The Crows

Formed 1951. Disbanded 1955.

1950's doo-wop group

Biography

The Crows were an American R & B singing group who achieved commercial success in the 1950s. The group's first single and only major hit, "Gee", released in June 1953, has been credited with being the first Rock n’ Roll hit by a rock and roll group. It peaked at position #14 and #2, respectively, on the Billboard magazine pop and rhythm-and-blues charts in 1954.

When The Crows started out in 1951, practicing sidewalk harmonies, the original members were Daniel "Sonny" Norton (lead), William "Bill" Davis (baritone), Harold Major (tenor), Jerry Wittick (tenor), and Gerald Hamilton (bass). In 1952, Wittick left the group and was replaced by Mark Jackson (tenor and guitarist).

They were discovered at Apollo Theater's Wednesday night talent show by talent agent Cliff Martinez and brought to independent producer George Goldner who had just set up the tiny new Rama Records label. The Crows were the first group signed and the first to record. The first songs they recorded were as backup to singer Viola Watkins. The song "Gee" was the third song recorded during their first recording session, on February 10, 1953. It was put together in a few minutes by group member William Davis, with Watkins also being credited as cowriter.

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