Classic Urban Harmony, LLC

"We Take You Back In The Day"





    What's New?

  Mills Brothers Society

    Our Events

  Bookshelf, DVD's


Presentation and Event Photo Album

    Charlie's Bio

    Pam's Bio


    Responses to
    our Presentations

    Articles & Press
    About Us

   Our Brochure

    Articles by Us

[New!]Wally Osborne & Starfires

Satan & the Angels - Blue Eyed Soul

Tony Talent & the Coalitions

Golden Bells & Contessas

Sweet Delights

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1964 -, Part 4 in the series

Sammy Strain & the Imperials, 1961 - 1963 Part 3

Sammy Strain & the Fantastics Part 2

Sammy Strain & the Chips Part 1

Asbury Park Vocal Groups Pt. 2

Asbury Park Vocal Groups, Pt.1

Philly's Original Capris

Little Jimmy & The Tops

Teddy & Twilights, Deckers

Groups from Philly's Francisville - Belltones, Joe Cook's Thrillers, Royal Demons, Madison Brothers

Sensations - Part 1

Sensations - Part 2

Johnny Maestro, the Crests & Brooklyn Bridge

Johnny Stiles & the Medallions on Essex

The Plurals

The Vic Donna Story

Orioles' Deborah Chessler

Tyrone & the Nu-Ports

Windy City Harmony: Calvaes, Blenders & Accents

        The Del Larks

Richard Barrett Part 1: The Valentines

Richard Barrett
Part 2:
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers

Richard Barrett
Part 3: The Chantels, Clickettes,
Fashions Veneers

Richard Barrett
Part 4:

Little Anthony & Imperials

Richard Barrett
Part 5: Lewis Lymon
Teenchords Jimmy Castor & Juniors

Richard Barrett
Part 6: The Channels,
Isley Bros, Del Knights

Richard Barrett Part 7: The 3 Degrees, Showmen

    Visit Our

Our Photo Gallery:
Our Musical Family

Our Photo Gallery:
CUH Archives

Renovations to the Classic Urban Harmony Library

    Concert Reviews,
    Photos & Events

bullet [New!]Choice at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Philly Ringtones at Franklin Township Library
[New!]Curators Talk, Spirituals to Soul Exhibit
bullet [New!]Sonny Til's son & grandson visit Classic Urban Harmony Headquarters
bullet [New!]Re-MedmberThen at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Quiet Storm at Roxy & Dukes
bullet [New!]Spirituals to Soul Museum Exhibit, Freehold
bulletVelvet Candles in Barcelona, Spain
bulletFilming Doo Wop Documentary
bullet2015 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Monmouth University West Side Music Exhibit
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit Monmouth University - Set Up
bulletAsbury Park West Side Music Exhibit, Heaven Gallery
bullet2014 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTNT with Vic Donna Group & Charlie Horner
bulletAsbury Angels 2014, Bobby Thomas
bulletRichard Nader Doo Wop Concert XXV
bullet2014 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bullet Billy Vera Big Band at the Cutting Room NYC
bullet VGHA Extravaganza III
bullet Asbury Park Gospel Explosion

African American
Museum Philadelphia
Gospel Awards Ceremony

bullet Ray Goodman & Brown in Plainfield
at NJ Doo Wop Singers Club 2013

bulletEncounters at Somerset Run
bulletRichard Nader's Doo Wop Celebration XXVI
2013 Asbury Angels Plaque Dedications
bullet VGHA Acappella Extravaganza II
bullet2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
bullet Time Capsule Show 50th Anniversary
2013 Portsmouth, VA Gospel Concert
at Manchester, NJ

