This Month In Vocal Group History

August 1, 1958

The Teddy Bears ballad, “To Know Him Is To Love Him” (#1 Pop, #10 R&B) was released. It started the producing/writing career of vocal member Phil Spector.

August 1, 1960

18 year old Aretha Franklin recorded her first secular songs singing with Columbia Records. She began recording Gospel music at 14.

Top Single:
“Image Of A Girl” The Safaris #6 1960
“A Hard Day’s Night” The Beatles #1 1964

August 2, 2001

Ron Townson of the Grammy-winning pop group the 5th Dimension died at his home in Las Vegas. Townson and his childhood friend LaMonte McLemore formed a doo wop singing group in 1965 that they called The Versatiles. Soon after they were renamed the 5th Dimension at the suggestion of Townson’s wife.

August 2, 1973

Mama’s & Papa’s leader John Phillips sued the groups old label, Dunhill Records for 9 million dollars claiming “systematic theft” of royalties.

Top Single:
“Cupid/I’ve Loved You For A Long Time” The Spinners #4 1980
“One Of These Nights” The Eagles #1 1975

Birthday:
Edward Patten (Gladys Knight & The Pips) 1939
Doris Kenner (The Shirelles) 1941
Kathy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) 1943

August 3, 1963

The Beatles last performance at Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

Top Single:
“So Much In Love” The Tymes #1 1963

Birthday:
Beverly Lee (The Shirelles) 1941

August 4, 1937

The legendary Golden Gate Quartet recorded an amazing 14 songs in 2 hours at the Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

August 4, 1958

Billboard’s “Hot 100” singles chart was born.

Top Single:
“A Casual Look” The Six Teen #9 R&B 1956
“My Prayer” The Platters #1 1956

Birthday:
Elsberry Hobbs (The Drifters) 1936
Big Dee Irwin (The Pastels) 1939

August 5, 1952

The 5 Royales recorded “You Know, I Know”, their 2nd of a career 51 singles. The also recorded 2 songs as the gospel group The Royal Sons Quartet the same day.

August 5, 1957

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand debuted on National Television (ABC)

Top Single:
“To The Aisle” The Five Satins #6 R&B 1957
“Light My Fire” The Doors #1 1967

August 6, 1956

Filming began on Alan Freed’s classic flick “Rock, Rock, Rock” featuring Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Flamingos, The Moonglows, LaVern Baker and Chuck Berry.

Top Single:
“Ain’t To Proud To Beg” The Temptations #1 R&B 1966

Birthday:
Judy Craig (The Chiffons) 1946
Randy DeBarge (DeBarge) 1958

August 7, 1954

The Harptones “Why Should I Love You”, The Mellows “How Sentimental can I Be” and New York Giants baseball Hall of famer Willie Mays with The Treniers “say Hey” were issued.

August 7, 1966

Roy Orbison Began work on the soundtrack and film “The fastest Gun Alive” which became his only motion picture. His role was originally intended for Elvis.

Top Single:
“Pretty Little Angel Eyes” Curtis Lee & The Halos #7 1961
“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” The Bee Gees #1 1971

Birthday:
Herb Reed (The Platters) 1931

August 8, 1953

The Flamingos second 45, “That’s My Desire” was issued and became Billboards “Buy of the Week” breaking in New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

August 8, 1970

Elephants Memory debuted with their only chart single “Mongoose”. They were John Lennon’s backup band in New York.

Top Single:
“I Wanna Love Him So Bad” The Jelly Beans #9 1964
“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” Brian Hyland #1 1960

Birthday:
Airrion Love (The Stylistics) 1949

August 9, 1953

The Drifters recorded their first hit “Money Honey” #1 R&B.

August 9, 1986

Janet Jackson breached the best sellers list with “When I Think of You”, the first of seven eventual #1’s for the youngest member of the Jackson family thru 1996.

Top Single:
“Jive Talkin” The Bee Gees #1 1975

Birthday:
Billy Henderson (The Spinners) 1939

August 10, 1975

Manhattan Transfer began a 4 week run with their own CBS-TV comedy-variety show.

Top Single:
“A Big Hunk Of Love” Elvis Presley #1 1959

August 11, 1962

Formerly known as The Primettes, the newly named Supremes hit the Hot 100 with “Your Heart Belongs To Me”, their first of 47 hits through 1976.

August 11, 1969

Diana Ross invited 350 guests to the daisy Club in Beverly Hills to unveil her new discovery, The Jackson Five.

