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His first single for the label, "What in the World's Come Over You," became a number five hit early in It was followed a few months later by another Top Ten hit, the number three single "Burning Bridges. Early in , he signed with Capitol Records, but none of his three singles made the Top Scott continued to vacillate between cowboy crooner and rough-edged rocker throughout the remainder of the '60s and '70s, recording for a variety of labels, including Groove and Dot.

Avalon was the first of the manufactured teen idols, before Fabian and Bobby Rydell and the myriads of other pretenders to the throne who worked the turf with tight black pants and red, red sweaters to the fore while Elvis cooled his heels in Germany.

In the late '50s and early '60s, post-Twist and pre-Beatles, these generally untalented pretty boys were the cardboard no-threat remnants of a post-Elvis age. But Avalon had a real musical background to go with the pretty boy looks, and was no drugstore teenager waiting to be discovered. Born in South Philadelphia in as Francis Thomas Avallone, he broke into show business as a child prodigy trumpet player, good enough to win talent contests, get on the Jackie Gleason Show, and make records for RCA Victor's subsidiary, 'X' Records.

But as childhood gave way to teendom, Avalon found himself playing backup trumpet in a local band called Rocco and the Saints. Marcucci came to the gig, but was unimpressed with Martin, feeling that blond-haired singers didn't have the right "look" to connect with females. But once he heard Avalon belt out a couple of tunes, Marcucci knew he had found what he was looking for, and a management contract was inked immediately. It was another six to eight months before Avalon's first single, "Cupid," came out on Marcucci's Chancellor label, and it wasn't until his third release, "Dede Dinah," that he had his first Top Ten hit.

From there, it was an unprecedented run of hits, starting with his first number one in , "Venus," placing no less than six more records in the Top 40 in that year alone. Marcucci worked the formula, easing Avalon away from rockers into more "adult," sap-oriented fare like a true pro, and was able to produce similar results with the far less talented but also very pretty Fabian. By , Avalon's four-year domination of the charts was coming to an end, but his career wasn't.


He teamed up with Annette Funicello and reinvented himself as a clean-cut, pretty-boy surfer in a wildly successful batch of Beach Party movies that got him through the '60s in far better shape than most of his colleagues. The series was big enough to bring himself and Funicello back for an update in the '80s, Back to the Beach. Ever the musician, Avalon insisted surf legend and original cast member Dick Dale be in this revival. Today, Avalon divides his time between hawking pain medicine on home shopping networks and appearing on the Golden Boys of Rock'n'Roll oldies show with Bobby Rydell and Fabian, looking handsome as ever.

The senseless death of young pianist Johnny Ace while indulging in a round of Russian roulette backstage at Houston's City Auditorium on Christmas Day of tends to overshadow his relatively brief but illustrious recording career on Duke Records. That's a pity, for Ace's gentle, plaintive vocal balladry deserves reverence on its own merit, not because of the scandalous fallout resulting from his tragic demise. John Marshall Alexander was a member in good standing of the Beale Streeters, a loosely knit crew of Memphis young bloods that variously included B.

The Death of Rock: The Chronology

King, Bobby Bland, and Earl Forest. And then, with one fatal gunshot, all that talent was lost forever weepy tribute records quickly emerged by Frankie Ervin, Johnny Fuller, Varetta Dillard, and the Five Wings. Ace scored his biggest hit of all posthumously. One further hit, "Anymore," exhausted Duke's stockpile of Ace masters, so they tried to clone the late pianist's success by recruiting Johnny's younger brother St. Clair Alexander to record as Buddy Ace.

In this section, we really turn up the doo wop love volume. These songs are similar to the romantic ballads of the other volume. However, the main difference is some of the tracks have powerful messages from solo artists. The main purpose of this volume is to musically illustrate these love messages. The solo artists sound as if they are actually delivering a sermon concerning romantic relationships. This volume begins with a lesson in romance. The group formed in , when year-old lead vocalist Charles Patrick and his brother James Patrick teamed with year-old first tenor Warren Davis, year-old second tenor George Malone, year-old bass singer John Smith, year-old baritone Warren Ryanes, and his younger brother, year-old second bass John Ryanes, coming together at the Baxter Terrace housing project in Newark, NJ.

They practiced in the project's recreation hall, inspired by acts like the Heartbeats, the Spaniels, the Moonglows, and the Cadillacs. By , they were performing the Cadillacs' "Zoom" on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, winning first prize and earning a shot on the show the following week. Unfortunately, James Patrick decided to leave the group to join another act that had performed on the same show: the Kodaks from Charles Evans Hughes High School in Newark. Undaunted by his brother's choice to sing with a rival act, Charles Patrick began writing new material for the group, the first of which would turn out to be "Who Wrote the Book of Love?

