The Five Keys

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The Five Keys
The Five Keys in 1952
The Five Keys in 1952
Background information
Also known asSentimental Four
OriginNewport News, Virginia, US
GenresRhythm and blues, doo-wop
Years active1948–1962
LabelsAladdin Records, Capitol Records

The Five Keys were an American rhythm and blues vocal group who were instrumental in shaping this genre in the 1950s.[1]

They were formed with the original name of Sentimental Four in Newport News, Virginia, US, in the late 1940s, and initially consisted of two sets of brothers - Rudy West and Bernie West, and Ripley Ingram[2] and Raphael Ingram.[3] Raphael Ingram left in 1949 and Maryland Pierce (March 25, 1932–July 22, 2021)[4][5] and Thomas 'Dickie' Threatt became members in his place. At this juncture the name of the group was changed to The Five Keys.[3]

They were signed to Aladdin Records in 1951, and in 1952 Rudy West left to join the United States Army, and he was replaced by Ulysses K. Hicks. When Hicks died of a heart attack in Boston in 1955, Rudy West returned to the group.[6] In 1954 Dickie Smith left and was replaced with Ramon Loper. At this point the Five Keys were signed to Capitol Records, and their popularity increased, although more instrumentation was used.[3]

The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002.[7] Rudy West died of a heart attack on May 14, 1998 at age 65. Ramon Loper died on October 16, 2002, after a short illness.[8]

Dickie Threatt, lead tenor from 1958-1961, died on October 9, 2007 in Newport News, Virginia.



  • The Best of the Five Keys (Aladdin 1956)
  • The Five Keys on the Town (Score 1957)
  • The Five Keys on Stage (Capitol 1957)
  • The Five Keys (King 1960)
  • Rhythm and Blues Hits Past and Present (King 1960)
  • The Fantastic Five Keys (Capitol 1962)


Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US R&B
1951 "The Glory of Love"
b/w "Hucklebuck with Jimmy"
1 Best of The Five Keys
"It's Christmas Time"
b/w "Old MacDonald" (Non-album track)
1952 "Yes Sir, That's My Baby"
b/w "Old MacDonald"
Non-album tracks
b/w "Goin' Downtown (8-9-10)"
"Be Anything But Be Mine"
b/w "Red Sails in the Sunset" (from Best of The Five Keys)
b/w "How Long"
"I Hadn't Anyone Till You"
b/w "Hold Me"
"I Cried for You"
b/w "Serve Another Round" (from Best of The Five Keys)
1953 "Can't Keep From Crying"
b/w "Come Go My Bail, Louise"
"Mama (Your Daughter Told a Lie on Me)"
b/w "There Ought to Be a Law (Against Breaking a Heart)"
"These Foolish Things"
b/w "Lonesome Old Story" (Non-album track)
Best of The Five Keys
"Teardrops in Your Eyes"
b/w "I'm So High" (Non-album track)
"Oh Babe!"
b/w "My Saddest Hour"
1954 "Love My Loving"
b/w "Someday, Sweetheart" (Non-album track)
"Deep in My Heart"
b/w "How Do You Expect Me to Get It"
Non-album tracks
"Ling, Ting, Tong"
b/w "I'm Alone" (Non-album track)
28 5 The Fantastic Five Keys
1955 "Close Your Eyes"
b/w "Doggone It, You Did It"
"My Love"
b/w "Why, Oh Why"
Non-album tracks
"The Verdict"
b/w "Me Make Um Pow Wow" (Non-album track)
13 The Fantastic Five Keys
"Don't You Know I Love You"
b/w "I Wish I'd Never Learned To Read"
Non-album tracks
"'Cause You're My Lover" / 12
"Gee Whittakers!" 14
1956 "Story of Love"
b/w "Serve Another Round" (from Best of The Five Keys)
"What Goes On"
b/w "You Break the Rules of Love"
"I Dreamt I Dwelt in Heaven"
b/w "She's the Most" (from The Fantastic Five Keys)
"Peace and Love"
b/w "My Pigeon's Gone"
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind"
b/w "That's Right"
23 12
"Wisdom of a Fool"
b/w "Now Don't That Prove I Love You" (Non-album track)
35 The Fantastic Five Keys
1957 "Let There Be You"
b/w "Tiger Lily"
83 On Stage!
"It's a Groove"
b/w "Four Walls"
Non-album tracks
"The Blues Don't Care"
b/w "This I Promise You" (Non-album track)
The Fantastic Five Keys
"The Face of an Angel"
b/w "Boom Boom" (from On Stage!)
Non-album tracks
"Do Anything"
b/w "It's a Cryin' Shame"
"From Me to You"
b/w "Whippety Whirl"
1958 "With All My Love"
b/w "You're for Me"
"Handy Andy"
b/w "Emily Please"
"One Great Love"
b/w "Really-O Truly-O"
1959 "I Took Your Love for a Toy"
b/w "Ziggus"
The Five Keys
"Dream On"
b/w "Dancing Senorita"
1960 "How Can I Forget You"
b/w "I Burned Your Letter"
"Gonna Be Too Late"
b/w "Rosetta"
"I Didn't Know"
b/w "No Says My Heart" (from Rhythm and Blues Hits - Past and Present)
Non-album track
"Valley of Love"
b/w "Bimbo"
Rhythm and Blues Hits - Past and Present
1961 "Stop Your Crying"
b/w "Do Something for Me"
1962 "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"
b/w "You're the One"
Non-album tracks
"From the Bottom of My Heart"
b/w "Out of Sight, Out of Mind"
1964 "I'll Never Stop Loving You"
b/w "I Can't Escape from You"
Rhythm and Blues Hits - Past and Present
1967 "Hey Girl"
b/w "No Matter"
Non-album tracks
1973 "Goddess of Love"
b/w "Stop - What You're Doing to Me"


  1. ^ "Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  2. ^ "Ripley Ingram, Part Of Famous Five Keys". tribunedigital-dailypress. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  3. ^ a b c Warner, Jay (2006). American singing groups: a history from 1940 to today. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-634-09978-6.
  4. ^ "Maryland Pierce Obituary (1932 - 2021)". The Plain Dealer. July 31, 2022. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Marv (April 30, 2005). "The 5 Keys". Unca Marvy's R&B Page. Retrieved June 29, 2022.
  6. ^ Hicks, of 5 Keys. Dies in Bostpn. Billboard. February 12, 1955. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Five Keys (Inducted 2002)". Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  8. ^ "Ramon Navarro Loper". Tribunedigital-dailypress. Retrieved 2018-07-26.

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