This Month In Vocal Group History

July 1, 1957

A Philadelphia radio station with only 250 watts of power began repeat plays of The Tune Wavers new release, “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby”. By October 1 it was #1.

July 1, 1956

Elvis Presley appeared on Steve Allen’s TV show singing his new hit “Hound Dog” to a basset hound sitting on a pedestal.

Top Single:
“Windy” The Association #1 1967

Birthday:
Bobby Day (The Hollywood Flames” 1930
June Montiero (The Toys) 1946

July 2, 1954

Lillian Leach, on of the premier R&B lead singers of the fifties, and her group The Mellows singed to Jay Dee Records.

Top Single:
“Cool Jerk” The Capitals #7 1966

Birthday:
Paul Williams (The Temptations) 1939

July 3, 1961

The Chantels biggest hit “Look In My Eyes” charted today on it’s way to #14.

Top Single:
“Every Beat Of My Heart” Gladys Knight & The Pips #8 1961
“It’s Too Late” Carole King #1 1971

July 3, 1971

Jim Morrison of The Doors died in his bathtub in Paris of a heart attack. He was only 27.

July 4, 1960

The Demensions magnificent cover of “Over The Rainbow” hit the Top 100 (#16). Their version was the first since Judy Garland’s 1939 recording to chart even though 60 different versions had been issued during that 21 year span.

July 4, 1964

Independence Day may have been the result of the Americans defeating the British, but on the charts the battle was a draw. On the first July 4th since the musical British Invasion, both sides had 5 records in the Top 10. The Brits best was “My Boy Lollipop” (#2) while the Yanks topper was “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys.

Top Single:
“I Get Around” The Beach Boys #1 1964
“Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” Connie Francis #1 1960

Birthday:
Annette Sterling (The Vandellas) 1943
Jesse Lee Daniels (Force M.D.s) 1963

July 5, 1965

The Four Seasons were invited to perform at the White House by President Johnson.

Top Single:
“I Only Have Eyes For You” The Flamingos 1959 #6 R&B
“There’ll Be Sad Songs” Billy Ocean #1 1986

July 6, 1957

Paul McCartney met John Lennon for the first time at a Quarrymen concert in a Liverpool church.

Top Single:
“Easier Said Than Done” The Essex #1 1963

July 7, 1961

The Tokens recorded “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (RCA #1). It would become the first folk-rock hit.

July 7, 1954

Memphis D.J. Dewey Phillips played Elvis’ “That’s Alright Mama” on his show. It was the first time a Presley platter had been put on the air.

Top Single:
“Love, Love, Love” The Clovers #10 R&B 1956
“Will It Go Around In Circles” Billy Preston #1 1973

Birthday:
John Salvato (The Duprees) 1940

July 8, 1957

The Scholars “Beloved” was released. The quartet included 19 year old tenor Kenny Rogers.

July 8, 1968

The Yardbirds broke up after a New York concert. Soon after, a new Yardbirds was formed. They became known as Led Zeppelin.

Top Single:
“United” Otis Williams & The Charms #7 R&B 1957
“Teddy Bear” Elvis Presley #1 1957

July 9, 1955

The Harptones brilliant, “Life Is But A Dream” was released.

Top Single:
“Along Comes Mary” The Association #10 1966

Birthday:
Phil Leavett (The Diamonds) 1935
Don McPherson (Main Ingredient) 1941

July 10, 1989

Gene Pitney, B.J. Thomas and The Shirelles appeared in Nashville, but not to perform. They were in Federal Court to sue local Gusto Records over improper payments of royalties on reissued hits. The artists won 10 months later. Pitney for one was awarded $187,000.

Top Single:
“Tossin & Turnin” Bobby Lewis #1 1961
“Cara Mia” Jay & The Americans #8 1965

July 11, 1953

The Flamingos flip side of their debut disc (If I Can’t Have You”) “Someday, Someway” broke out in Los Angeles.

July 11, 1967

Kenny Rogers formed the First Edition. The country rock band charted 10 times in 1972 before Kenny went off on his spectacular solo career.

