This Month In Vocal Group History

September 1, 1956

Johnnie Ray’s “Just Walkin’ In The Rain” debuted eventually reaching #2. The original version was done 3 years earlier by The Prisonaires, an R&B quintet who were all inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary.

September 1, 1958

Two classics, “I’m so Young” by The Students (#26 R&B) and The Moonglows “Ten Commandments Of Love” (#22 Pop, #9 R&B) were issued.

Top Single:
“Don’t You Know” The Clovers #1 R&B 1951 “Sheila” Tommy Roe #1 1962

Birthday:
Tommy Evans (The Drifters) 1927 Barry Gibb (The Bee Gees) 1947

September 2, 1955

Alan freed held his historic Labor Day Rock & Roll Show at The Brooklyn Paramount featuring The Moonglows, The Cadillacs, The Nutmegs, The Harptones and Chuck Berry.

September 2, 1962

With his hit “Sheila” sitting at #1, artist Tommy Roe finally agreed to leave his day job soldering wires at General Electric when ABC offered him $5,000.

Top Single:
“You’re My Everything” The Temptations #9 1967 “Grease” Frankie Valli #1 1978

Birthday:
Rosalind Ashford (The Vandellas) 1943

September 3, 1957

The Mello-Kings “Tonight, Tonight” took off after their appearance on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

Top Single:
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” The Beach Boys #1 1966

Birthday:
Al Jardine (The Beach Boys) 1942 Gary Leads (The Walker Brothers) 1944
Walter & Wallace Scott (The Whispers) 1943

September 4, 1948

Sonny Til & The Orioles first single, “It’s Too Soon To Know” was released. It reached #15 Pop, #1 R&B. Never before had a black group singing black (not Pop) music hot the Pop Top 15.

September 4, 1962

The Beatles recorded with their newest member Ringo Starr for the first time on “Love Me Do” however Ringo did not play drums on that session. He played tambourine while studio musician Andy White played drums.

Top Single:
“Michael” The Highwaymen #1 1961

Birthday:
Merald “Bubba” Knight (The Pips) 1942

September 5, 1953

Collectors rarities “Nadine” by The Coronets, “Crying In The Chapel” by The Four Dukes, “Oh Why” by The Orchids and “I Had A Love” by The Flairs were released.
1978 – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers member Joe Negronie died at 37. He was the third member of the group to die before the age of 38.

Top Single:
“The Twist” Chubby Checker & The Dreamlovers #2 1960
“House Of The Rising Sun” The Animals #1 1964

Birthday:
Terry Ellis (En Vogue) 1966

September 6, 1958

The Quintones performed their hit “Down The Aisle Of Love” (#18 Pop #5 R&B) on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

September 6, 1976

Fleetwood Mac’s self titles LP reached #1. It first charted in August 1975 and took 13 months to journey to the top.

Top Single:
“I Can’t Get Next To You” The Temptations #11 1969
“Upside Down” Diana Ross #1 1980

September 7, 1984

Janet Jackson announced she had secretly married DeBarge’s James DeBarge. 7 Months later she was back in mama’s arms.

Top Single:
“My Boyfriend’s Back” The Angels #1 1963

September 8, 1956

Due to the success of Johnnie Ray’s “Just Walking In The Rain” Sun Records reissued the three year old original version by The Prisonaires, a group of inmates at the Tennessee State Penitentiary featuring Johnny Bragg.

September 8, 1965

An advertisement in Variety announced auditions for The Monkees. Among those who tried and failed were Stephen Stills, Danny Hutton (later Three Dog Night), composer Paul Williams and would you believe, later to become mass murder, Charles Manson.

Top Single:
“Western Movies” The Olympics #10 1958 “My Prayer” The Platters #1 1956

Birthday:
Dante Drowty (Dante & The Evergreens) 1941

September 9, 1956

Elvis Presley’s first Ed Sullivan TV appearance attracted a viewing audience of 50 million, one third of the population of the United States.

September 9, 1957

Former Dominoes lead Jackie Wilson signed with Brunswick as a solo artist. His first single was “Reet Petite”. The same day, Ivy Records formed and signed The Deltairs. Their debut disc was “Lullaby Of The Bells”.

