Thursday, September 29, 2011

Forgotten Music -- Billy Ward and his Dominoes

I loved this group when I was a youngster, but I had a some misconceptions about it. For example, I didn't know a thing about all the personnel changes it went through. And I didn't know that Billy Ward wasn't the lead singer. He owned the group and played keyboards, but others did the vocals. One of the group's biggest hits was "Sixty Minute Man," which we thought was pretty racy back in the '50s. The lead was sung by bass Bill Brown on this one.

But Brown didn't sing lead often. Ward's group was blessed with three of the great R&B leads of the '50s. (See if you don't agree.) The first of them was Clyde McPhatter, who sang on some of the early hits.

When McPhatter departed, Jackie Wilson, who'd been coached by McPhatter, took over the lead parts.

After Wilson left, Gene Mumford took over the lead, and the group had a few more hits. Here's one.
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:06 AM

    In the "real" Million Dollar Quartet session, Elvis was raving about Jackie Wilson, as I recall.

    Jeff

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  2. As well he might. Wow, that's an even more impressive litany than Johnny Otis's.

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  3. Jackie Wilson was my favorite singer ever. You should post his song "Night."

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  4. Even in 2011, I still think "Sixty-Minute Man" is racy!

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