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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.

– 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.

1945 –
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

In Loving Memory

Ben E. King

He was a sweet and gentle man. 
We will miss him.

Ben E. King, soul legend who sang
'Stand By Me,' dead at 76

Ben E. King’s service as follows:

Community Baptist Church
224 1st St. Englewood, NJ 07631
Wed. May 6, 2015 from
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Thurs. May 7, 2015 at 10:00am

Soul singer Ben E. King, best known for his 1961 hit ‘Stand By Me,’ has died. He was 76 years old.
The North Carolina-born R&B legend died Thursday of natural causes, his agent told the Telegraph.
King rose to fame in the 1950s as a member of the Drifters. The soul group produced hits such as “There Goes My Baby” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

He later broke away and started his solo act. His 1961 song “Stand By Me” quickly topped the U.S. charts. It became a top-10 hit again in 1986, when it was used in the film of the same name starring River Phoenix. The soul classic has been covered by John Lennon, Maurice White and Spyder Turner, among others.

Ben E. king


UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01:  Photo of Ben E KING; Posed studio portrait of Ben E King  (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

King was best known for his 1961 hit,
'Stand by Me'

Sun Herb

Hall of Fame Vocal Group
Ends Decades of Consumer Fraud
Taking Back Stolen Identity

First Official LP in More than
50 Years to be Released
February 14, 2015

BOSTON—February 6, 2015More than four decades of consumer fraud and identity theft
in the music industry has ended thanks to the diligence and dying wishes of Rock and Roll,
Vocal Group and Grammy Halls of Fame member Herb Reed of The Platters.

Nevada-based United States District Court Judge Miranda M. Du closed the last case in a quartet of contemporary court battles providing the final chapter in an epic story that began half a century ago. The historic litigation, mired in worldwide deceit, greed and intrigue within the music industry, centered squarely on the ownership, performance rights and other intellectual property (IP) of the culturally and historically significant vocal group.

Reed, the founder and naming member of multi-platinum recording artists The Platters, and his fellow original singers, Tony Williams, David Lynch, Paul Robi and Zola Taylor, had their identity stripped away by a seemingly endless proliferation of imposter groups that, to this day, continue to deceive people at all levels of society including U.S. presidents, world leaders, many religious groups, educators, domestic multi-national television broadcasters, journalists and everyday worldwide music consumers.
According to longtime oldies agent and music researcher Cord Cosler, president of Celebrity Direct Entertainment in Florida, "At one time, there were almost 200 groups of ‘Platters’ playing around the world.”

Working under Reed's direction, his friend and manager, Frederick J. Balboni, Jr., hired Eric Miller Sommers of Boston, a rising star in the Intellectual Property (IP) world, to lead the daunting task of unraveling the tangled web of legal battles that had occurred since 1969. Las Vegas-based veteran entertainment and IP litigator John Krieger of Gordon & Silver was later added to the team as trusted Nevada local counsel, as was the international law firm of Holland & Knight serving the same capacity in New York and Florida.

"Reed felt he was the victim of a form of identity theft,” said Sommers. "Herb was adamant that he needed to regain control over performing rights to The Platters’ name in order for the historical impact of the vocal group’s timeless music to evolve after stagnating for 50 years and be able to appeal to new generations of music fans, thereby ensuring and protecting his legacy."

The decisions rectify the wanton consumer fraud that has been perpetrated against the worldwide public and allows The Platters to reestablish their importance in the pantheon of popular music, by not only taking back their legal rights, but also by taking complete control over their legacy and recordings.

"Herb was so happy he literally broke down and cried," said Balboni, recalling the moment that he told Reed the name had been returned to him.

The historic legal decisions achieved by Sommers under Reed and Balboni's direction and forward-thinking business strategies co-conceived by Balboni and George Howard (former president of the world’s largest independent record label, Rykodisc, original founder of the world’s largest independent music distribution company, TuneCore, manager of Carly Simon and advisor to Fortune 500 companies), finally allows for The Platters to be presented in a manner that speaks to their enduring musical and cultural legacy. This paves the way for Boston-based Herb Reed Enterprises, LLC (HRE)—the management, label, publishing firm operated by Balboni, Jr.—to eliminate the thousands of fraudulent recordings, the remaining imposter groups and marketplace confusion cluttering the legacy of a truly iconic and trendsetting quintet.

This final chapter in a long saga now allows HRE to today announce the release of Back to the Basics LIVE! with The Platters, the first fully-authorized recording of The Platters music in over 50 years.

About The Platters
The multi-platinum Platters were comprised of founder and naming member Herb Reed, Tony Williams, Paul Robi, Zola Taylor and David Lynch. In 1955, the quintet crashed through the racial divide that existed between black and white artists during America's infamous civil rights era. Their debut hit singleOnly You (and You Alone) that launched The Platters as superstars on the world stage was actually an error. A popular DJ named Alan Freed accidentally played their Mercury Records debut single on-air during a "prime" time that was traditionally reserved for "white artists." The ballad, based on the then groundbreaking Tin Pan Alley sound, became an instant hit with the public and would eventually reach number five on the Pop charts. Soon after, The Platters released The Great Pretender, which propelled them to the number one spot on the charts, providing the launch pad for their meteoric rise. As a result they became the first African-American group to achieve international superstardom. Both songs have since been declared songs of the 21st century by the Grammy foundation. 

With several chart-topping hits and more than 400 recordings, as a foundation, The Platters continue today their evolution in the music industry with vocalists Wayne Miller, Valerie Victoria, Frank Pizarro, Cheo Bourne and Music Director Michael Larson.

Fred Balboni or Gina DeRossi
978-535-0704 (o)/978-518-7463 (c) or
518-332-4988 (c)

Sun Herb

Halls of Fame Vocal Group
Ends Decades of Consumer Fraud
Taking Back Stolen Identity

First Official LP in More than
50 Years to be Released
February 14, 2015


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Hosted by
The Lettermen

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

The Lettermen Interview
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November 6, 2013




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