at New Providence Library

bulletJohn Moore's Middle Room Records Closes
bulletLittle Isidore in Fair Lawn, NJ
bulletNJ Doo Wop Singers Club Jan 2013
bulletCelebrating Asbury Park's West Side Harmony
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club 4th Anniversary
bulletChuck Berry Honored by the R&R Hall of Fame
bulletQuiet Storm at Somerset Run
bulletAsbury Angels 2012 Induction Ceremony
bullet2012 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet2012 Lead East
bulletTNT R&B and Doo Wop Party, Aug 2012
bulletPam Nardella's Frankie Lymon Tombstone BBQ
bullet Classic Urban Harmony Celebrates Vocal Harmony & the Masqueraders 50th Anniversary
bulletFrankie Lymon Tombstone Finds a New Home
bulletStormin Norman Seldin & Return of Ray & Darchaes in Monmouth Beach NJ
bullet2012 Portsmouth VA Gospel Concert
bulletTNT North Jersey R&B and Doo Wop Party - 2nd Anniversary
bulletAcappella Extravaganza at Molloy College 2011
bulletDoo Wop Singers Club (NJ) Third Anniversary
bulletSoul of Asbury Park Concert
bulletMasqueraders Silver Star Competition
bullet6th Annual Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletSouth Philly String Band Club After Party to 6th Philly Doo Wop Festival
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett BBQ 2011
bullet2011 Lead East
bullet Morris Museum Acappella & Doo Wop Concert # Two
bullet Morris Museum Acappella Concert # One
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 2
bulletClassic Urban Harmony Presentation NJ Doo Wop Groups Part 1
bulletMorris Museum LaBamba & Quiet Storm Concert
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Exhibit Opening
bulletMorris Museum Jersey Rocks Launch Party
bulletEvening With Vocal Group Legends Concert
bulletRe-memberThen Finds Its Echo
bulletSteve Applebaum Tribute Concert
bulletWFDU Fundraiser, Teaneck, NJ March 2011
bullet Four J's Jimmy Testa Tribute & Benefit Concert
bulletVic Donna Group Rehearsal at CUH Headquarters
bulletPam & Charlie's 5th Anniversary Celebration - Multi Parts
bullet2010 Philly Doo Wop Festival
bullet"Doll Face" Musical Comedy
bulletNJ Doo Wop & Street Corner Harmony Association
bulletNick @ Nite Open Mic Night
bulletLeins Wedding
bullet"Fun-Raiser" at South Philly String Band Club
bulletRichard Nader’s Summer Doowop Reunion XXI
bulletPhilly Doo Wop Diner Mural
bulletMaking Crossroads 2
bulletCornerstone CD Release Party
bulletVirginia Legends of Gospel Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband Club Jan 13, 2010
bulletRemembering Ronnie I. Concert Nov 2009
bulletPGHA's Heavenly Harmony XII Concert
bulletS. Philly Stringband
bulletFilming a Documentary
on Acappella
bulletAcappella Group Soul'D
Out on
Oct 2009
bulletBattleship New Jersey Dance & Concert
bulletWVLT Cruisin' 92.1 Concert
bulletTymes' Norman & Peggy Burnett 2009 BBQ
bullet2009 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bulletAcappella Group Choice at Franklin Township Public Library
bullet American Bandstand Studio Fundraiser
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club Revisited
bulletFour Man Trio at At Dover NJ's Attilio's Tavern
bulletNicky Addeo at Asbury Park's Wonder Bar
bulletASAP's First Acappella Concert
bulletAcappella at the South Philly String Band Club
bulletVisiting Radio's Past & Present at WDVR-FM
bullet Chicago SoulTrip USA
bulletR&R Hall
of Fame
Interview with
Orioles' Deborah

bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson Visits CUH World Headquarters
bulletNJ Doowop Group Harmony Club, 2009.
bullet New Years Eve 2008 with Nicky Addeo & Nite Owls
bullet 2008 European Road Trip: Deep River Quartet & Golden Gate Quartet
bullet 2008 Black Swan Burlington Concert
bullet 2008 Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival
bullet Mills Bros,
Ink Spots
Beach Haven