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Charles is said to have gone home with the word "wonder" reverberating in his head and, along with Davis and Malone, written the song that day. Yet another version of the story states that Pearl McKinnon, year-old leader of the Kodaks, actually wrote "Book of Love," which was later co-opted by Charles Patrick with help from his brother James.

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In any case, the Monotones demoed the song in the summer of and sent it to a number of labels, including Bobby Robinson's Fury label Robinson had already signed the Kodaks after seeing them perform at the Apollo. Atlantic Records liked the song, but wanted it for their group the Bobbettes. By now the Monotones were convinced it was a hit and wanted to sing it themselves. With ames Patrick's help, they were given an audition with Bea Caslon's Hull Records, first home of their heroes the Heartbeats by this time James Sheppard and his Heartbeats had left for Roulette.

Caslon decided to sign the group and record their song in September By January, it was too huge for cash-poor Hull, so the group licensed it to Chess Records, who issued it on their Argo subsidiary it was released in February The song even managed to score a number five in Australia. Their next single, "Tom Foolery" with its constant stops-and-starts , faired poorly, however.

A third session in July yielded a few new songs, including the single "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" which featured high-speed horse clip-clops , but these singles failed to gain the group an audience. The Monotones weren't pleased about the delay and began looking around for another label. They licensed Apt another track, a novelty tune called "The Ride of Paul Revere," which was released in October , but they were surprised to find out it was credited to "the Terrace Tones" there was an actual group called this, too, featuring Robert Johnson and Andrew Cheatham, who had written the "Paul Revere" song.

Despite the confusion, or maybe because of it, it failed to generate much interest. In early , the Monotones issued their first true Hull release, a strange sort of answer song to their own record, called "Reading the Book of Love" even though it had been two years since the other "Book of Love" song was a hit.

The group's last session -- February 14, -- produced two more titles, "Book of Dance" and "Toast to Lovers" which weren't released until they were featured on a Hull compilation LP in late , but by now the Monotones had decided to call it a day and disbanded. Another edition of the group recorded one single for Hickory in , but little information about the single exists.

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Doo wop's days were numbered when this was a hit in , and indeed the song's title would quickly become a catch-all phrase for rock records of all kinds that had left the charts several years ago. They made the middle of the Top with the dance tune "Hully Gully Again," and topped out at with "Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies," a single that was even more nostalgic than its prototype. The act, which performed in togas for a while, broke up in , partly as a result of a silly dispute between lead vocalist Carl Barnett and David Johnson who did the spoken bridge of "Those Oldies But Goodies" as to who was the real Little Caesar.

The Shells then made a hasty comeback, recording a mix of soul and pop standards as well as straight-ahead doo wop, such as "Be Sure My Love" and "So Fine. Elbert had a number of other love ballads, with the biggest hit being "What Can I Do? Both a multi-instrumentalist and good vocalist, Donnie Elbert sang with the Vibraharps from to He returned to All Platinum from from Cuts five and six of this volume are sung by the popular Platters. This doo wop group has a long a rich history and truly demonstrate the doo wop roots of soul music.

The Platters started out as a Los Angeles-based doo wop group with little identity of their own to make them stand out from the pack. They started out making their first records for Federal, a subsidiary of Cincinnati's King Records.


What changed their fortunes can be reduced down to one very important name: their mentor, manager, producer, songwriter, and vocal coach, Buck Ram. The Platters seemed like a good addition to his stable. After getting them out of their Federal contract, Ram placed them with the burgeoning national independent label Mercury Records at the same time he brought over the Penguins following their success with "Earth Angel" , automatically getting them into pop markets through the label's distribution contacts alone.

Then Ram started honing in on the group's strengths and weaknesses. The first thing he did was put the lead vocal status squarely on the shoulders of lead tenor Tony Williams. Williams struck out on his own in and, by the decade's end, the group had disbanded with various members starting up their own version of the Platters. This bit of franchising now extends into the present day, with an estimated sanctioned versions of "the original Platters" out on the oldies show circuit.

Joseph Canzano

The Platters were one of the top vocal groups of the 's, selling 53 million records and being among the first doo-wop groups to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Their manager and producer Buck Ram Buck died in Here is their story:. The original group was formed in Los Angeles in They were under the direction of music entrepreneur Ralph Bass for a time before management of the group was taken over by Buck Ram.

Buck Ram had been born Samuel Ram in Chicago in Although he had graduated from law school, he never practiced law and instead went into the music and entertainment business. Buck worked as an arranger for Mills Music.

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