The Online Roots of Rock

The Online Roots of Rock
JUKEBOX CLIP
the orioles - crying in the chapel
1948



First Chart-Topping R&B Vocal Group

THE ORIOLES
Top, Sonny Til. Bottom, left to right, Tommy Gaither, Alexander Sharp, George Nelson and Johnny Reed


The Orioles
The group formed in 1947 in Baltimore and were originally called the Vibranaires. The four vocalists were Earlington Tilghman (lead), Alexander Sharp (tenor), George Nelson (baritone) and Johnny Reed (bass). Tommy Gaither was the guitar accompanyist. All were teenagers.
The Vibranaires came to the attention of aspiring songwriter, Deborah Chessler who liked their soulful sound and became their manager. She got them on the Authur Godfrey Talent Scout show which resulted in both national television and radio exposure.
Chessler next arranged a recording session for the small It's A Natural, label owned by ex-bandleader Jerry Blaine.
They recorded a song Chessler had written, It's Too Soon To Know, that became a huge hit. It went to #1 on the Billboard Race Records chart.1 and to #11 on the Pop charts. It's recognized as the first R&B vocal group hit and, in retrospect, the beginning of an R&B sub-genre that would one day be called Doo Wop.2


Music historian Greil Marcus
has likened the Orioles’ debut single,
It’s Too Soon to Know, to Elvis Presley’s
That’s All Right (Mama) . . . in that
it came out of nowhere:
“a shock...a sound that was stylistically
confusing and emotionally undeniable.”
— Rock & Roll Hall of Fame


With this sudden success, Blaine changed the name of his label to Jubilee Records, the group changed its name to the Orioles (Baltimore's state bird) and Earlington Tilghman changed his name to Sonny Til.
The Orioles recorded another Chessler tune, Tell Me So (1949), which gave them another #1 hit on the Billboard Race Records chart.
An automobile accident in 1950 claimed the life of guitarist Tommy Gaither and injured George Nelson, forcing him out of the group. Group members were so affected by Gaither's death that they recorded I Miss You So.
These two original members were replaced by Gregory Carrol and Ralph Williams.
The reformed Orioles went on to record 121 sides for Jubilee Records but disbanded in 1954. Different incarnations of the group continued to perform for several decades, recording on a variety of labels.3
The Orioles were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Doo Wop Hall of Fame in 2004.


1
In 1942 Billboard magagazine added the Harlem Hit Parade to its weekly record listings. In 1945 this was changed to Race Records and, in 1949, changed again to Rhythm & Blues.
2
Unlike the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers, who sang pop standards to a white audience, the Orioles are recognized as the first African-American vocal group to successffully target an urban black market. But it's significant to note that the tender sentiments expressed in "It;s Too Soon To Know" were written by an eighteen-year-old Jewish woman, Deborah Chessler.
3
The success of the Orioles spawned a number of bird groups in the early 1950s including the Cardinals, the Crows, the Robins, the Larks, the Wrens and the Penguins.


.Milestone Recordings .
It's Too Soon To Know (1948)
#1 on Race Records chart — first R&B vocal group hit
(It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas (1948)
#8 on Race Records chart
Tell Me So (1949)
#1 on Race Records chart
Forgive and Forget (1949)
#5 on Race Records chart
What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? (1949)
#9 on Race Records chart
Baby Please Don't Go (1952)
#8 on R&B chart
Crying In The Chapel (1953)
#1 on R&B chart — Orioles' classic hit
In The Mission of St Augustine (1953)
#7 on R&B chart — last chart hit



.Featured Sites .

Wanda Jackson Official Website
Wanda Jackson Official Website
Wanda Jackson Official Website
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Wikipedia
Steve Walker bio

Other Recommended Sites
The Orioles
bio / release notes
Jubilee Records
Wikipedia bio
Jubilee Records
release notes
Doo Wop Hall f Fame
2004 inductees



Click on any link below for more information, or to order online

The Orioles
Sing Their Greatest Hits
The Orioles
The Jubilee Recordings
The Orioles
For Collectors Only
The Orioles Sing Their Greatest Hits
The Orioles - The Jubilee Recordings
The Orioles - For Collectors Only
Collectables
1 CD / 14 tracks
2000
Bear Family Box Set
6 CDs / 219 tracks
1999
Collectables Box Set
3 CDs / 60 tracks
1992

The Orioles
Crying In The Chapel
The Orioles
20 Doo Wop Classics
Rockin' With
The Orioles
The Orioles - Crying In The Chapel
The Orioles - 20 Doo Wop Classics
The Orioles - 20 Doo Wop Classics
Collectables
1 CD / 10 tracks
2005
Collectables
1 CD / 20 tracks
2009
Sequel Records (UK)
1 CD / 29 tracks
1996


.MP3 Downloads .
Click here to sample or download
Orioles songs and albums directly
from amazon.com


Click on VHS or DVD links below for more information, or to order online

Doo Wop 51
The Orioles - Doo Wop 51
VHS | DVD


.YouTube Videos .
Click here to enjoy some Orioles videos
posted on YouTube



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