bulletPhilly Doo Wop
Festival 2008

bullet Philly Doo Wop
Festival 2006


    In Tribute

bullet Dick Rietveld, Deep River Quartet
bullet Robert Murphy, Neighbors Complaint
bullet Walter McNeil, Gospel Nobleaires
bullet Jewel Akens, 4 Dots
bulletVirgil Johnson, Velvets
bulletCleotha Staples, Staple Singers
bulletDarlene McCrae, Cookies, Raeletts
bulletGregory Carroll, Four Buddies, Orioles, Dappers, Ink Spots
bulletJerome Ramos, Velours
bulletMickey "Guitar" Baker
bulletEarl Speedo Carroll, Cadillacs
bulletMajor Harris, Delfonics, Nat Turner Rebellion, R&B Soloist
bulletBilly Scott, Prophets
bulletCleve Duncan, Penguins
bulletDeborah Chessler, Songwriter,Mentor to the Orioles
bulletWilla Ward, Ward Singers, Gay Charmers
bulletBobby Thomas, Vibranaires, Vibes, V-Eights, Orioles
bulletJohn Jones, Moments Pleasure, Norristones, Copians
bulletChester Brown. The Counts
bulletJimmy Ellis, Trammps, Cordells, Exceptions
bulletJimmy Castor
bulletJack Scandura
bullet Cadillacs' Bobby Phillips
bulletBobby Robinson
bulletRobins' Grady Chapman
bullet Blue Notes' Roosevelt Brodie
bullet Moonglows' Harvey Fuqua
bulletCrests' & Brooklyn Bridge's Johnny Maestro
bulletDelroys' Reggie Walker
bulletSolitaires' & Vocaleers' Herman Dunham
bulletValentines' & Del-Knights' Eddie Edgehill
bulletChris Bartley
bulletSilhouettes' John Wilson
bulletLes Paul
bullet Castelles' Billy Taylor

    1950's R&B &
    Doo Wop


The Academics 


The Avalons


The Avons


The Blue Notes (original)


Claude Robinson & Creations


The 5 Embers


The Juveniles/ Twilights/ Embers


The Silhouettes

    1960's Soul

bulletThe Ad-Libs
bullet Jackson Five (Pre-Motown & Other Rarities)

    Carolina Beach Music

bullet The Poor Souls

    Modern Era
    Doo Wop Groups

bullet40 Years of Group Harmony: Ray Block's Photos of Vintage, Ad-Libs, Reunion, Bon-Aires, East River Drive
bulletYounger Dayz

    Gospel Groups

Angelic Gospel

bulletClaude Jeter & the Swan Silvertones

    Early Black
    Vocal Groups
    1870 -1930


The American
Jubilee Singers



The Dinwiddie Quartet

   History of


The 60th Anniversary of the Vinyl 45 RPM Single

    Rare Record

bulletHico Label

   Holiday Harmony

bullet Vocalaries' White Christmas
bulletPenguins' A Christmas Prayer
bulletDominoes' Christmas In Heaven
bulletCameos' Merry Christmas
bulletDrifters' White Christmas
Lonely Christmas


bullet Philadelphia Area Doo Wop & Acappella Groups
bulletBermuda Vocal Groups


Unknown Vocal Groups

     Great LINKS



[New!]Pre-Motown Recordings and other Early Rare Records


by Michael Jackson & the Jackson Five



With all the tributes to Michael Jackson, little attention is paid to the early history of the Jackson Five, especially their pre-Motown recordings.  We’ve searched the Classic Urban Harmony Archives to bring you a photographic record of some of the rarer collectable records from the Jackson Five.

The Jackson Five were from Gary, Indiana, a city steeped in vocal harmony history.  The older of the Jackson brothers (Tito and Jermaine) attended Roosevelt High School, the same school that launched the career of the 1950’s R&B group, the Spaniels.  [Michael left the city of Gary when he was eleven but was later given an honorary degree from Roosevelt.]  In fact, the Jackson’s home at 2300 Jackson Street was only a couple of blocks from where Spaniels’ lead James Pookie Hudson grew up in the Delaney housing projects.  There are some reports that the Jackson brothers’ father, Joe Jackson, occasionally harmonized with the Four Bees, forerunners of the Spaniels, but we’ve not been able to confirm this.  Joe Jackson in his earlier years did play guitar with his own group the Falcons.  We believe there is no connection with his group and the more famous Falcons who were from Detroit. 

