Friday, August 08, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-The Cleftones
Song:You Baby You
Album:The Doo Wop Box II
You Baby You was the 1955 debut single by the doo wop group The Cleftones. It did OK but they would have a much bigger hit later on with Heart And Soul. The Cleftones were formed at Jamaica High School in Queens, NY by lead singer Herbie Cox (born May 6, 1936 in Cincinnati). Other members were Warren Corbin (bass), Charlie James (first tenor), William "Buzzy" McClain (baritone) and Berman Patterson (second tenor). They auditioned for Rama Records owner George Goldner and he signed them to his Gee label in 1955. The Patterson song You Baby You was released in Dec. 1955. It did OK regionally in the Northeast US and reached #78 on the Billboard singles chart in Feb. 1956. Their follow up This Little Girl Of Mine reached #57 but subsequent singles didn't chart and Goldner lost interest in them. In 1958, Cox met Roulette Records producer Henry Glover and he signed them. And McClain & Patterson left and were replaced by Rivileers lead singer Gene Pearson and his friend Patricia Span. The Cleftones were recording their own songs but they weren't selling. So Glover convinced them that they should try covering standards. That turned out to be a great decision as The Cleftones version of the 1938 Larry Clinton hit Heart And Soul reached #18 on the Billboard chart in 1961. It was their only top 20 hit. They continued to record through 1964 but were unable to recreate that success. The Cleftones never actually split up but Herbie Cox went on to be a vice president at Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Cox reformed The Cleftones for the 70s oldies revival and The Cleftones continue to tour the oldies circuit today. You Baby You is just one of many obscure doo wop classics on Rhino's The Doo Wop Box II. Here's a medley of The Cleftones performances compiled by the British radio show Doo Wop Now.