Ravens' song clips!
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the ravens - count every star

the ravens

"Top Vocal Group" — 1948
— Cashbox magazine award

the ravens

The Ravens
The Ravens, a New York quartet, were formed in 1945 by Jimmy Ricks and Warren Surttles, who soon added members Leonard Puzzy and Henry Oliver Jones.
The Ravens were a professional group, professionally managed. They signed with Ben Bart and recorded six sides for his Hub label in 1946 and were then sent out on the chitlin circuit — .a series of theatre venues on the East Coast and in the Midwest
Before long, "Ollie" Jones was replaced by Maithe Williams (who changed his name to Maithe Marshall.)
Marshall had an extremely high falsetto voice that played very effectively against Rick's low bass voice. So effectively, in fact, that they re-recorded all six sides to feature Marshall's high tenor playing against Ricks' bass. The die was cast.

"For the most part,
the Ravens leaned more toward a pop sound
than what we now call doo wop,
but they were instrumental in the first break
from traditional black pop music in the late '40s and are generally considered the pioneers of the form."
— Bob Hyde
The Doo Wop Box

The success of the Ravens was built on, more than anything else, showcasing the magnificent bass voice of Jimmy Ricks .
Although they had several chart successes, the Ravens never enjoyed a #1 hit. Perhaps this is because they wanted their songs to be accepted on the white Pop charts as were the songs of the Ink Spots and the Mills Brothers. The Ravens sang ballads, jump blues, novelty songs and pop standards. One of their songs, however, did cross over — Write Me A Letter. It was also their biggest hit on Billboard's Race Records chart.1
The Ravens were a transitional vocal group that bridged the gap between the sophisticated pop sounds of the Ink Spots/ Mills Brothers and the unsophisticated street corner sounds of harmonizing teenagers. Standing just around the corner were the Orioles, followed by the bird groups of the early 1950s.2
Most of their chart hits had a Blues structure and feeling, but their two most memorable recordings had Pop origins — Ol' Man River and Count Every Star.
The Ravens were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

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.
The Orioles are deemed by many to be the first of the doo wop groups. Their chart successes in the late 1940s spawned a number of doo wop bird groups in the early 1950s, including the Cardinals, the Crows, the Robins, the Larks, the Wrens and the Penguins.

Click here to listen to Ravens' song clips!

.Featured Sites .

The Ravens -Vocal Group Hall of Fame
The Ravens - DooWop Cafe
Wanda Jackson Official Website
Vocal Group Hall of Fame
DooWop Cafe

Other Recommended Sites
Jimmy Ricks
extensive discography
National Records
brief history

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

The Very Best Of
The Ravens
The Ravens
The Complete National Recordings 1947-1950
The Ravens
Dreams, Pleas & Blues
The Ravens - Birds of a Feather
The Ravens - The Complete National Recordings 1947-1950 Box Set
The Orioles - 20 Doo Wop Classics
Savoy Jazz
1 CD / 14 tracks
Savoy Jazz Box Set
3 CDs / 64 tracks
(National years)
1 CD / 21 tracks
(Columbia years)

The Ravens
Birds of a Feather
The Ravens
Green Eyes
The Ravens
Be | Bumble Bee or Not
The Ravens - Birds of a Feather
The Ravens - Green Eyes
The Ravens - Be | Bumble Bee or Not
Proper Pairs (Import)
2 CDs / 50 tracks
1 CD / 10 tracks
Indigo UK (Import)
1 CD / 25 tracks

.MP3 Downloads .
Click here to sample or download
Ravens songs and albums directly

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

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