Archive for the ‘50’s Bands’ Category

The Isley Brothers

The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley AKA “Mr. Biggs”
The Isleys
Origin Cincinnati, Ohio
Teaneck, New Jersey
Genres Doo-wop, rock and roll, R&B, soul, rock, funk, gospel
Years active 1954–present
Labels Motown Records, T-Neck, Warner Bros., Def Soul
Ronald Isley
Ernie Isley
Rudolph Isley
Chris Jasper
Past members
O’Kelly Isley, Jr.
Vernon Isley
Marvin Isley
The Isley Brothers (/ˈaɪzliː/) are an American musical group originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, originally a vocal trio consisting of brothers O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. The group has been cited as having enjoyed one of the “longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music”.

Alongside a fourth brother, Vernon, the group originally performed gospel music until Vernon’s death a few years after its original formation. After moving to the New York City area in the late 1950s, the group had modest chart successes during their early years, first coming to prominence in 1959 with their fourth single, “Shout”, written by the three brothers. Initially a modest charted single, the song eventually sold over a million copies. Afterwards the group recorded modestly successful works for a variety of labels, including the top 20 single, “Twist and Shout” and the Motown single, “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” before recording and issuing the Grammy Award-winning hit, “It’s Your Thing” on their own label, T-Neck Records.

Initially influenced by gospel and doo-wop music, the group began experimenting with different musical styles incorporating elements of rock and funk music as well as pop balladry. The inclusion of younger brothers Ernie Isley (lead guitar, drums) and Marvin Isley (bass guitar), and Rudolph’s brother-in-law Chris Jasper (keyboards, synthesizers) in 1973 turned the original vocal trio into a self-contained musical band. For the next full decade, the siblings recorded top-selling albums including The Heat Is On and Between the Sheets.

The six-member lineup of the band splintered in 1983, with Ernie, Marvin, and Chris Jasper forming the short-lived spinoff group Isley-Jasper-Isley. Eldest member O’Kelly died in 1986 and Rudolph and Ronald released a pair of albums as a duo before Rudolph retired for life in the Christian ministry in 1989. Ronald reformed the group two years later with Ernie and Marvin in 1991; five years later in 1996, Marvin Isley left the group due to complications with diabetes. The remaining duo of Ronald and Ernie would accomplish mainstream success with the albums Eternal (2001) and Body Kiss (2003), with the former album spawning the top twenty hit, “Contagious”. As of 2015, the Isley Brothers continue to perform under the lineup of Ronald and Ernie.

Throughout their career, the Isley Brothers have had four Top 10 singles on the United States Billboard chart. Sixteen of their albums charted in the Top 40. Thirteen of those albums have been either certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the RIAA. The brothers have been honored by several musical institutions including being inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. Five years later, they were inducted to Hollywood’s Rockwalk and in 2003, were inducted to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

The Tymes


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres R&B, soul
Years active 1956–present
Labels Cameo-Parkway, Columbia, RCA, MGM
Members Albert Berry
Norman Burnett
Past members Donald Banks (deceased)
George Hilliard (deceased)
George Williams (deceased)
The Tymes are an American soul vocal group, who enjoyed equal success in the United Kingdom and in their homeland. They share the distinction of being one of the few acts to have one and only one chart-topper in both the US and UK with different titles.

The Osmonds


Background information
Origin Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop, disco, soft rock, blue-eyed soul, funk, country
Years active 1958–present
Labels MGM, Uni, Denon, MGM/Polydor Records, Mercury, Elektra/Asylum, Warner Bros., MGM/Kolob Records
Associated acts Donny & Marie
Members Alan Osmond
Wayne Osmond
Merrill Osmond
Jay Osmond
Donny Osmond
Marie Osmond
Jimmy Osmond
The Osmonds are an American family music group with a long and varied career—a career that took them from singing barbershop music as children to achieving success as teen-music idols, from producing a hit television show to continued success as solo and group performers. The Osmonds are devout members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and their religious values have influenced their careers.

The Osmonds began as a barbershop quartet consisting of brothers Alan, Wayne, Merril, and Jay Osmond. They were later joined by younger siblings Donny and Jimmy. Their only sister Marie, who rarely sang with her brothers at that time, launched a successful solo career in 1973. The family has sold 102 million records worldwide.

The siblings’ older brothers George Virl Osmond, Jr. (Virl) and Tom Osmond were born deaf and did not originally perform. They made several television appearances in later years, most notably on the family Christmas specials in the 1970’s. All of the Osmonds were born in Ogden, Utah except the youngest, Jimmy, who was born in Canoga Park, California.


