This Month In Vocal Group History

November 1, 1957

The Keynotes recorded their 2nd single, “I Don’t Know” at New York’s Beltone Studios.

November 1, 1969

The hit “Raindrops Keep falling On My Head” was recorded by B.J. Thomas only after author Burt Bacharach was turned down by Bob Dylan.

Top Single:
“Wedding Bell Blues” The 5th Dimension #2 1969
“Suspicious Minds” Elvis Presley #1 1969

Birthday:
Phil Terry (The Intruders) 1943

November 2, 1963

Dion performed “Donna The Prima Donna” on England’s TV show “Ready, Steady, Go” and then left due to being irritated by the audience dancing around him despite still having another song to sing.

Top Single:
“Part Time Lover” Stevie Wonder #1 1985

November 3, 1958

The Crescents were on their way to a recording audition when they were involved in a head-on car crash. Miraculously, no one was hurt and they proceeded to the audition which led to the quintet signing with Pittsburgh’s Calico Records where they changed their name to The Skyliners.

November 3, 1972

Carly Simon married James Taylor.

Top Single:
“He’s A Rebel” The Crystals #1 1962

November 4, 1957

The Dells “Pain In My Heart” and The Ravens 1948 recording of “White Christmas” were issued. The Ravens classic was the basis for The Drifters hit version.

November 4, 1989

Elton John became only the 3rd artist to score 50 chart singles in England. The others were Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. Elton did it with “Sacrifice”.

Top Single:
“Silhouettes” The Rays #3 1957
“I Can See Clearly Now” Johnny Nash #1 1972

Birthday:
Harry Elston (Friends of Distinction) 1938

November 5, 1955

The Heartbeats “Crazy For You” was released. Though never charting nationally, it became a New York area standard.

Top Single:
“Only You” The Platters #5 1955

November 6, 1954

The Charmers collector classic “I Was Wrong” was released.

November 6, 1965

The historic theater Fillmore West opened with Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead.

Top Single:
“You’re The One” The Vogues #6 1965 “Gypsy’s, Tramps & Thieves” Cher #1 1971

Birthday:
Jim Pike (The Lettermen) 1939

November 7, 1960

The Heartbeats perennial “A Thousand Miles Away” charted for the second time in 4 years (#96 pop).

November 7, 1987

16 year old Tiffany topped the charts with “I Think We’re Alone Now” a chart hit for Tommy James & The Shondells made four years before she was born.

Top Single:
“Money Honey” The Drifters #3 R&B 1953
“Save The Last Dance For Me” The Drifters #1 1960
Birthday: Mary Travers (Peter, Paul & Mary) 1937
Dee Clark (Kool Gents) 1938

Birthday:
John Salvato (The Duprees) 1940

November 8, 1957

The Mello-Kings and The Dells appeared at Chicago’s Regal Theater.

November 8, 1992

Barry Manilow performed before 94,000 people in the Ultra Football Stadium in Manila.

Top Single:
“He’s So Shy” The Pointer Sisters #3 1980
“Wedding Bell Blues” The 5th dimension #1 1969

Birthday:
Laura Webb (The Bobbettes) 1941

November 9, 1961

Beatles manager-to-be Brian Epstein saw the group for the first time at a Cavern Club (Liverpool) lunch hour performance.

Top Single:
“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” Bachman-Turner Overdrive #1 1974

November 10, 1958

Three future standards “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (The Platters #1 Pop, #3 R&B), “Maybe You’ll Be There (Lee Andrews & The Hearts) and “16 Candles” (The Crests #2 Pop, #4 R&B) were released.

LaVern Baker’s “I Cried A Tear” was issued. It became her biggest hit (#6) of 20 charters between 1955 – 1966.

Top Single:
“To Know Him Is To Love Him” The Teddy Bears #5 1958
“He’s A Rebel” The Crystals #1 1962

November 11, 1957

The Valiants “This Is The Night” (#69) and Lee Andrews & The Hearts “Teardrops” (#20 Pop, #4 R&B) were released.

November 11, 1972

A year and 13 days after Allman Brothers Duane Allman died in a motorcycle accident the bands bass player, Berry Oakley was killed when his motorcycle collided with a bus, 3 blocks from where Duane died.

