The Five Keys

Rudy West 50s-80s vocal rhythm and blues formation. Formed 1949. Disbanded 1973
The Five Keys
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1949
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The Five Keys

The Five Keys Biography (Wikipedia)

The Five Keys was an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was instrumental in shaping this genre in the 1950s.

It was formed with the original name of Sentimental Four in Newport News, Virginia, US, in the late 1940s, and initially consisted of two sets of brothers - Rudy West and Bernie West, and Ripley Ingram and Raphael Ingram. Ingram left in 1949 and Maryland Pierce (born 1933) and Thomas 'Dickie' Threatt became members in his place. At this juncture the name of the group was changed to The Five Keys.

They were signed to Aladdin Records in 1951, and in 1952 Rudy West left to join the United States Army, and he was replaced by Ulysses K. Hicks. When Hicks died of a heart attack in Boston in 1955, Rudy West returned to the group. In 1954 Dickie Smith left and was replaced with Ramon Loper. At this point the Five Keys were signed to Capitol Records, and their popularity increased, although more instrumentation was used.

The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.

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