This Month In Vocal Group History

April 1, 1957

Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers began a two week stint at The London Palladium and started a British tour. The Harlem teen Quintet was the first Rock & Roll vocal group to have a #1 record in England when “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” topped the U.K. charts in August.

April 1, 1984

After a violent dispute Marvin Gaye was shot by his ranting Reverend father, Marvin Gaye Sr., in their Los Angeles home. Marvin Jr. would have been 45 the next day.

Top Single:
“Stayin’ Alive” The Bee Gees #2 1978
“A Horse With No Name” America #1 1972

Birthday:
Rudolph Isley (Isley Brothers) 1939
Phil Margo (Tokens) 1942
Danny Brooks (Dovells) 1942

April 2, 1956

The Penguins, Shirley Gunter & The Flairs and The Chuckles appeared at Utica New York’s Avon Theater.

Top Single:
“Melody Of Love” The Four Aces #7 1955

Birthday:
Marvin Gaye (Moonglows) 1939

April 3, 1959

England’s BBC radio banned the Coasters “Charlie Brown” because of its inclusion of the word “spitball.” Two weeks after massive listener protests, they rescinded the ban.

Top Single:
“Blue Moon” The Marcels #1 1961

Birthday:
Joe Canzano (Duprees) 1943
Tony Orlando (Dawn) 1944

April 4, 1958

The Platters “Twilight Time” (#1 Pop & R&B) was released.

April 4, 1964

The Beatles has an incredible 12 singles in the Top 100 including all of the Top 5 (#5 “Please, Please Me”, #4 “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, #3 “She Loves You”, #2 “Twist & Shout”, #1 “Can’t Buy Me Love”.

Top Single:
“Harbor Lights” The Platters #8 1960
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” Starship #1 1987

Birthday:
Margo Sylvia (Tuneweavers) 1936

April 5, 1957

Frankie Lymon stated in an interview with Britain’s Melody Maker magazine that “he preferred progressive jazz (Dave Brubeck, Stan Kenton and Ted Heath) to Rock & Roll.”

April 5, 1958

Johnny Mathis’ “Greatest Hits” album hit the charts. It remained there for, what was then, a record 490 weeks. Almost 10 years.

Top Single:
“Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl” The Spinners #2 1980
“Lovin’ You” Minnie Ripperton #1 1975

Birthday:
Tony Williams (Platters) 1928
Ronnie White (Miracles) 1939
Nick Caldwell (Whispers) 1944

April 6, 1963

Sixteen year old Lelsey Gore heard her recording of “It’s My Party” on New York’s WINS radio while driving home from school. The Quincey Jones-produced recording had only been cut a few days earlier (and was not even officially released yet).

Top Single:
“He’s So Fine” The Chiffons #1 1963
The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes #1 1965

Birthday:
Michelle Phillips (The Mamas & The Papas) 1944
Bob Marley 1945

April 7, 1958

The Bay Bops (Brooklyn N.Y.), one of the first white Doo Wop groups had their debut disc (“Joanie”) released. Also released was Norman Fox and The Robroys classic, “Dance, Girl Dance.” The Robroys were an integrated group with a terrific, underrated white lead singer.

April 7, 1962

The Rolling Stones were formed when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones met at The Ealing Blues Club in London.

Top Single:
“Why Do Fools Fall in Love” Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers #1 R&B 1956
“The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia” Vickie Lawrence #1 1973

Birthday:
Charlie Thomas (Drifters) 1937

April 8, 1958

The Platters left Los Angeles for a five and a half month tour of Europe thru 22 cities in 12 countries.

April 8, 1972

The Chi-Lites charted with “Oh Girl” which became their only #1.

Top Single:
“In The Rain” The Dramatics #1 R&B 1972
“Happy Together” The Turtles #1 1967

April 9, 1966

The Mama’s & The Papa’s only #1, “Monday, Monday” charted.

Top Single:
“Ko Ko Mo” The Crew Cuts #6 1955

April 10, 1954

Billy Ward & The Dominoes “Tenderly” and The Harptones “My Memories Of You” were released.

April 10, 1956

While performing for an all-white audience in Birmingham, Alabama Nat “King” Cole was beaten senseless while on stage.

Top Single:
“Dedicated To The One I Love” The Shirelles #3 1961
“Disco Lady” Johnny Taylor #1 1976

Birthday:
Nate Nelson (Flamingos) 1932
Danny Woods (Chairman of The Board) 1944

April 11, 1953

The Clovers received a gold disc for sales of 2 million records, The award was for the combined sales of their first nine singles up to their newest release, “Crawlin”.

