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The Turbans

The Turbans were among the first Philadelphia-based R&B outfits to achieve national recognition. They emerged in 1955 out of a local R&B scene that had previously been dominated by such tenor-led groups as the Castelles, the Capris, and the Dreams. The Turbans' distinctive trait (apart from their headgear) was the soaring falsetto lead singing of 17-year-old Al Banks (born July 26, 1937), supported by the backup harmony of Matthew Platt, baritone Charlie Williams, and bass Andrew Jones; all four were schoolmates when stardom beckoned.

They headed to New York and signed to Al Silver's Herald Records, where they cut their first record late in 1955. It was the B-side, the up-tempo "When You Dance," that caught on with DJs and ended up charting nationally, thus giving the Turbans the opportunity to tour the East Coast. Their second single had a similar fate, the B-side, "Sister Sookie," supplanting the more mellow A-side, "I'll Always Watch Over You," on radio station turntables and play lists and becoming a regional hit. This proved to be the high point for the group -- their next four records never matched the first two, and their Herald contract ended after the release of "Congratulations" in 1957. The group moved to Imperial and then to Roulette Records, undergoing numerous personnel changes in the process, with Banks remaining the lead singer throughout. Before his death in the late '70s, Banks became a member of one of the lineups of Drifters playing the oldies and club circuits, and "When You Dance" remained a part of his repertory. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Encyclopedia Of Doo Wop: Volume 5

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Track List: Vocal Groups: Classic Doo Wop

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Comments

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riskcontrol1 r b
Sister Sookie rules - agreed
Report as inappropriate
Diamonds and Pearls by the Turbans is better than the original by the Paradons in my opinion !!! 8-)
Report as inappropriate
The Turbans were one of best groups of the 50's. But a song you never is Sister Sooky--pleas e add it to your play list-thanks.
Report as inappropriate
Wow- I grew up in Phila. This reminds me of rushing home from 1st grade to watch the big kids dance on Bandstand.

Pure and beautiful harmony, this is truely art.
Report as inappropriate
jncaracciolo
The Turbans were so good. Just listen to the range of his voice on this song. Such harmony and the ever present Sax. I long for those days and wish all the young could have experience it.
Great memories of the 50's.
Report as inappropriate
The Turbans (from Philly) - (Chet Jones - Bass and wrote most of their songs),
Had another really great song called "It Was A Night Like This" - VERY COOL! Check it out if you can.
Doo Wop David - Woodstock GA
Report as inappropriate
There is nothing like DOO WOP and the harmony help relieve the pressures of the day.

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