The Harptones

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Harptones)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Harptones are an American doo-wop group, which formed in Manhattan in 1953.

The group never had a top forty pop hit, or a record on the US Billboard R&B chart[1], yet they are known for both their lead singer Willie Winfield and their pianist/arranger, Raoul Cita. The Harptones recorded for various labels, including Coed Records. The Harptones may have been the first doo-wop group to number a full-time arranger among their members, and Cita knew how to work to Winfield's strengths.[2] Their best-known recordings include "A Sunday Kind of Love" (1953), "Why Should I Love You?" (1954), "Life is But a Dream" (1955), and "The Shrine of St. Cecilia" (1956).

In 1956, they recorded some songs for the film Rockin' the Blues: "Mambo Boogie", "Ou Wee Baby",[3] and "High Flying Baby".[4]

The song "Life is But a Dream" was featured in the 1990 film GoodFellas, and can be found on the film's soundtrack.[5]

Members[edit]

1951-1954[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (Lead)
  • Billy Brown (bass)
  • Claudie "Nicky" Clark (first tenor)
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • William "Dicey" Galloway (baritone)
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

Early 1955[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (lead)
  • Billy Brown (bass)
  • Claudie "Nicky" Clark (first tenor)
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • Freddy Taylor (baritone)
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

Dicey Galloway was drafted in November 1954.

Late 1955[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (tenor)
  • Billy Brown (bass)
  • Claudie "Nicky" Clark
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • Bernard "Jimmy" Beckum (baritone)
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

Early 1956[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (tenor)
  • Bobby Spencer
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • Bernard "Jimmy" Beckum (baritone)
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

1956 movie Rockin' The Blues[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (tenor)
  • Freddy Taylor
  • Billy Brown
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

Early 1957[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (tenor)
  • Billy Brown
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • William "Dicey" Galloway
  • Toni Williams
  • Raoul Cita (piano; baritone)

Billy Brown died of a drug overdose in spring 1957.

Late 1958[edit]

  • Willie Winfield (tenor)
  • William Dempsey (second tenor)
  • William "Dicey" Galloway
  • Toni Williams
  • Curtis Cherebin

Dicey Galloway left in October and was replaced by Milton Love of The Solitares for a short time, before splitting. Galloway died on 18 July 2017 in Houghs Neck, Quincy, Massachusetts, at age 84 after battling multiple illnesses.[6]

1959-1963[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Nicky Clark
  • William Dempsey
  • Curtis Cherebin
  • Raoul Cita

Nicky Clark left after a few months, to be replaced by Wilbur "Yonkie" Paul, who was in turn replaced by Hank "Pompi" Jernigan.

Early 1964[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Nicky Clark
  • William Dempsey
  • Jimmy Beckum
  • Raoul Cita

Late 1964[edit]

  • Nicky Clark
  • William Dempsey
  • Curtis Cherebin
  • Hank "Pompi" Jernigan
  • Raoul Cita

1970-1972[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Curtis Cherebin
  • Jimmy Beckum
  • William Dempsey
  • Raoul Cita

1972–mid-1990s[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Marlowe Murray
  • Linda Champion
  • Raoul Cita

Mid 1990s-1999[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Marlowe Murray
  • Linda Champion
  • William Dempsey
  • Raoul Cita

This line-up appeared on Doo Wop 50. Linda Champion left due to health problems around 2000.[7]

2000-2008[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Marlowe Murray
  • Vicki Burgess
  • William Dempsey
  • Raoul Cita

2008-2014[edit]

  • Willie Winfield
  • Don Cruz
  • Vicki Burgess
  • William Dempsey
  • Raoul Cita

Marlowe Murray died of cancer in 2008.[8]

Raoul J. Cita died on December 13, 2014, from liver and stomach cancer, at the age of 86.[9] The death of Cita leaves Winfield and Dempsey as the only original Harptones, with Winfield present at every version.

Awards and recognition[edit]

The Harptones were featured more times than any other group in the United in Group Harmony Association's official top 500 vocal group recordings list, compiled 1996-2000.[10] They were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Passings: Raoul Cita of the Harptones". VVN Music. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  2. ^ "TRB Enterprises Honoring our Pioneers". www.toddbaptista.com. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Harptones--OO Wee Baby". YouTube. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks - HARPTONES". Uncamarvy.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Goodfellas: Music from the Motion Picture". Atlantic. 29 October 1990. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  6. ^ Mary Whitfill. "William 'Dice' Galloway, doo-wop singer and Quincy resident, dies at 84". The Patriot Ledger. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  7. ^ "News". Theoriginal-harptones.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks - FI-TONES". www.uncamarvy.com. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  9. ^ "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2014 July To December". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  10. ^ The Top 1000 Doo-Wop Songs: Collector's Edition. Ttgpress. 2014. p. 111. ISBN 9780982737651. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  11. ^ "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame | The Harptones". vocalgroup.org. Retrieved 2 May 2018.

External links[edit]