Top Single:
“Back Stabbers” The O’Jays #1 R&B 1972 “Diana” Paul Anka #1 1957

Birthday:
Jacob Carey (The Flamingos) 1923
Joe Negroni (The Teenagers) 1940
Luther Simmons (The Main Ingredient) 1942

September 10, 1966

The Monkees first of 21 hits, “Last Train To Clarksville” (#1) charted.

Top Single:
“Love Is A Many Splendid Thing” The Four Aces #4 1955

Birthday:
Danny Hutton (Three Dog Night) 1942

September 11, 1954

The El Dorados “My Lovin’ Baby”, The Capris “God Only Knows” and The Medallions “The Letter” were released.

September 11, 1960

Teen idol Tommy Sands married Nancy Sinatra. They were divorced in 1965.

Top Single:
“My True Story” The Jive Five #3 1961 “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” Chicago #1 1982

September 12, 1960

The Chiffons, locked in a cover battle with The Shirelles, charted today with “Tonight’s The Night”. Though the New Jersey Shirelles out paced The Bronx, New York quartet (#39 to #76) the recording was memorable as The Chiffons first Hot 100 offing of a career 12 hits thru 1966.

September 12, 1966

The Monkees TV show debuted.

Top Single: “Crying In The Chapel” The Orioles #1
R&B #1
953 “House Of The Rising Sun” The Animals #1 1964

Birthday:
Warren Corbin (The Cleftones)
1938 Barry White (The Upfronts) 1944

 

September 13, 1969

The 4 Seasons “And That Reminds Me” (#45) charted. Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Alice Cooper, Gene Vincent and The Doors appeared at the Toronto Rock & Roll Revival Concert.

Top Single:
“Oh What A Night” The Dells #11 1969
“Rhinestone Cowboy” Glen Campbell #1 1975

 

September 14, 1968

The Beatles classic “Hey Jude” (#1 in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Holland, Japan, France & Israel) was inspired by The Drifters 1960 hit “Save The Last Dance For Me”.

Top Single:
“My Boyfriends Back” The Angels #1 1963

 

September 15, 1951

The Four Aces first 45 “It’s No Sin” charted reaching #4. The group paid for their session with lead Al Alberts and his fiancés wedding money and $500 from two college students.

1956 – Paul Anka recorded his first single “I Confess” at Modern Records in Los Angeles with vocal backing by the R&B group The Cadets.

Top Single:
“Sherry” The 4 Seasons #1 1962

 

September 16, 1957

Norman Fox & The Rob Roys “Tell Me Why” and The Moonglows “The Beating Of My Heart” were released.

September 16, 1964

The “Shindig” TV show debuted on ABC-TV with the Righteous Brothers, The Everly Brothers and Sam Cook.

Top Single:
“Black & White” Three Dog Night #1 1972 “Boogie Oogie Oogie” A Taste Of Honey #1 1978

Birthday:
Betty Kelly (The Vandellas) 1944

 

September 17, 1956

“My Confession” was recorded by David Ford and The Ebbtides who were really The Hollywood Flames.

Top Single:
“Cherish” The Association #1 1966

Birthday:
Lamont McLemore (The 5th Dimension) 1940

September 18, 1954

The Diablos classic “The Wind” was released. 1987 – The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson were nominated to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Top Single:
“When We Get Married” The Dreamlovers #10 1961
“Take Good Care Of My Baby” Bobby Vee #1 1961

Birthday:
Ricky Bell (The New Edition) 1967

September 19, 1955

The Drifters recorded “Adorable” (#! R&B) and it’s flip “Steamboat” (#5 R&B) at Master Recorded in Los Angeles along with their hit “Ruby Baby” (#10 R&B).

September 19, 1960

Hank Ballard & The Midnighters became the first Rock & Roll group with 3 hit singles when “Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go” joined “Finger Poppin’ Time” and “The Twist” on the Top 100 at the same time.

Top Single:
“Good Lovin” The Clovers #3 R&B 1953 “The Twist” Chubby Checker #1 1960

Birthday:
Billy Ward (The Dominoes) 1921
Brook Benton (Jerusalem Stars)
1931 Nick Massi (4 Seasons)
Cass Elliot (The Mama’s & The Papa’s)

September 20, 1948

The Four Freshmen made their performance debut at the 113 Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana 1970 – The Doors Jim Morrison was found guilty of indecent exposure and profanity emanating from a concert appearance in Florida.