Top Single:
“Little Bitty Pretty One” Thurston Harris & The Sharps #6 1957
“MacArthur Park” Donna Summer #1 1978

Birthday:
LaVern Baker (The Gliders) 1929

November 12, 1953

The Drifters recorded their #2 hit “Such A Night”.

Top Single:
“Seventeen” The Fontane Sisters #6 1955

Birthdays:
Jo Stafford (The Pied Pipers) 1918
Frank Rosenthal (Dante & The Evergreens) 1941
Jimmy Hayes (The Persuasions) 1943
John Maus (The Walker Brothers) 1943

November 13, 1961

The Tokens were on the verge of going into production instead of singing when “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” charted (#1) becoming one of the biggest hits of all time.

November 13, 1963

The Ronettes opened in Teaneck, NJ as part of Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars.

Top Single:
“I Hear A Symphony” The Supremes #5 1965
“Tonight’s The Night” Rod Stewart #1 1976

Birthdays:
Jeanette “Baby” Washington (The Hearts) 1940
Annette Kleinbard a/k/a Carol Connors (The Teddy Bears) 1941

November 14, 1960

The Shirelles (formerly known as The Poquellos) with writer Carole King playing drums had their soon-to-be standard “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” released today.

November 14, 1981

Australia’s version of a U.S. invasion occurred when 4 of the top 10 singles were from down under led by technical Aussie Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” (#3). The others were Little River Band, Air Supply and Rick Springfield.

Top Single:
“Leader of The Pack” The Shangri-Las #2 1964
“Baby Love” The Supremes #1 1964

Birthday:
Cornelius Gunter (The Coasters) 1938

November 15, 1969

The Jackson 5’s debut disc: “I Want You Back” charted en rout to #1. It was their fist of 31 Top 100 hits over 20 years.

Top Single:
“Who Loves You” The Four Seasons #3 1975
“Wedding Bell Blues” The 5th Dimension #1 1969

Birthday:
Clyde McPhatter (The Dominoes and The Drifters) 1933

November 16, 1974

John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” became his only solo U.S. #1. Piano and backup vocals were done by Elton John.

Top Single:
“Mr. Blue” The Fleetwoods #1 1959

November 17, 1956

The Heartbeats standard “A Thousand Miles Away” charted (#53 Pop, #5 R&B) and The Continentals inspiring “Dear Lord” was released.

November 17, 1968

Dion appeared on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS-TV.

Top Single:
“Fool, Fool, Fool” The Clovers #1 R&B 1951
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” The Four Seasons #1 1962

Birthday:
Bob Gaudio (The Four Seasons) 1942
Ronnie DeVoe (New Edition) 1967

November 18, 1957

The Superiors “Lost Love”, The Jay Hawks “Everyone Should Know” and The El Venos “You Must Be True” were released.

November 18, 1989

Two sixties vocal groups, The Shangri-Las and The Three Degrees, went to court in dispute over who owned their respective names. The Shangri-Las won, but The Three Degrees court ruling granted their name to former manager Richard Barrett.

Top Single:
“If You Don’t Know Me By Now” Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes” #1 R&B 1972
“I Can See Clearly Now” Johnny Nash #1 1972

Birthday:
Hank Ballard (The Midnighters) 1936

November 19, 1955

The Cues, mostly known as a studio backup group for the likes of Atlantic stars Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker, had their first chart single of their own with “Burn That Candle”.

Top Single:
“You Keep Me Hanging On” The Supremes #1 1966

Birthday:
Dave Guard (The Kingston Trio) 1934
Hank Medress (The Tokens) 1938 Warren “Pete” Moore (The Miracles) 1939

November 20, 1954

The Clovers “I Confess” and The Valentines “Tonight Kathleen” were released along with what would become the quintessential R&B Christmas record, The Drifters “White Christmas).

November 20, 1961

The Crystals debut single, “There’s No Other” charted as the first of their eights hits.