The Spinners

Detroit Spinners
Motown Spinners
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres R&B, smooth soul
Years active 1954–present
Labels Tri-Phi, Motown, Atlantic, Tamla
Associated acts Harvey Fuqua, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick
Members Henry Fambrough
Charlton Washington
Marvin Taylor
Jessie Robert Peck
Ronnie Moss
Past members Pervis Jackson
Billy Henderson
C. P. Spencer
James Edwards
Bobby Smith
George Dixon
Edgar “Chico” Edwards
G. C. Cameron
Philippé Wynne
John Edwards
Frank Washington
Harold “Spike” Bonhart
The Spinners are an American rhythm and blues vocal group that formed in 1954 and are still active. They enjoyed a string of hit singles and albums during the 1960s and 1970s. Formed in Detroit, Michigan, the group still tours regularly as of 2015, although Henry Fambrough is the only remaining original member.

The group is also listed as the Detroit Spinners and the Motown Spinners (for their 1960s recordings with the Detroit label). These other names were used in the UK to avoid confusion with a British folk group also called the Spinners. In 2015, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Sweet Inspirations

Soul, gospel, R&B
Years active 1950-2005
Associated acts The Drinkard Singers, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Bee Gees, Dee Dee Warwick, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, T-Bone Walker, Esther Phillips, The Killers
Past members Cissy Houston
Estelle Brown
Sylvia Shemwell (deceased)
Myrna Smith (deceased)
The Sweet Inspirations were an American R&B girl group founded by Emily “Cissy” Houston (née Drinkard), mother of the late Whitney Houston, and sister of Lee Warrick (herself the mother of well-known sisters Dee Dee and Dionne Warwick). Houston and Warrick were members of The Drinkard Singers, a family group that had the distinction of recording the first Gospel album to appear on a major label—a live recording from The Newport Jazz Festival in 1959. The line-up included Judy Guions (who later became Judy Clay), Marie Epps, Larry Drinkard, Nicholas Drinkard, Ann Moss, Lee and Emily.

The Singing Dogs

The Singing Dogs was a musical recording project under whose name two 45rpm singles were released in the 1950s.

The idea for the Singing Dogs came from Danish recording engineer Carl Weismann who recorded the sounds of various species of birds. But barking dogs often spoiled the recordings. Weismann found a new use for these spoiled takes by splicing together the pitches of dog barks into the pattern of songs. He teamed up with Don Charles, a record producer working in Copenhagen, Denmark (not the same person as an English record producer also named Don Charles). Weismann used recordings of five dogs barking (their names were Dolly, Pearl, Pussy, Caesar, and King), spliced them on reel-to-reel tape, and arranged the pitches to the tune of the Stephen Foster song “Oh! Susanna”. Charles provided the musical accompaniment. This was eventually released by RCA Victor as the A-side on a 7″ single, with the B-side a medley of “Pat-a-Cake”, “Three Blind Mice”, and “Jingle Bells”. The novelty record became a hit, reaching #22 on the US Billboard Pop Singles chart. The disc eventually sold over a million copies. In 1956, the troupe of dogs (with a fifth member, Pussy) were again recorded, yielding the single “Hot Dog Rock ‘n Roll” b/w “Hot Dog Boogie”. This recording is listed as being “directed” by Carl Weismann.

In 1983 RCA reissued “Jingle Bells” as a single, becoming a Christmas hit on virtually every radio format, since then the track has received frequent media exposure during the Christmas and holiday season although it appears its fame and popularity peaked in the 1970s.

Alvin & Chipmunks

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Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop, rock, dance, R&B, country, children’s music, Christmas music
Years active 1958–1972
Labels Liberty, Capitol, RCA, Sony, Quality, Chipmunk, Atlantic, Rhino, Republic, Geffen
Associated acts The Chipettes
Website Official website
Members Alvin Seville
Simon Seville
Theodore Seville
Alvin and the Chipmunks, originally David Seville and the Chipmunks or simply The Chipmunks, is an American animated music group created by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., for a novelty record in 1958. The group consists of three singing animated anthropomorphic chipmunks: Alvin, the mischievous troublemaker, who quickly became the star of the group; Simon, the tall, bespectacled intellectual; and Theodore, the chubby, impressionable one. The trio is managed by their human adoptive father, David (Dave) Seville. In reality, “David Seville” was Bagdasarian’s stage name, and the Chipmunks themselves are named after the executives of their original record label. The characters became a success, and the singing Chipmunks and their manager were given life in several animated cartoon productions, using redrawn, anthropomorphic chipmunks, and eventually films.

The voices of the group were all performed by Bagdasarian, who sped up the playback to create high-pitched voices. This oft-used process was not entirely new to Bagdasarian, who had also used it for two previous novelty songs, including “Witch Doctor”, but it was so unusual and well-executed it earned the record two Grammy Awards for engineering. Bagdasarian, performing as the Chipmunks, released a long line of albums and singles, with “The Chipmunk Song” becoming a number-one single in the United States. After the death of Bagdasarian in 1972, the characters’ voices were performed by his son Ross Bagdasarian, Jr. and the latter’s wife Janice Karman in the subsequent incarnations of the 1980s and 1990s.