Top Single:
“Alley Opp” Hollywood Argyles #1 1960

Birthday:
Bonnie Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) 1950
Benny DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) 1954

July 12, 1956

8,000 lucky fans got in to The Carrs Beach Amphitheater (Maryland) to see The Teenagers, The Spaniels, The Cleftones, Carl Perkins and Shirley & Lee. The unlucky overflow numbered 10,000 people.

July 12, 1954

Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records signed a 19 year old truck driver named Elvis Presley to record.

Top Single:
“Color Him Father” The Winstons #9 1969
“Coming Up” Paul McCartney & Wings #1 1980

Birthday:
Jay “Jaybird” Uzzell (The Corsairs) 1942

July 13, 1963

Neil Diamond’s very first single, “Clown Town” on Columbia was released and quickly vanished. Nine years later he signed with Columbia again, this time for the then unheard of guarantee of $5 Million dollars.

Top Single:
“Lonely Boy” Paul Anka #1 1959

July 14, 1958

The Drinkard Singers spiritual 45 “Rise, Shine” was issued. The group consisted of Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mother) Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne’s sister) and Judy clay.

July 14, 1964

A new duo, Caesar & Cleo debuted with the release of their first single, “The Letter”. Through it received little attention, they would soon become known world wide when they changed their name to Sonny & Cher.

Top Single:
“Born To Be With You” The Chordettes” #6 1956
“Roses Are Red” Bobby Vinton #1 1962

Birthday:
Bob Scholl (The Mello-Kings) 1941

July 15, 1957

A Harlem street gang named The Charts, charted with their sensuously, smoking single “Desiree”. The same day the quintessential Doo Woppers The Jesters charted with their debut disc “So Strange”.

July 15, 1973

During a concert leader of The Kinks, Ray Davies, announced his retirement and then immediately checked into Whittington Hospital in England after swallowing a bottle of uppers.

Top Single:
“Too Late To Turn Back Now” Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose #2 1972
“Teddy Bear” Elvis Presley #1 1957

July 16, 1959

The Coasters memorable novelty “Poison Ivy” (#7 Pop, #1 R&B) was recorded.

Top Single:
“Story Untold” The Crew Cuts #18 1955

Birthday:
Sollie McElroy (The Flamingos) 1933

July 17, 1954

The Crows, The Clovers, The Hollywood Flames, The Chords, The Robins and The Four Tunes appeared at the annual Rock & Roll jubilee held at Hollywood’s Shrine Auditorium.

July 17, 1967

In one of the most bizarre performance pairings in history The Monkees appeared at Forest Hills Stadium, New York with show opener Jimi Hendrix.

Top Single:
“Please Stay” The Drifters #16 1961
“Afternoon Delight” Starland Vocal Band #1 1976

July 18, 1953

The Dominos “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” (#8 R&B) was released. It became their 10th top 10 hit.

July 18, 1989

The Jefferson Airplane reformed with original members (Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy) The group then became Starship.

Top Single:
“Rag Doll” The Four Seasons #1 1964

Birthday:
Dion DiMucci (Dion & The Belmonts) 1939
Martha Reeves (Vandellas) 1941
Cindy Heron (En Vogue) 1965

July 19, 1969

The Brooklyn Bridge’s 4th of 7 top 100 entries, “Your Husband, My Wife” charted. The vocal members consisted of former Crests leader Johnny Maestro and three of The Del Satins.

July 19, 1958

George Treadwell, The Drifters manager walked backstage at the Apollo Theatre, fired his group, walked across to the dressing room of the groups opening act, The Crowns, hired them and then christened them The Drifters. The Crowns lead singer was Ben E. King.

Top Single:
“Love Is Blue” The Dells #22 1969
“It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me” Billy Joel #1 1980

July 20, 1954

Elvis Presley gave his first public performance outside a Memphis drug store on a flatbed truck.

Top Single:
“Surf City” Jan & Dean #1 1963

July 21, 1958

The Elegants “Little Star” charted. It was based on Mozart’s “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” written by the 8 year old in 1764.

July 21, 1959

15 year old Bobby Vee, who replaced Buddy Holly at a Fargo, North Dakota concert when Holly died in a February plane crash, had his first single issued titled: “Suzy Baby” (#77). He went on to have 38 chart hits.