Top Single:
“Love So Right” The Bee Gees #4 1976
“Up Where We Belong” Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes #1 1982

Birthday:
Tony Butala (The Lettermen) 1938

November 21, 1954

The Wrens recorded four sides including the street corner classic “Come Back My Love”

November 21, 1960

Gene Pitney’s first single under his own name, “I Wanna Love My Life Away” was issued.
He recorded in 1959 as Billy Bryan and in a duo as Jamie in Jamie & Jane.

Top Single:
“Stay” Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs #1 1960

November 22, 1956

Newly formed Club Records signed the “Church Bells May Ring” hit makers, The Willows and Pat Cordell & The Crescents. The latter became The Elegants of “Little Star” fame.

November 22, 1976

Jerry Lee Lewis was arrested for driving drunk when he drove his Rolls Royce into a ditch.

Top Single:
“Let’s Do It Again” The Staple Singers #10 1975
“Fly, Robin, Fly” Silver Convention #1 1975

Birthday:
Jamie Troy (The Classics) 1942
Steven Caldwell (The Orlons) 1942

November 23, 1899

The first Jukebox was installed at The Palace Royal Hotel in San Francisco.

Top Single:
“I’m Leaving It Up To You” Dale & Grace

November 24, 1954

The Orioles “In The Chapel In The Moonlight” and The Vibranaires “Doll Face” were issued.

November 24, 1956

The Dell-Vikings recorded nine songs including “Come Go With Me” all A cappella. After instrumentation was added, “Come Go With Me” went on to be the first top 10 Pop hit by a racially mixed Rock & Roll vocal group.

November 24, 1972

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert TV show debuted featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.

Top Single:
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” The Four Seasons #1 1962
“Photography” Ringo Starr #1 1973

November 25, 1957

The Sultans “If I Could Tell” was released. Member Gene McDaniels went on to solo success with “A Hundred Pounds Of Clay” and “Tower of Strength” in 1961.

November 25, 1984

Bob Geldof and 36 stars recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for Ethiopian famine relief. Artists included Phil Collins, Boy George, Sting, U2, Duran Duran, George Michael and James Taylor.

Top Single:
“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz” The Hollywood Flames #1 R&B 1957
“Incense & Peppermints” Strawberry Alarm Clock #1 1967

November 26, 1955

The Four Coins “Memories Of You” charted.

Top Single:
“Good Vibrations” The Beach Boys” #2 1966

Birthday:
Garnett Mimms (The Enchanters) 1937

November 27, 1954

The Charms “Hearts Of Stone” chart debut reached #15 Pop, #1 R&B while beating out The Jewels original recording.

November 27, 1961

Ray Charles had his 18th of a career 76 chart singles when “Unchain My Heart” reached the Top 100.

Top Single:
“Heartaches” The Marcels #7 1961 “Theme From Shaft” Isaac Hayes #1 1971

November 28, 1992

36 years after The Five Satins original legendary hit, Boys II Men’s remake of “In The Still of The Night” charted, soaring to #3 Pop, #4 R&B. The feat was all the more impressive in the rap era as the “Boys” sang the recording A cappella.

November 28, 1960

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters “Hoochie Coochie Coo” was released reaching #23 Pop, #3 R&B.

Top Single:
“Come A Little Bit Closer” Jay & The Americans 33 1964
“Leader Of The Pack” The Shangri-Las #1 1964

Birthday:
Gary Troxel (The Fleetwoods) 1939 Dawn Robinson (En Vogue) 1968

November 29, 1980

Manhattan Transfer’s remake of The Videos “Trickle, Trickle” charted.

November 29, 1986

Cyndi Lauper’s “Change Of Heart” charted eventually reaching #3.

Top Single:
“Nights On Broadway” The Bee Gees #9 1975
“Come Together/Something” The Beatles #1 1969

Birthday:
Denny Doherty (The Mama’s & The Papa’s) 1941 John Wilson (Sly, Slick & Wicked) 1949

November 30, 1959

The Five Satins “Shadows” charted becoming their 3rd of 7 Top 100 singles. Their classic “In The Still of The Night” charted 3 of those 7 times.

Top Single:
“I’m Leaving It Up To You” Dale & Grace #1 1963

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