Monday, January 24, 2011

Judge For Yourself

Here are two 1957 recordings of the song, "Silhouettes," written by two New York City-based independent producers, Frank Slay and Bob Crewe.  The two writers released the original recording, by the Rays, a rhythm and blues vocal quartet from Brooklyn (with lead vocalist Hal Miller, tenors Walter Ford and David Jones, and bass singer (NOT the same named trumpeter-bandleader of the same name) Harry James, on their own small record label, XYZ.  The recording would be released nationally by Cameo Records, based in Philadelphia.  The Rays' recording would be a big hit in both rhythm and blues and pop, winding up at number three on Billboard's R & B and pop Top 100 charts.

Here's the Rays' version on Cameo.

Here now is the Diamonds' (lead singer Dave Somerville, tenor Ted Kowalski, baritone Phil Levitt, and bass Bill Reed) cover recording on Mercury Records.  Their recording actually finished higher on Billboard's R&B charts than it did on the Top 100 pop survey (#6 to #10). WARNING: This video contains material owned by Mercury's current parent, the Universal Music Group. You will see a link to the YouTube website and to the video in question.

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