The Vogues

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The Vogues
The Vogues in 1968
The Vogues in 1968
Background information
OriginTurtle Creek, Pennsylvania, United States
GenresRock and roll, traditional pop, blue-eyed soul
Years active1963–present
LabelsCo & Ce, Reprise
MembersRoyce Taylor
Troy Elich
Artie Deleonardis
Dean Mastrangelo
Rich Gooch
JR Wright
Bo Wagner
Past membersChuck Blasko
Bill Burkette
Don Miller
Jim Campagna
Stan Elich
Terry Brightbill
Hugh Geyer
Gary Racan
Scott Anderson[1]

The Vogues are an American vocal rock and roll group from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh.[2] The original lineup consisted of Bill Burkette (lead baritone), Don Miller (baritone), Hugh Geyer (first tenor), and Chuck Blasko (second tenor).[3]

They are best known for their chart-topping singles "You're the One", "Five O'Clock World", "Magic Town", and "Turn Around, Look at Me". In addition to touring the world, the group appeared on American Bandstand, The Tonight Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.

Career[edit]

The group, originally named the Val-Aires, formed in 1958 at Turtle Creek High School.[2] They signed with Pittsburgh manager Elmer Willet, who produced their first recording release "Which One Will It Be/Launie My Love". DJ Porky Chedwick became a supporter booking the group for his rock and roll shows and record hops. Chedwick put them on bills with the Drifters, the Platters, and the Dells. Clark Race of KDKA radio promoted the group on his KDKA-TV dance show. Having strong regional sales, the single was picked up for national distribution by Coral Records.

After high school, members of the group variously joined the Army or went to college. After their enlistments and college degrees were completed, they decided to record again. Each member paid $100 towards the fee to record a demo tape. They hired Nick Cenci, who had helped bring Lou Christie mainstream success, to produce the recording. In 1965, Cenci produced recording sessions for the Val-Aires at Gateway Studios in Pittsburgh, including vocals for a cover of the Petula Clark song "You're the One",[2] which was released on the band's own Blue Star label. Cenci then persuaded John Rook, program director of KQV, to play the single. With local airplay and sales Cenci signed them to the Co & Ce label as the "Vogues" and secured national distribution.[2] The song soon became a national hit reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Later in 1965, Cenci produced another Vogues recording session, which resulted in the No. 4 Billboard hit, "Five O'Clock World".[2]

In 1966, Co & Ce Records released the singles "Magic Town", which reached no. 21 in February of that year, and the no. 29 "The Land of Milk and Honey". The singles "Summer Afternoon" and "Lovers of the World Unite" were released on Co & Ce in 1967. Co & Ce leased the Vogues to Reprise Records (distributed by Warner Bros.) where they found success with cover versions of "Turn Around, Look at Me" (No. 7),[2] "My Special Angel" (No. 7), "Till" (No. 27), "No, Not Much" (No. 34), "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" (No. 42), "Moments to Remember" (No. 47), and "Green Fields" (No. 92).[4] Dick Glasser also produced several unreleased singles by The Vogues for Reprise, including Paul Levinson's "Unbelievable (Inconceivable) You".[5] The original group appeared on popular TV shows in the 1960s, including The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig, The Red Skelton Show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, American Bandstand, Hullabaloo, and The Mike Douglas Show.

In 1971, the Vogues signed a recording contract with Bell Records and recorded three singles ("Love Song", "Take Time to Tell Her", and "American Family"). In 1972, the group released one single on Mainstream Records ("Need You" b/w "Greatest Show on Earth"). By 1973, Geyer had left the group. Now recording for 20th Century Records, the group released three singles ("My Prayer", "Wonderful Summer", and "Prisoner of Love"), which were commercially unsuccessful and represented the last singles released by The Vogues.

Miller left the group in 1974 and was replaced by a succession of other vocalists. By the 1980s, the group had stopped touring and were concentrating on Western Pennsylvania venues. Burkette left the group in 1983, leaving Chuck Blasko as the only original member of The Vogues. Vocalist Gary Racan joined Chuck Blasko & The Vogues and performed with them for 16 years, departing to start his own band.

