The Crew Cuts

The Crew Cuts were a doo-wop group that originated in Toronto, Canada.  They came to be in the heart of doo-wop’s popularity during the mid 1950s.  All in all they lasted twelve years, from 1952 to 1964.  The group was comprised of four primary members whom all attended the same school choir back in Toronto, Rudi Maugeri, John Perkins, Ray Perkins and Pat Barrett.  If you are familiar with the fifties doo-wop sound you’ll recognize The Crew Cuts music immediately.  Many of their singles were quintessential songs for that period, Earth Angel, ShabThe Crew Cuts, dapper young men they were.oom and Gum Drop to name a few.  To listen to any of their songs really brings you back to that time.  You can picture this music playing as a backup at one those American Drive In restaurants from the time.  The kind where your meal would be delivered onto a tray hung off the side of your car by a waitress donning roller skates.  You know the kind of place I’m taking about, all the teenagers would hang out there on Friday nights.  The girls wore pointy bras and even the toughest guys around still wore a collared shirt.

For anyone that doesn’t know doo-wop is a style of American music that got started in the urban areas of the Midwest and Northeast sometime around 1940.  Doo-wop is vocal driven and doesn’t necessarily need a backup band to accompany it however when a backup band is present it could range from a couple string instruments to a full on Big Band configuration.  The Crew Cuts were no exemption to the rule and their accompaniment ranged from nothing all the way to full on Big Bands.  Most of the songs The Crew Cuts were known for they did not write.  At the time it was very popular cover previous hits only a couple years old and that is exactly what The Crew Cuts did, often to better acclaim then the original artist of the hit received.

It’s strange how different the record industry was back then.  Things weren’t so media oriented.  Everything was about 7 inch records or “singles”.  These are the records that jukeboxes played and while you could buy these records for home the youth culture chose to listen to their music via radio or jukebox(most likely because their parents didn’t want them breaking the record player at home).  As a result we don’t have LP recordings of The Crew Cuts.  Which knowing the back history really isn’t much of a loss because we can buy collections of their singles.  So if you’re interested in The Crew Cuts that’s what I’d recommend.  There are bunch of options out there so pick what you want and enjoy.

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