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This Week In Vocal Group History

May 1, 1998 The Vocal Group Hall of Fame opened in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The Hall was the brain child of Tony Butala, lead singer of The Lettermen. Many of the greatest vocal groups in history would, in coming years, be inducted into the Hall in lavish and nostalgic ceremonies.

1963 – Andrew Loog Oldham became manager of The Rollin’ Stones but only after demanding they add the “g”.

Top Single:“Never Can Say Goodbye” The Jackson Five #1 R&B 1971 “Runaway” Del Shannon #1 1961

Heather Dixon (The Bobbettes) 1944


May 2, 1956 The Joytones, one of Rock N’ Roll’s first girl groups recorded their single “Gee, What A Boy”.

1979 – The Who replaced deceased drummer Keith Moon with former Small Faces member Kenny Jones.

Top Single:“Ronnie” The Four Seasons #10 1964 “Can’t Buy Me Love” The Beatles #1 1964

Birthday: Randy Cain III (The Delfonics)

May 3, 1962 America's first ambassadors of Rock 'n' Roll, began a ten-day tour of Spain. Afterward, they would become the first American Rock 'n' Roll act to perform behind the Iron Curtain when they appeared in Poland.

1984 After breaking up in 1976 Deep Purple regrouped. Runor has it they were each (Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Jon Lord, Ian Gillan and Ian Paice) offered $12 Million to reunite.

Top Single:“Call Me” Blondie #1 1980

May 4, 1968 Mary Hopkin’s success with “Those Were The Days” (#1 U.S. and U.K.) came about thanks to famed model Twiggy who saw the pert songstress perform on Britain’s T.V. talent show, “Opportunity Knocks” called a friend Paul McCartney and insisted he sign her.

Top Single:"The Locomotion" Grand Funk Railroad 1974 “We Are The World” USA For Africa #1 1985

Birthday: Peggy Santaglia (The Angels) 1943

May 5, 1958 The Coasters “Yakety Yak” was issued, eventually reaching #1. 1968 – Buffalo Springfield disbanded.

Top Single:“Ivory Tower” Otis Williams & The Charms #5 R&B 1956 “All Shook Up” Elvis Presley #1 1957

Birthday: Johnnie Taylor (Highway QC’s & Five Echoes) 1938

May 6, 1957 The Dell-Vikings “Little Billy Boy” and The Vibes “Darling” were released.

1973 – After 18 singles and 7 smash albums with partner and high school friend Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon played his first solo gig at the Music Hall in Boston.

Top Single:“Come Go Woth Me” The Dell-Vikings #6 1957 “The First Time” Roberta Flack #1 1972

Birthday: Herb Cox (The Cleftones) 1939

May 7, 1954 Drifters lead Clyde McPhatter was drafted but was lucky to be stationed in Buffalo, NY where he bused in for weekend gigs with the group.

Top Single:“Angel In Your Arms” Hot #21 1977

Birthday: Johnny Maestro (Brooklyn Bridge) 1939


May 8, 1961 One of the few vocal groups to come out of Texas, The Velvets “Tonight” charted. It was their second of nine singles.

1965 – 9 of the Top 10 hits in America were from British or Australian acts led by #1 “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (Herman’s Hermits” The only domestic charter was #2 “Count Me In” by Gary Lewis & The Playboys.

Top Single:“Tonight I Fell In Love” The Tokens #15 1961 “Joy To The World” Three Dog Night #1 1971


May 9, 1953 Billy Ward & The Dominoes “These Foolish Things” was released. It became their 9th top 10 R&B hit in three years.

1973 – Mick Jagger donated $350,000 to help victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake.

Top Single:“Greenfields” The Brothers Four #2 1960 “Hello Dolly” Louis Armstrong #1 1964


May 10, 1957 The Jive Bombers recorded their unique version of the 1928 song “Cherry”.

1969 – The Turtles performed at The White House and leader Mark Volman celebrated by falling off the stage four times.

Top Single:“He Don’t Love You” Dawn #1 1975 “West End Girls” Pet Shop Boys #1 1986

Birthday: Danny Rapp (Danny & The Juniors) 1941

May 11, 1970 The soundtrack to the August 15-17, 1969 Woodstock Festival was issued. It was a 3 disc set.

Top Single:“Happy Organ” Dave “Baby” Cortez #1 1959

Birthday: Arnie Silver (The Dovells) 1943, Tom Giuliano (Happenings) 1943, Eric Burdon (Animals) 1941

May 12, 1958 ABC Paramount Records formed the Apt label. Among the first signings were The Elegants from Staten Island. The same day The Chantels “I Love You So” was released.

1960 – Elvis made his first T.V. appearance since his Army discharge on a “Welcome Back” special. The host was an old rock & roller named Frank Sinatra.

Top Single: “She Cried” Jay & The Americans
#6 1961 “All I Have To Do Is Dream” The Everly Brothers #1 1958

Birthday: Jay Otis Washington (The Persuasions) 1941

May 13, 1957 The Spaniels
“Everyone’s Laughing”, The Love Notes “Tonight” and The Diablos “Can’t We Talk This Over” were released.

1952 – The Royals signed with Federal Records and went on to have 13 hits after they changed their name to Hank Ballard & The Midnighters.

Top Single:“Jimmy Mack” Martha & The Vandellas #1 R&B 1967 “The Happening” The Supremes #1 1967

Birthday: Fred Hellerman (The Weavers) 1927 Harold Winley (The Clovers) 1933

May 14, 1969 Little Anthony & The Imperials recorded two standards “Ten Commandments of Love” (#82 Pop) originally by The Moonglows and “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” (#32 R&B, #52 Pop) first done by The Five Keys.

Top Single:“Candy Girl” New Edition #1 R&B 1983

Bobby Darrin (The Jaybirds) 1936

May 15, 1961 The Regents (Originally called The Montereys) “Barbara Ann” charted three years after they recorded it.

– The first album chart was introduced in America. Albums then were collections of 78RPM singles usually boxed or in a sleeved binder.

Top Single:
“Help Me Rhonda” The Beach Boys #6 1965 “Boogie Fever” The Sylvers #1 1976

Birthday: Kripp Johnson (The Dell-Vikings) 1933 Lenny Welch (The Sinceres) 1938


StarVista Entertainment, Time Life
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The Lettermen Hits Medley Performance
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November 6, 2013

The Lettermen Interview
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November 6, 2013


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