Top Single:
“It Only Takes A Minute Girl” Tavares #1 R&B 1975 “Sugar, Sugar” The Archies #1 1969

September 21, 1961

Bob Dylan recorded his first album for Columbia.

Top Single:
“Sleep Walk” Santo & Johnny #1 1959

September 22, 1958

The Teddy Bears (with Carol Connors on lead) had their first single released today. The song, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” written by group member Phil Spector went all the way to #1.

September 22, 1962

The Springfield’s (featuring Dusty Springfield) became the first British vocal group to reach the U.S. top 20 when their single “Silver Threads & Golden Needles” reached #20.

Top Single:
“You Belong To Me” The Duprees #7 1962
“Don’t Be Cruel” Elvis Presley #1 1956

September 23, 1957

The Rays “Silhouettes” (#3 Pop and R&B) was released. 1978 – Foreigner’s “Double Vision” charted. It was their 4th of 9 Top 10 hits reaching #2.

Top Single:
“Never My Love” The Association #5 1967
“That’ll Be The Day” Buddy Holly #1 1957

Birthday:
Ben E. King (The Drifters) 1938

September 24, 1956

The 5 Satins, The Channels, The Clovers and The Valentines headlined Dr. Jive’s week-long engagement at The Apollo.

Top Single:
“Beauty Is Only Skin Deep” The Temptations #6 1966

Birthday:
Barbara Allbut (The Angels) 1940
Phyllis Allbut (The Angels) 1942
Rosa Lee Hawkins (The Dixie Cups)
1944 Cedric Dent (Take 6) 1962

September 25, 1954

Jubilee issued a special Four Tunes “Harmonizing Quartet” L.P. The album was marked with bass, tenor, alto and baritone so “would be vocalists could sing along to the albums collection of standards.”

September 25, 1965

The Lennon-McCartney song, “Yesterday” had the original working title of “Scrambled Eggs”.

Top Single:
“You Were On My Mind” The We Five #5 1965 “Abracadabra” Steve Miller Band #1 1982

Birthday:
Joseph Russell (The Persuasions) 1939

September 26, 1953

Seven of the R&B charts Top 10 positions were occupied by vocal groups including The Orioles, The Clovers, The Five Royales, The Royals, The Spaniels, The Dominoes and The Cornets.

September 26, 1937

Blues great Bessie Smith died. She was known to have influenced many latter day stars including Janis Joplin.

Top Single:
“Remember” The Shangri-Las #5 1964 “Oh Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison #1 1964

September 27, 1969

The Originals “Baby I’m For Real” (#14 Pop, #1 R&B) was released. Freddie Gorman of the quartet penned The Marvelettes hit “Please Mr. Postman”.

September 27, 1975

Captain & Tennille’s 2nd hit, “The Way I want To Touch You” charted reaching #4. It had been previously released 3 times in 1974 on 3 different labels and bombed each time but being the follow up to their #1 1975 hit “Love Will Keep Us Together” gave it new attention.

Top Single:
“Sugar, Sugar” The Archies #1 1969

September 28, 1997

56 year old Bob Dylan, wearing a white cowboy hat gave new meaning to the phrase “an audience with The Pope” when he performed at a Bologna, Italy concert with a bored pontiff John Paul looking on. The Jewish legend sang “Knocking’ On Heaven’s Door”.

Top Single:
“Blue Velvet” Bobby Vinton #1 1963


September 29, 1959

Little Anthony & The Imperials recorded “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko, Ko, Bop (#14 Pop, #24 R&B), a song that would become their last hit for five years and a record Anthony was quoted as saying was “stupid”!

September 29, 1963

The Rolling Stones began their first British tour as the opening act for The Everly Brothers, Little Richard & Bo Diddley.

Top Single:
“My Prayer” The Platters #2 1956 “It’s All In The Game” Tommy Edwards #1 1958

September 30, 1957

The Val Chords “Candy Store Love” and The Sh Booms “I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire” were released. The Sh Booms were actually The Chords of “Sh Boom” fame. 1957 – The legendary girl group The Chantels first single debuted on the charts reaching #71.

Top Single:
“Mr. Lee” The Bobbettes #1 R&B 1957 “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” Mac Davis #1 1972

Birthday:
Frankie Lymon (The Teenagers) 1942
Marilyn McCoo (The 5th Dimension) 1943
Sylvia Peterson (The Chiffons) 1946

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