Friday, December 07, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Penguins
Album:The Doo Wop Box
This is yet another classic from Rhino's fabulous 4CD box set The Doo Wop Box. The Penguins were all students at Fremont High School in Los Angeles. The group was Cleveland Duncan, Curtis Williams, Dexter Tisby & Bruce Tate. Duncan was the lead singer but Williams was the group leader. Supposedly Williams learned Earth Angel from singer Jesse Belvin or maybe he wrote it alone. Then Gaynell Hodge of The Turks sued successfully and got a songwriting credit in 1956. The Penguins signed with Dootone Records in 1954. Earth Angel was the B side of their first single Hey Senorita. But Los Angeles radio stations received more requests for the B side and it topped the R & B charts and reached #8 on the pop charts. The Crewcuts' whitebread cover of the song was an even bigger hit. White groups covering black doo wop songs was very common in those days. The Penguins left Dootone in 1956 and recorded for Mercury & Atlantic. They also worked with a very young Frank Zappa in 1963. But they were never able to repeat the success of Earth Angel. The song is an all time classic. A Duncan led version of The Penguins continue to tour the oldies circuit. And here are The Penguins performing Earth Angel.