Top Single:
“Stranded In The Jungle” The Cadets #4 R&B 1956
“Poor Little Fool” Ricky Nelson #1 1958

August 12, 1957

Billy Ward & The Dominoes “One Moment With You” and The Five Keys “Face Of An Angel” were released.

August 12, 1957

Buddy Holly & The Crickets immortal “That’ll Be The Day” charted reaching #1. A different version was recorded in July, 1956 and released in September, 1957 as by Buddy Holly & The Three Tunes.

Top Single:
“Please Send Me Someone To Love” The Moonglows #5 R&B 1957
“Light My Fire” The Doors #1 1967

August 13, 1957

The Five Royals recorded the original version of “Dedicated To The One I Love” which was copied two years later by The Shirelles.

Top Single:
“Float On” The Floaters #1 R&B 1977

August 14, 1964

The Ronettes began a 14 city tour in Chicago as the opening act for The Beatles.

August 14, 1964

The Teenagers, Frankie Lymon’s group performed on a PBS TV special honoring their former lead who died of a drug overdose in 1968.

Top Single:
“Same Old Song” The Four Tops #7 1965
“Eye Of A Tiger” Survivor

Birthday:
David Crosby (Crosby, Stills & Nash) 1941
Dash Croft (Seals & Croft) 1940

August 15, 1953

The Prisonaires, five inmates from the Tennessee State Penitentiary had their debut disc, “Just walking In The Rain” issued on Sun records. Lead sinner Johnny Bragg was helped with is diction at that June 1st session by a young would be vocalist who was hanging around. The teen’s name was Elvis Presley.

August 15, 1653

The Beatles performed at New York’s Shea Stadium before 56,000 fans, a then current outdoors record. It took over 2000 security personnel to maintain even a semblance of order.

Top Single:
“Finger Poppin Time” Hank Ballard & The Midnighters #7 1960
“It’s Now Or Never” Elvis Presley #1 1960

Birthday:
Bill Pinkney (The Drifters) 1925

August 16, 1969

The Dells rerecording of their hit “Oh, What A Night” charted 13 years after the original.

August 16, 1977

Elvis Presley died at his Graceland mansion in Memphis.

Top Single:
“Falling In Love” Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds #5 1975
“Magic” Olivia Newton-John #1 1980

August 17, 1969

The Woodstock Festival ended. Performers included Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin, Sha Na Na, John Sebastian, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Richie Havens, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Iron Butterfly and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Over ½ a million attended, three dies, two were born and there were six miscarriages. Not bad for $7.00.

Top Single:
“The Night Chicago Died” Paper Lace #1 1974

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.

August 18, 1958

The Quintones “Down The Aisle Of Love” charted (#18) and The Tokens “Doom Lang” was released. These were not the “hit” Tokens of “Lion Sleeps Tonight” fame who were still a year away from forming.

August 18, 1962

Ringo Starr joined The Beatles, consequently their drummer Peter Best was fired.

Top Single:
“Little Star” The Elegants #2 1958
“My Prayer” The Platters #1 1956

Birthday:
Sonny Til (The Orioles) 1928
Nona Hendrix (LaBelle) 1945
Barbara Harris (The Toys) 1945

August 19, 1957

The Mello-Kings charted with their Doo Wop classic, “Tonite, Tonite” (#77). The record was released by The Mellotones but since there already was a Mellotones, they revised their moniker to Mello-Kings.

August 19, 1964

The Beatles first U.S. tour started at San Francisco’s Cow Palace along with The Righteous Brothers.

Top Single:
“Whispering Bells” The Del-Vikings #6 R&B 1957
“Tammy” Debbie Reynolds #1 1957

August 20, 1954

The Orioles began a weeks engagement at Weeks Café in Atlantic City.

Top Single:
“See you in September” The Happenings #6 1966

August 21, 1954

The Harptones “I’ll Never Tell” with Bunny Paul on lead was released as was The Singing Wanderers “Say Hey Willie Mays”.

August 21, 1961

The Dovells dance hit “The Bristol Stop” was released reaching #2. It was originally released on the “B” side.

Top Single:
“California Girls” The Beach Boys #4 1965
“I Got You Babe” Sonny & Cher #1 1965

Birthday:
Savannah Churchill (The 4 Tunes) 1920
Kenny Rogers (The Scholars) 1938

August 22, 1953

Collectors rarities by The Diamonds “Two Lovers Have I” and The Charms “Heaven Only Knows” were issued. The buy of the week was The Spaniels “Baby It’s You”, their first 45.