In the 2007 CGI/live-action film adaptation and its 2009 sequel, they were voiced in dialogue by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney. Bagdasarian, Jr. and Karman continue to perform the singing voices for Alvin, Theodore and the Chipettes, but Steve Vining does Simon’s singing voice. The project has earned five Grammy awards, an American Music Award, a Golden Reel Award, and three Kids’ Choice Awards, and has been nominated for three Emmy awards.

A third film installment, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, was released in theaters on December 16, 2011. Fox 2000 Pictures and Regency Enterprises announced a fourth installment, titled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,[1] released on December 18, 2015.

A CGI-animated TV series revival, titled ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks, premiered on Nickelodeon on August 3, 2015.

The Coasters


Los Angeles, California,
United States
Genres Rhythm and blues, rock and roll
Years active 1955–present
Labels Atco (1955-1966)
Date, King (1966-1972)
Associated acts The Robins
Website Official website
Members J.W. Lance
Primotivo Candelara
Eddie Whitfield
Dennis Anderson
Past members Carl Gardner (deceased)
Billy Guy (deceased)
Bobby Nunn (deceased)
Leon Hughes
Adolph Jacobs (deceased)
Young Jessie
Will “Dub” Jones (deceased)
Cornell Gunter (deceased)
Albert “Sonny” Forriest (deceased)
Earl Carroll (deceased)
Thomas “Curley” Palmer
Vernon Harrell (deceased)
Ronnie Bright (deceased)
Jimmy Norman (deceased)
Alvin Morse
Carl Gardner Jr.
The Coasters are an American rhythm and blues/rock and roll vocal group who had a string of hits in the late 1950s. Beginning with “Searchin'” and “Young Blood”, their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and producing team of Leiber and Stoller. Although the Coasters originated outside of mainstream doo-wop, their records were so frequently imitated that they became an important part of the doo-wop legacy through the 1960s.



The Clovers


Washington, D.C., United States
Genres R&B, rock and roll, doo wop
Years active 1946–present
Labels Atlantic, United Artists
Members Harold Winley
King Raymond Green
Franklen Poole
Carlos Wilson
Edward “Ike” Bowers
Past members John “Buddy” Bailey
Harold Lucas
Charlie White
Matthew McQuater
Bill Harris
Billy Mitchell
Thomas Woods
Billy Shelton
John Phillip
Charles R. Stevens
James “Toy” Walton
Robert Russell
Roosevelt “Tippie” Hubbard
Nathaniel Bouknight
Peggy Winley Mills
Ann Winley
Jimmy Taylor
Daniel “Steep” Abbott
Tyrone Burwell
Juan Hawkins
Johnny Mason
Ron Reace
William Rawlings
Antwan Drayton
Prentiss Floyd
Tye Lovell
The Clovers are an American rhythm and blues/doo-wop vocal group who became one of the biggest selling acts of the 1950s. They had a top thirty US hit in 1959 with the Leiber and Stoller song “Love Potion No. 9”.

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Bee Gee


Pop soul disco rock
Years active
1958–2003 2009–12
Leedon Spin Festival Polydor Atco RSO Warner Bros.
Past members Principal
Barry Gibb Robin Gibb Maurice Gibb

Colin Petersen Vince Melouney Terry Cox Geoff Bridgford Alan Kendall Dennis Bryon Blue Weaver Steve Rucker
The Bee Gees were a pop music band formed in 1958. The band’s line-up consisted of brothers Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio were successful for most of their decades of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a popular music act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as prominent performers of the disco music era in the late 1970s. The group sang recognisable three-part tight harmonies; Robin’s clear vibrato lead vocals were a hallmark of their earlier hits, while Barry’s R&B falsetto became their signature sound during the late 1970s and 1980s. They wrote all of their own hits, as well as writing and producing several major hits for other artists.

Born on the Isle of Man to English parents, the Gibb brothers lived in Chorlton, Manchester, England, until the late 1950s, and formed the Rattlesnakes. The family then moved to Redcliffe, in Queensland, Australia, and then to Cribb Island. After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with “Spicks and Specks” (their 12th single), they returned to the UK in January 1967 where producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.

The Bee Gees have sold more than 220 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997; the presenter of the award to “Britain’s first family of harmony” was Brian Wilson, historical leader of the Beach Boys, a “family act” also featuring three harmonising brothers. The Bee Gees’ Hall of Fame citation says “Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold the Bee Gees.”

Following Maurice’s sudden death in January 2003 at the age of 53, Barry and Robin retired the group’s name after 45 years of activity. In 2009 Robin announced that he and Barry had agreed that the Bee Gees would re-form and perform again. Robin died in May 2012 at the age of 62, after a prolonged struggle with cancer and other health problems, leaving Barry as the only surviving member of the group.


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