Back

The Crew Cuts
May 5, 2010

Share

In looking back at the history of rock and roll, there is always a level of controversy. Rock and roll controversy comes in all size, shapes, and forms. From cryptic off colored lyrics, to bogus acts touring and impersonating an artist they are not.

One of the most controversial parts of rock and roll history, is based upon white artists recording and releasing black artists material, while gaining tame and fortune and the original black artists, receiving virtually nothing.

Today when historians write about Toronto Canada's Crew Cuts, they are always described as villains.

I for one have never looked at the Crew Cuts as villains, but rather young artists, that sang what the record company was instructing them to sing and release.

You always need to keep in mind, the time period was 1955-1965, the world was different, we were different, and to the say the least, music was different

There is no question, the Crew Cuts were one of the most important artists in terms of introducing rock and roll to the youth of the late 50's. There music was such, that parents would approve us to listen to hear rock and roll. There is no question the important role they played in the creation and acceptance of rock and roll into the mainstream.

The Crew Cuts story begins in Toronto, Canada, when four high school buddies decided to form a singing group after singing together in high school choir.

The four high school friends included: Rudi Maugeri, Pat Barrett, and brothers John and Ray Perkins.

Local Toronto disc jockey, Barry Nesbitt decided to put the group on his weekly teen show. Through this connection they were invited to appear on Gene Carroll's teen show in Cleveland, Ohio. As a result on singing on this show, local Cleveland radio D J Bill Randle introduced the group to Mercury Records.

Of course, the name Crew Cuts referred, to a close cropped hair style that was quite popular in the late 1950's. Remember Brylcreem?

Mercury Records served them up a steady stream of R&B cover songs to release and all with super success. There versions read like a soundtrack for a generation, Such hits as: "Earth Angel/Ko Ko Mo" (Mercury 70529), "Sha Boom/I Spoke Too Soon" (Mercury 70404), "Crazy About You Baby/Angela Mia" (Mercury 70341), and "Don't Be- Angry/Chop

Chop Boom"(Mercury 70597).

From 1955-1958 virtually everything the Crew Cuts released went to #1, not only in the United States, but across the globe as well.

In 1959, the Crew Cuts moved over to RCA Records and the group stayed together until 1964, when they called it a recording career.

AH four members moved to the United States and became U.S. citizens.

Maugeri passed away in 2004, but the other three members of the group reformed and performed for a PBS special recorded in Atlantic City, titled "Magic Moments",

This most important group traveled to Fort Dodge in August of 1960 to sing for the teens of Fort Dodge at the Laramar Ballroom. I'm sure they did not look like singing villains, but rather earth angles.

It's simply incredible to think of the legendary entertainers that have appeared in Fort Dodge!

Share

Regular Size Twist and Shout