Top Single:
“Wah Watusi” The Orlons #2 1962
“Yakety Yak” The Coasters #1 1958

Birthday:
Kim Fowley (The Jayhawks) 1944

July 22, 1957

Lee Andrews & The Hearts “Long Lonely Nights” (#45 Pop #11 R&B) came out. The same day Louis Lymon & The Teenchords recorded their last single for Fury, “I’m Not Too Young To Fall In Love” before signing with End Records, part of the same company brother Frankie was signed to.

July 22, 1977

Tony Orlando announced during a show with is act Dawn that he was retiring from performing which shocked the group since he never told them.

Top Single:
“Stardust” Billy Ward & The Dominoes #11 R&B 1957
“Shadow Dancing” Andy Gibb #1 1978

Birthday:
Chuck Jackson (The Dell-Vikings) 1937
Thomas Wayne (The Delons)
Estelle Bennett (The Ronettes) 1944

July 23, 1988

After a 20 year hiatus, the original Danleers of “one Summer Night” fame regrouped for the Westbury Music fair on Long Island, New York.

Top Single:
“I Saw Her Again” The Mama’s & The Papa’s #9 1966

Birthday:
Cleve Duncan (The Penguins) 1935

July 24, 1954

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

July 24, 1965

The Lovin’ Spoonful performed in a Greenwich village club for an audience that included Bob Dylan and Phil Spector.

Top Single:
“Let’s Twist Again” Chubby Checker #10 1961
“Indian Reservation” The Raiders #1 1971

Birthday:
Barbara Love (Friends Of Distinction) 1941

July 25, 1970

Dawn’s “Candida” charted (#3) becoming their first of 25 top 100 hits.

July 25, 1965

Bob Dylan’s folk era changed to Rock when he performed at The Newport Folk Festival with an electric back-up group, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He was roundly booed.

Top Single:
“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” The Nylons 1987 #13
“I’m Sorry” Brenda Lee #1 1960

Birthday:
Rudy West (The Five Keys) 1932

July 26, 1969

The “B” side of The Friends Of Distinction’s “Goin’ In Circles” (#15), “Let Yourself Go” charted (#63).
Tom Jones’ “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” charted reaching #6.

Top Single:
“Ting A Ling” The Clovers #5 R&B 1952
“In The Year 2525” Zager & Evans #1 1969

Birthday:
Darleen Love (The Blossoms) 1938

July 27, 1976

John Lennon finally received his U.S. “Green Card” three years and four months after U.S. immigration ordered him to leave.

Top Single:
“Lonely Boy” Paul Anka #1 1959

July 28, 1958

The Quintones “Down The Asile Of Love” (#18 Pop, #5 R&B) The Heartbeats “One Day Next Year” and The Diablos “For Old Times Sake” came out.

July 28, 1973

The largest Rock concert to date happened at Watkins Glen race track in upstate New York when The Band, The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead performed for over 600,000 people.

Top Single:
“60 Minute Man” Billy Ward & The Dominoes #1 R&B 1951
“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” Elvis Presley #1 1956

July 29, 1974

Mama’s & Papa’s member Cass Elliot died in a London flat from a heart attack brought on by choking on a ham sandwich. It was the same flat Keith Moon (of The Who) died in 4 months later.

July 29, 1966

Bob Dylan suffered severe injuries during a motorcycle accident near his Woodstock, NY home.

Top Single:
“C’mon Marianne” The Four Seasons #10 1967
“Alone Again, Naturally” Gilbert O’Sullivan #1 1972

July 30, 1955

The Hilltoppers “The Kentuckian Song” (#20) became their 8th of 17 charters between 1952 and 1957.

Top Single:
“Best Of My Love” The Emotions #6 1977

July 31, 1961

The group that sang backup for most of chubby Checker’s hits finally hit with one of their own when The Dreamlovers “When We Get Married” charted (#10).

July 31, 1968

The Beatles “Hey Jude” was released

Top Single:
“Kiss And Say Goodbye” The Manhattans #1 1976
“You’ve Got A Friend” James Taylor #1 1971

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