April 11, 1961

Bob Dylan appeared at N.Y.C.’s Gerde’s Folk City in his first professional gig opening for John Lee Hoocker. Prior to that he lasted three weeks as a member of Bobby Vee’s backing band, The Shadows, before he was fired.

Top Single:
“ABC” The Jackson Five #2 1970
“Can’t Buy Me Love” The Beatles #1 1964

April 12, 1956

The Four Lovers (formerly The Variatones) recorded their first six sides for RCA. Four of the six were issued on two EP singles the same day in April, “You’re The Apple OF MY Eye” (#62 Pop) and “Honey Love.” Within four years they would be calling themselves The Four Seasons.

April 12, 1954

Bill Haley & The Comets made their first recordings for Decca including “Rock Around The Clock”.

Top Single:
“Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine IN,” The 5th Dimension #1 1969

April 13, 1965

The Beatles recorded the title song to Help! at Abbey Road Studios after a day of working on the film at Britain’s Twickenham Film Studios. It was originally done in a slow, acoustic arrangement, but producer George Martin felt it should be done faster, and though John Lennon had misgivings, that’s the say it was done.

April 13, 1967

The Rolling Stones debuted behind the “Iron Curtain” in Warsaw, Poland. When a riot broke out police dispersed the crowd with tear gas.

Top Single:
“Special Lady” Ray, Goodman & Brown #6 1980
“All Shock Up” Elvis Presley #1 1957

April 14, 1956

The Cleftones classic, “Little Girl Of Mine” (Gee #57 Pop, #8 R&B) was released as was The Teenagers “I Want You To Be My Girl” (Gee, #13 Pop, #3 R&B)

Top Single:
“I Will Wait” The Four Buddies #10 R&B 1951
“Johnny Angel” Shelly Fabares #1 1962

April 15, 1956

Hartford, Connecticut’s State Theater held an “All-Star” show featuring The Moonglows, Cleftones, Solitaires, Willows, Schoolboys, Royaltones and Dean Barlow & The Crickets.

April 15, 1989

Roy Orbison hit the Pop Top 10 for the first time in over 24 years with “You Got It”. Unfortunately, the Texas legend never knew of his chart rebirth. He died four months earlier.

Top Single:
“Bernadette” The Four Tops #4 1967
“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Roberta Flack #1 1972

April 16, 1962

The Marcels recorded five sides including “That Old Black Magic.”

Top Single:
“Rock Love” The Fontane Sisters #14 1955

Birthday:
Roy Hamilton (The Searchlight Singers) 1929
Dusty Springfield (The Springfields) 1939
Jimmy Osmond (The Osmonds) 1963

April 17, 1954

Detroit’s Fortune records signed a young local group, The Diablos. They would go on to become the influence of 60’s legend, Smokey Robinson of the Miracles.

April 17, 1976

Ann Wilson and Heart charted on their way to #35 and their first of 30 hits thru 1993 when “Crazy On You” jumped on the Hot 100 today.

Top Single:
“Please Love Me Forever” Kathy Jean & The Roommates #13 1961
“Joy To The World” Three Dog Night #1 1971

April 18, 1956

Jackie Wilson & The Dominoes recorded their first sides for Decca including “St. Theresa Of The Roses” and six others in Los Angeles.

April 18, 195

Gary U.S. Bonds’ “This Little Girl” was released reaching #11. It was written and co-produced by him and Bruce Springsteen, an long time fan of Bonds. It was also Gary’s first hit in 19 years.

April 19, 1954

The Bangles reach #2 with “Manic Monday” (written by Prince) but could not displace his “Kiss” from the #1 spot.

April 19, 1960

Elvis (who developed a fear of flying) boarded a train to Los Angeles from Memphis to begin shooting his new film G.I. Blues, a story about a young U.S. soldier in Germany.

Top Single:
“One Mint Julip” The Clovers #9 R&B 1952
“Philadelphia Freedom” The Elton John Band #1 1975

April 20, 1954

The Moonglows performed at Alan Freed’s annual Moondog Ball in Ohio’s Akron Armory.

April 20, 1966

The Beatles recorded “Daisy Hawkins” for the “Sgt. Pepper” album but before it was done it was re-titled “Eleanor Rigby” after Paul McCartney saw the name on a clothing store in Bristol.

