Band music. Their appeal wasn't just on records but on stage, their concerts a whirl of dancing, fog machines, multi-colored lights and glittery costumes. Earth, Wind & Fire performed everywhere from the Super Bowl to the White House. Maurice White also had a substantial side career producing other artists, including Barbra Streisand and Cher. In the 1970s, he co-wrote and co-produced the Emotions' No. 1 hit "Best of My Love." White was born in Memphis in 1941, the son of a doctor and grandson of a New Orleans piano player. He showed musical gifts at an early age, studying at the Chicago Conservancy. During the 1960s, he backed Muddy Waters, the Impressions and others and worked as a session drummer in Chicago. The band performed in the movie, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and had hits with the ballad "After the Love Has Gone," ''All 'n' All," ''Let's Groove" and "Fall in Love With Me." The band took a four-year hiatus in the 1980s and then returned, its primary success then on the road. "We live in a negative society," White told Newsweek at the height of the band's success. "Most people can't see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine." — Entertainment writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report. 




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November 6, 2013

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