August 22, 1964

Martha & The Vandellas “Dancing In The Streets” charted eventually reaching #2.

Top Single:
“Under The Boardwalk” The Drifters #4 1964
“Where Did Our Love Go” The Supremes #1 1964

Birthday:
Fred Milano (The Belmonts) 1939 Ron Dante (The Archies) 1945

August 23, 1969

Ray, Goodman & Beown’s cpver of The Platters “My Prayer” became their last of 14 Top 100 entries including 11 as The Moments. Lou Christie’s I’m Gonna Make You Mine” charted becoming his last of 3 Top 10 hits.

Top Single:
“Working On A Groovy Thing” The 5th Dimension #20 1969
“Fallin’ In Love” Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds #1 1975

Birthday:
Rudy Lewis (The Drifters) 1936

August 24, 1968

Topping off his birthday party, Keith Moon (The Who) drove a Lincoln Continental into a Holiday Inn swimming pool in Flint, Michigan.

Top Single:
“(You’re) Having My Baby” Paul Anka #1 1974

August 25, 1956

The Five Keys “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” (#23 Pop #12 R&B), The Channels “The Closer You Are” and The Duponts “Must Be Falling In Love” were released. The Duponts featured 16 year old lead Little Anthony two years before recorded with The Imperials.

August 25, 1970

Elton John made his American performance debut at Los Angeles’ Troubadour. He was the opening act for David Ackles.

Top Single:
“My True Love” Jack Scott & The Chantones #5 1958
“Little Star” The Elegants #1 1958

Birthday:
Walter Williams (The O’Jays) 1942

August 26, 1957

The Shirelles “Baby Oh Baby” (#20) and The Schoolboys “Carol” (#91) were issued.

August 26, 1964

The Supremes “Where Did Our Love Go” became their first 31 this week. Before Diana Ross left in 1969, they would have 11 more.

Top Single:
“Reflections” The Supremes #8 1967
“Teddy Bear” Elvis Presley #1 1957

Birthday:
Bob & Dick Cowsill (The Cowsills) 1950

August 27, 1955

The Four Aces “Love Is A Many Splendid Thing” (#1) charted becoming the quartets 20th of 36 hit between 1951 and 1959.

Top Single:
“You Can’t Hurry Love” The Supremes #7 1966

Birthday:
Harold Lucas (The Clovers) 1932
Valerio “Val” Paliuto (The Jaguars) 1936

August 28, 1956

Alan Freed’s second anniversary Rock & Roll show at The Brooklyn Paramount featured The Harptones, The Penguins, The Cleftones and Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.

August 28, 1973

Deep Purple received a gold record for “Smoke On The Water”. The song was based on a true incident. While recording in Montreux Switzerland’s Montreux Casino a fire broke out during a Frank Zappa concert. As the structure burned to the ground, smoke could be seen on nearby Lake Geneva and group vocalist Ian Gillan then wrote what he saw.

Top Single:
“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” The Bee Gees #1 1971

Birthday:
Wayne Osmond (The Osmonds) 1951

August 29, 1958

Alan Freed’s Brooklyn Fox show featured The Elegants, Cleftones, Danleers, Poni-Tails, Royal Teens and The Olympics. The Show ran for ten days.

August 29, 1966

The last Beatles concert took place at Candlestick Park, San Francisco.

Top Single:
“Where Did Our Love Go” The Supremes #1 1964
“It’s Now Or Never” Elvis Presley #1 1960

Birthday:
Michael Jackson (The Jackson 5) 1958
Carl Martin (Shai) 1970

August 30, 1975

Tony Orlando & Dawn’s “You’re All I Need” charted at #34. The British Pop-Rock group Jigsaw’s “Sky High” (from the film “The Dragon Flies”) charted on its way to #3 in the U.S. The groups leaders Clive Scott and Des Dyer wrote Bo Donaldson’s 1974 hit “Who Do You Think You Are”

Top Single:
“Beside You” The Swallows #10 R&B 1952
“Honky Tonk Women” The Rolling Stones #1 1969

Birthday:
John Philips (The Mama’s & The Papa’s) 1935

August 31, 1976

A U.S. Judge ruled George Harrison guilty of “Subconscious Plagiarism” when he lifted The Chiffons “He’s So Fine” melody for his “My Sweet Lord”. Taking advantage of the publicity The Chiffons then recorded their own version of “My Sweet Lord”.

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

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