Top Single:
“Come Softly To Me” The Fleetwoods #1 1959

April 21, 1956

Melba Records President Morty Craft announced the signing of a new group from Brooklyn called The Tokens wit a young lead singer named Neil Sedaka.

April 21, 1963

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles met for the first time at The Crawdaddy Club in West London where the Stones were the regular Sunday night performers.

Top Single:
“Twilight Time” The Platters #1 1958
“Heartbreak Hotel” Elvis Presley #1 1956

Birthday:
Ernie Maresca (The Sevilles) 1939

April 22, 1964

Little Anthony & The Imperials recorded “I’m On The Outside Looking In” (#15 Pop), their first hit in almost five years.

April 22, 1990

Over 750,000 people crammed Central Park in New York City for the Earth Day festivities including a show starring Hall & Oats, Ben E. King and the B-52’s.

Top Single:
“Betcha By Golly Wow” The Stylistics #6 1972
“Something Special” Nancy & Frank Sinatra

Birthday:
Glen Campbell (Beach Boys) 1936

April 23, 1954

The Royals single, “Work With ME Annie” was issued beginning the era of “The Answer Record.” It became so popular (#22 Pop, #1 R&B) that the group renamed themselves Hand Ballard & The MIdnighters to avoid confusion with The Five Royales.

Top Single: “Sloop John B” The Beach Boys #8 1966

April 24, 1958

The Pastels (“Been So Long”) appeared on Alan Freed’s
Big Beat” show at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater along with Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Hollly & The Crickets. The Pastels lead singer, Dee Irwin went on to solo success with “Swingin’ On A Star” (#38, 1963)

April 24, 1961

Robert Zimmerman performed on record for the first time when he played harmonica for Harry Belafonte’s “Midnight Special” album and earned $50. He soon became better known for his songs and singing as Bob Dylan.

Top Single:
“Baby Blue” The Echoes #14 1961
“Runaway Sue” Del Shannon #1 1961

Birthday:
Freddie Scott (The Symphonics) 1933
Bernard Henderson (Hues Corporation) 1944
Ann Kelly (Hues Corporation) 1947

April 25, 1960

Dion & The Belmonts charted with “When You Wish Upon A Star” only months before Dion split to go solo.

Top Single: “They Way You Do The Things You Do” The Temptations #14 1964
“Stuck On You” Elvis Presley #1 1960

April 26, 1975

Gladys Knight & The Pips “The Way We Were” charted becoming their 33rd of a career 42 top 100 singles.

April 26, 1982

Rod Stewart was robbed on Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles while standing next to his $50,000 Porsche.

Top Single:
“Middle Of The Night” The Clovers #5 R&B 1952
“Kiss” Prince #1 1986

Birthday:
Maurice Williams (Zodiacs) 1938

April 27, 1981

Ringo Starr married actress Barbara Bach in Durango, Mexico after the pair grunted their way thru starring roles in the movie, “Caveman.”

Top Single:
“I Will Follow Him” Little Peggy March #1 1963

April 28, 1958

The Drifters recorded their terrific, “drip Drop.” It was the last charter (#58 Pop) for the original group. Dion & The Del-Satins would later do a hit ”Power Doo Wop0” version in 1963 (#6)

April 28, 1958

Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles group Wings broke up.

Top Single:
“Soldier Boy” The Shirelles #4 1962
“Good Luck Charm” Elvis Presley #1 1962

Birthday:
Emma Pought (Bobbettes) 1942

April 29, 1958

The Dubs now legendary, “Don’t Ask Me To Be Lonely” (Gone #72) was released to less then enthusiastic reviewer response which in part stated: “A slow, dirge like ballad that is definitely on the dull side… a grand hodge podge of sound, is weak.”

April 29, 1968

The musical “Hair” opened on Broadway in New York. It ran for over 1,750 performances.

Top Single:
“The Happening” The Supremes #8 1967
“Night Fever” The Bee Gees #1 1978

Birthday:
Carl Gardner (Coasters) 1928
Bob Miranda (Happenings) 1942
Carnie Wilson (Wilson-Phillips) 1968

April 30, 1954

The McGuire Sisters “Goodnight, Sweetheart Goodnight” was released and became their first top 10 hit (#7).

Top Single:
“Monday, Monday” The Mama’s & The Papa’s #3 1966

Birthday:
Merill Osmond (Osmonds) 1953

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