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The Jive Five

Best known for the number one R&B hit "My True Story," the Jive Five were one of the few vocal groups to survive the transition from the '50s to the '60s. In the process, they helped move the music itself forward, providing a key link between doo wop and '60s soul.

Formed in Brooklyn, NY, the group originally consisted of Eugene Pitt (lead), Jerome Hanna (tenor), Richard Harris (tenor), Billy Prophet (baritone), and Norman Johnson (bass). The Jive Five's first hit, "My True Story," was their biggest, peaking at number one on the R&B charts and number three on the pop charts in the summer of 1961. None of the band's subsequent singles -- including 1962's minor R&B hit "These Golden Rings" -- were as popular, but the group managed to keep performing and recording. Under the direction of Eugene Pitt and Norman Johnson, the Jive Five refashioned themselves as a soul band in 1964, forming a new lineup with Casey Spencer (tenor), Webster Harris (tenor), and Beatrice Best (baritone). This new incarnation of the band signed to United Artists Records. The group only had one hit on UA, 1965's "I'm a Happy Man."

In 1966, the Jive Five left United Artists and signed with Musicor, where they had the 1968 R&B hit "Sugar (Don't Take Away My Candy)." They changed labels again in 1970, signing with Decca. That same year, they changed their name to the Jyve Fyve, in order to appear more contemporary. The Jyve Fyve had only one minor R&B hit, 1970's "I Want You to Be My Baby."

The group continued to perform and record for a variety of small labels during the '70s, but never had another hit. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the only constant member was Eugene Pitt. In 1975, Pitt changed the name of the group to Ebony, Ivory & Jade, but this new incarnation failed to gain much attention. In 1982 Pitt changed the name of the group back to the Jive Five and the band recorded two albums for the indie label Ambient Sound. Across the following decades the Jive Five were regulars on the oldies circuit, and in 2003 they issued a CD single (under the moniker Eugene Pitt & the Jive Five) entitled "It's Christmas" on Doesn't Matter Music. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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I AM 68 AND MY TRUE STORY HAS ALWAYS BEEN MY FAVORITE SONG. FOREVER.
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coachwilliam h e w i t t
My true story. Interrupted by the Vietnam War.. Be Thankful those who paid the ultimate price for our Freedom.
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coachwilliam h e w i t t
How true....
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These guys could SING! & the melodies and FALSETTOS To die for! Am a Doo Wop singer myself from NYC.. way back when Brooklyn listen to all these Doo Wop Groups Unknown ones too that were sooooooo Kool believe me.... I want to start a Doo Wop Club but this f ......in town sucks in Calif! I want to be in NY where all the blues & Doo wop brothers live. I am hurtin! Please somebody rescue me! I can really sing as good as any oldie group Any managers out there? help!
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i'e lovsd doo wop since i heard sha na na as a kid
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My True Story, top shelf!
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To me the Doo Wop music of the fifties was the best music of all times. I don't understand why the oldies stations play music from the sixties and seventies, when the best music came from the fifties.
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Porky Chedwick died Mar 2 2014 - The lead singer acknowledged it was Porky that helped them get started at the funeral { of the Jive 5 }
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ladder424
Great music. Special Time. A class of '59 Greaser!
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Jim love all of Alan freed shows at bklyn paramount then over to juniors

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Well, well….you have been busy & you don't miss a thing ;) That's what I get for being on the phone! I can count to 10, but it may take me a while, so I'll wait until tomorrow ;) In the meantime, I'll go stand in the corner ;)
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you're just trying to impress us...admit it...no 'greenhills' inmate ever learned to count to five...don't try and pull that numbers game on us...I'm keeping score...JayD e e P r i n c i p a l
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Love The Jive Five ;)
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I really LOVE The JIVE FIVE... They were one amongst a great many Doo Wop groups that were
absolutely unreal...! My favorite kind of Music I am a vocalist and grew up near where they were putting these
songs together ! I I sing along to them all! Where;s my MANAGER? I am from Brooklyn and I worship their
harmonies souls and talent... I AM one of THEM! I am a Songtress! AUTODIDACTIC ! Can imitate all! The best of then Maestro, Little Anthony, , most any famous black artist ! God is good to me
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Just another New York group with that awesome Doo wop sound and harmony that cannot be matched.
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Jive Five are super
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one of the VERY BEST Doo Wop groups ever ! His FALSETTO voice
and their LYRIC & INTONATION and heartfelt harmonies were PERFECT! I Love You JIVE FIVE!
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Yes
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Another great NY group.
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Beatrice Bubba Best is one of te most humble people you could meet. It's a pleasure to know him and all the music that the Jive Five has given us all... my thanks to Eugene, Bubba and all the guys...The Jive Five rides again and again!
Gary from Meineke
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djjp1049
MY TRUE STORY IS # 6 ON MY TOP TEN OF ALL TIME SONGS.
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Drifting back into the 50's, living in the projects, hanging out at the rec center, and listening to the JIVE FIVE. It just don't no better!!!!!
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djjp1049
DJJP THE BEST EVER FROM BKLYN. HANDS DOWN. EUGENE PIT
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djjp1049
DJJP HERE ONLY ONE WORD SOME UP THE JIVE FIVE GREAT,,,EUGE N E PITAND THE JIVE FIVE IS WHAT DOO WOP MEANS TO ALL OF US. LOVE THEM
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The Jive Five brings back good memories when I was small and hearing my sister singing to all those their songs on the Georgie Woods show on WHAT.
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doo wop is and well never be forgotton l hope doo wop will be around always ;;;;;;;;;;;; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
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Thank GOD for DooWop!!! Now, we're talking Real Music.
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len.willschi c k
The Jive Five bar none is the greatest vocal group of their genre of all time. 'What Time Is It' and 'My True Story" are brilliant ballads Great singing and wonderful harmonies.
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jerseyelk
"I'm a Happy Man." Was our HS grad song!!! We never studied Viet Nam in geography class... Who knew that happy was short-lived. . .
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Grew up in Brooklyn during that era but never heard the song Rain Makes My Baby Cry by The Jive Five- simply beautiful.
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leenick1
This is the greatest station i have ever heard.
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I rember,like it was yestrday
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there is nothig like holding that speacial lady and slowly smothly sweeping the dancefloor as you wisper thewords of these once in a lifetime song to show her how much you love her good nite sweetheart.
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you can only comment after you have see anthony together with his Grandson tht hsay is LITTLE ANTHONY.
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Johny Maestro lead a very divers career and it showed in the many talants of hisand the groups many hits from small t0 orcastration types
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Thanks Pandora for playing "WHAT TIME IS IT?" by The Jive Five, more often, as I requested. Pandora is the best!
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What a great sound!!!
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I love to hear "MY TRUE STORY". But, I wish you would play "WHAT TIME IS IT?" more often.
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Pitt's voice is so strong, yet, smooth. His performance on DooWop reunion on PBS was one of the best in the 3 years the special was aired. He got a standing ovation, and deservedly so, for his performance.
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me too janicecoates . . .
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janicecoates
I think these guys are really great,

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