CLASSICS - PART ELEVEN
"Gee"/"I Love You So"
Above: 1953 photo of The Crows (L-R Top) Bill Davis (baritone/tenor), Harold Major (tenor), Daniel "Sonny" Norton (lead), (Bottom) Gerald Hamilton (bass). The group's guitarist, Mark Jackson, does not appear in the photo.
THE CROWS WERE INDUCTED INTO THE UGHA HALL OF FAME ON 4/4/98!
April 1953 .... Rama Records, new r.&b. indie, has signed the Crows, vocal group, and Viola Watkins, former M-G-M chantress. The Crows were signed after they won in the finals of the Apollo Theater's amateur show. Viola handled the arrangement and direction as the group etched "Seven Lonely Days" and "No Help Wanted," with Miss Watkins singing on the "Lonely" side.
February 1954 .... The Crows on Rama 5 do a fine bit of vocalizing on "Gee" and "I Love You So." This is a real good R&B hit that is breaking into the pop filed. We predict this one to reach the top.
"Rama's 'Gee' Disk Going Big In L.A."
HOLLYWOOD, February 13, 1954 — A near record for regional sales here on a single indie platter is currently being set by the Rama etching of "Gee" by the Crows. Tune, basically in the rhythm and blues field, has shown strongly enough here and in other sections of the nation to cue a June Hutton rendition on Capitol and one by the Skylarks on Okeh. To date, Allied Record Sales, Southern California distributor for the indie Rama label, has sold 51,000 copies of the click recording, with no indication of it stopping. Locally, pop d.j.'s have hopped on the bandwagon in response to teen-age requests, and are playing the song. Ditty was recently taken over by the E. H. Morris publishing firm.
February 1954 .... George Goldner, Tico and Rama exec. has taken over the personal management of the Crows, who have been grabbing action via their Rama slicing of "Gee" . . . .
Click HERE for an article about The Crows by Marv Goldberg.
(Above link will open in a separate window)
Above: Trade magazine clippings from January and May 1954, respectively.
Above: Label images of Rama RR-5 released in May 1953 and Rama RR 29 released in April 1954. "Sonny" Norton sings lead on all four sides. The Crows' first two records were on the Jubilee label (1952), backing Viola Watkins as "The Four Notes" and Fat Man Humphries (on one side) with no credit. They had six releases on Rama (1953-54), plus one side on Tico (1954) and one side on Gee label (1954), backing Lorraine Ellis. Their first Rama release was backing Viola Watkins... see also composer's credits on the above left label.
Listen to this week's selections by The Crows:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
A. Stream RealAudio...
1. Gee - Rama RR-5 - 1953
2. I Love You So - Rama RR-5 - 1953
3. Untrue - Rama RR 29 - 1954
4. Baby - Rama RR 29 - 1954
ALL FOUR played in sequence
(The Billboard Review 6/27/53)
(The Billboard Review 5/8/54)
[To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]
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