The Jackson Five signed with Gordon Keith’s local Steeltown Records in November 1967.  Keith also had the Calumet and BoMoKeith labels.  The Jackson Five’s first record for Steeltown (# 681) was “Big Boy” b/w “You’ve Changed” which came out on an orange label without “Distributed by Atco” at the bottom.  STEELTOWN was in all capital letters.  The record first came out in January 1968 and very few copies were made.  It was probably only sold by the Jackson Five at their performance around Gary, IN.  We’ve never had a copy of this first press in our archives.

Within a couple months, “Big Boy” was picked up for distribution by Atco Records.  Subsequent copies had “Distributed by Atco Records, 1841 Broadway New York, NY” at the bottom of the label.  Promotional (dj) copies were white, stock copies were in red.  We’ve also seen a copy of the promo white label with only the “S” of Steeltown a capital, and the label name in script print.


Promo copy of Steeltown 681, second label variation.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Stock copy of Steeltown 681, second label variation.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


The Jackson Five’s second record was “You Don’t Have To Be Over 21” b/w “Jam Session”.  This record was issued as STEEL-TOWN 682 on a blue label with no distribution.  We have another variation with no label number and “Distributed by V.W.M. Distributors, 1630 Broadway, Gary, Indiana” on the top of the label.  Presumably this came second.

Copy of Steeltown 682, first label variation.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Copy of Steeltown 682, second label variation.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


One controversial Steeltown release is # 688, released late in 1968.  “Let Me Carry Your School Books” b/w “I Never had A Girl” by “The Ripples and Waves Plus Michael” sounds similar to the Jackson Five and was long suspected to be them.  Recent information, uncovered by www.indiana45s.com concludes that the Ripples and Waves are NOT the Jackson Five but a separate Gary, IN, group recording for Steeltown.  We've included a newspaper photo published on their website of the real Ripples & Waves (below).  Further, a reliable source has informed us that the “Plus Michael” is not Michael Jackson.

The Ripples & Waves Plus Michael.  The Ripples and Waves are NOT the Jackson Five.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Newspaper Photo of the Ripples & Waves, ca. 1968
(from www.indiana45s.com)

Above clipping reads:  "New Jackson Five?  Ripples And Waves - Making their bid for national recognition, just like the Jackson Five before them, are the Ripples and Waves (R&W) of Gary.  Managed by Gordon Keith, who developed the Jackson[s], R&W are students of Beckman, Emerson, West Side and Mann schools.  Their lead song is "Let Me Carry Your School Books."  The Ripples and Waves are, front row from left, bass guitarist Warren Rocker, drummer Phillip Mack and lead guitarist Elvy Woodward; rear, Gordon Keith, manager; bass singer Larry Holmes, lead singer Ronald Bills and second lead Lawrence Clark."


As the Jackson Five signed with Motown, Musicor purchased some Steeltown sides and released them on their Dynamo subsidiary.  A previously unreleased side, “Some Girls Want Me For their Lover” was paired with the previously released “You Don’t Have To Be Over 21” as Dynamo # 146.

Dynamo # 146 label variation 1.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Dynamo # 146 label variation 2.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


As the Jackson Five began recording for Motown, at least two of their singles were pressed in yellow vinyl.

Promo of "ABC" pressed in yellow vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


"I'll Be There" pressed in yellow vinyl.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

Finally, at the height of the Jackson Five’s popularity, at leased 12 of their records were pressed in cardboard on the backs of cereal boxes.  The same labels were used a series of choices and the purchaser could see which song was on the box by the number stamped in a circle.

"ABC" from the back of a cereal box.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

"I Want You Back" from the back of a cereal box.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

"Sugar Daddy" from the back of a cereal box.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)

"Never Can Say Goodbye" from the back of a cereal box.
(From the Classic Urban Harmony Archives)


We've recently become aware of this interview 45 by the Jackson Five from around 1970.  It features a short interview with all the members of the Jackson Five.

Jackson Five interview 45
(Scan courtesy of Everette Dewaine Longus)


Copyright © Classic Urban Harmony LLC, 2009.  All Rights Reserved.