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The Cleftones

Formed in Queens, NY, in 1955, the Cleftones consisted of five friends from Jamaica High School -- Herb Cox (lead), Warren Corbin (bass), Charlie James (first tenor), William McClain (baritone), and Berman Patterson (second tenor). Originally signed to Gee, the group released its first single, "You Baby You," late in 1955; an up-tempo doo wop song, the record became a regional hit. "Little Girl of Mine," the Cleftones' second single, broke nationally, charting at number eight R&B and number 57 pop in 1956; two other similar singles, "Can't We Be Sweethearts" and "String Around My Heart," were released the same year, yet they failed to attract national attention. "See You Next Year," a ballad the group recorded in 1957, did not earn the group an audience outside of New York. Two years later, McClain left the group and was replaced by Gene Pearson from the Rivileers. Patricia Spann was also added to the Cleftones' lineup that year, which helped nudge the band away from traditional group-oriented doo wop harmonies and toward a vocal sound that was dominated by the lead vocals. In 1961, the Cleftones realized the potential of the sound with their smash hit version of the standard "Heart and Soul"; it became the group's biggest hit, reaching number 18 on both pop and R&B charts. Later that year, the group had another hit with "For Sentimental Reasons," but the band had reached a peak with "Heart and Soul" and were never able to reach those heights again. The Cleftones broke up in 1964, three years after their greatest success. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Comments

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donnam541
My dad's favorite group! He still dreams of being in the 1950s, love you dad :-)
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phoenixmommy 5 4 8
Heart and Soul...Great song...
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See you next year great by them
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Jamaica queens
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I sang with herb cox 1966
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Songs like this will never die
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Please Say You Want Me a beautiful song by whoever sings it
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Great version of a 40's song for Sentimental Reasons.
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Just another N.Y. fabulous group.
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we will never forget our good times
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Doo-Wop will NEVER GROW OLD!!!!!!!!!
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Best of best partial since former queens NYC gsl
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To me this was their best. Hope they will again appear on PBS.
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What a great Doo Wop Group..as all of the others too..but they were really GOOD! Thank God for Doo Wop!
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debbiefra
cant get enouch of seeing them on PBS,LOVE THEM they still sound real good
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Herbie Cox and the Cleftones sound as good today as 40 years ago and their stage show is something all Doo Woppers need to see today!
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yea man, I like their originality
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gwenabramson
I love 50's doo wop! and I am 14!
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Get music from our childhood area
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The Cleftones Music will live on forever! Love It!
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I got the kqed DVDs of the original DO-WOPPERS, as they are now, doing what they did then..amazin g ! The Clefftones put on a great show!
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I am not that familiar with the Cleftones, but I like thier style. We are talking early Doo Woppers.
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Dion loves the Cleftones. That makes them cool in my book!
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one of the best groups ever

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