The Chords (American band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Chords were a 1950s American doo-wop group, whose only hit was "Sh-Boom", which they wrote.


The group was formed by friends from a high school based in the Bronx, New York, United States.[1] The initial members were the brothers Carl and Claude Feaster, plus Jimmy Keyes, Floyd McRae, William Edwards, with support from the pianist Rupert Branker. The Chords were one of the first acts to be signed to the Atlantic Records subsidiary label, Cat Records.[1]

Their debut single was a doo-wop version of a Patti Page song, "Cross Over the Bridge", whilst the record label reluctantly allowed a number penned by the Chords on the B-side. That track was "Sh-Boom", which quickly turned out to be the more popular side. The record reached the top 10 of the US pop chart, which was then a unique occurrence for a R&B number. The track was covered by the Crew-Cuts who took the song to the top of the charts, to arguably register the first US rock and roll number one hit record.[1]

The Chords initial euphoria was diluted when Gem Records claimed that one of the groups on its roster was called the Chords, and therefore the singers of the big hit quickly changed their name to the Chordcats. The success was a one-off, as subsequent releases including, "Zippety-Zum", all failed to chart. A round of personnel changes and recordings on a variety of labels all failed to ignite the public's interest.[1][2][3][4]

Original members[edit]

  • Carl Feaster (lead, 1930–1981)
  • Claude Feaster (baritone, 1933–1975)
  • Jimmy Keyes (first tenor; 1930–1995)[2]
  • Floyd "Buddy" McRae (second tenor; 1927–March 19, 2013)[5]
  • William "Ricky" Edwards (bass, died 1964)

Floyd McRae, the last surviving original member, died on March 19, 2013, at a nursing home in the Bronx, at the age of 86.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (2002). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. p. 71. ISBN 1-85227-937-0.
  2. ^ a b David Hinckley (2011-04-12). "Resolution would rename Bronx street in honor of 'Sh-Boom' group The Chords". Daily News. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  3. ^ R.I.P. Floyd ‘Buddy’ McRae, Last Surviving Member Of The Chords - VVN Music, 21 March 2013
  4. ^ "The Chords | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  5. ^ a b David Hinckley (March 21, 2013). "Floyd 'Buddy' McRae, the last living member of the Chords and a singer on the song, 'Sh-Boom,' dies in Bronx hospital". Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2015.

External links[edit]