At some point during the late 1970s or early 1980s, the group's manager trademarked the name and assets of the Vogues. He later sold the trademark to Bengar Inc (Pete Garofalo), who starting booking other quartets as the Vogues. Pete Garofalo was a baritone who was with The Vogues from 1973 through the early 1990s. While owner of the trademark, he performed with them as well as having a group touring on the road. Pete Garofalo died in 1997, which led to the sale of the trademark. The trademark was sold several times, resulting in a variety of unrelated groups of singers claiming to be the Vogues. In 2000, the trademark was purchased by vocalist and Pittsburgh area native Stan Elich. During these years Blasko continued to perform as the Vogues, clashed with the "trademark" group, and eventually testified in front of Congress on the Truth in Music Act. A lawsuit filed by Blasko ended with the Pennsylvania court permitting Blasko's Vogues to perform in 14 Western Pennsylvania counties and the "trademark" group to perform everywhere else in the world as The Vogues.

From 2004 until 2006, Geyer joined Blasko's Vogues in the 14 Western Pennsylvania counties that Blasko's group was permitted to tour in. After creative differences with Blasko, Geyer again left group at the end of 2006. In March 2007, Geyer joined the nationally touring "trademark" group of The Vogues of trademark owner Elich. Geyer continued to perform with this group until his retirement in December 2012. In May 2008, original lead vocalist Bill Burkette also joined Geyer in touring the USA with the "trademark" Vogues. The members of this group included Burkette, Geyer, Elich, Elich's son Troy, and Jim Campagna. Elich died in December 2010. Troy Elich now owns the trademark "The Vogues".

In 2010, The Elich-owned Vogues released a live album, The Vogues Sings the Hits Live, on the Desert Trax Music label. This marked the first time in 38 years that Burkette and Geyer recorded together.

The Vogues' line-up in April 2022 was Troy Elich, Royce Taylor, and Bo Wagner.[6] Taylor had previously been a member of The "trademark" Vogues from 1991 to 1997. Wagner is a former member of Blasko's Pittsburgh Vogues group.

The original group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.[7]

Bill Burkette (born William W. Burkette III on September 17, 1942) died on March 1, 2018 at the age of 75.[8]

Don Miller died on January 11, 2021, reportedly of COVID-19,[9] at age 80.[10][11]

Studio albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year A-side B-side
From same album as A-side except where indicated
Record Catalog Number Notes US US AC AUS Album
1959 "Launie, My Love" "Which One Will It Be?" Willett 114 as the Valaires - - - Non-album tracks
1960 "Launie, My Love" "Which One Will It Be" Coral 62177 Re-release, as the Val-aires - - -
1965 "You're the One" "Some Words" (Non-album track) Blue Star B-229 - - - - Meet The Vogues
1965 "You're the One" "Some Words" (Non-album track) Co & Ce 229 Re-release 4 - 55
1965 "Five O'Clock World" "Nothing to Offer You" (from Meet The Vogues) Co & Ce 232 - 4 - 64 Five O'Clock World
1966 "Magic Town" "Humpty Dumpty" (from Five O'Clock World) Co & Ce 234 - 21 - - The Vogues' Greatest Hits
1966 "The Land of Milk and Honey" "True Lovers" Co & Ce 238 - 29 - - Non-album tracks
1966 "Please Mr. Sun" "Don't Blame the Rain" Co & Ce 240 - 48 - -
1966 "That's the Tune" "Midnight Dreams" Co & Ce 242 - 99 - -
1967 "Summer Afternoon" "Take A Chance on Me Baby" Co & Ce 244 - - - -
1967 "Lovers of the World Unite" "Brighter Days" Co & Ce 246 - - - -
1967 "Lovers of the World Unite" "Brighter Days" MGM 13813 Leased by MGM - - -
1968 "Just What I've Been Lookin' For "I've Got You On My Mind" (Non-album track) Reprise 0663 - - - - The Vogues Sing The Good Old Songs and Other Hits
1968 "Turn Around, Look at Me" "Then" Reprise 0686 - 7 3 43 Turn Around, Look At Me
1968 "My Special Angel" "I Keep It Hid" Reprise 0766 - 7 1 36
1968 "Till" "I Will" Reprise 0788 - 27 5 - Till
1969 "Woman Helping Man" "I'll Know My Love (By The Way She Talks)" Reprise 0803 - - - -
1969 "Woman Helping Man" "No, Not Much" Reprise 0803 Re-release 47/34 6/6 -
1969 "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" "P.S. I Love You" Reprise 0820 - 42 7 - Memories
1969 "Moments to Remember" "Once in a While" Reprise 0831 - 47 17 97
1969 "Green Fields" "Easy to Say" (From The Vogues Sing The Good Old Songs and Other Hits) Reprise 0844 - 92 19 - The Vogues' Greatest Hits
1969 "See That Girl" "We Only Have Love" (Non-album track) Reprise 0856 - - 13 -
1970 "God Only Knows" "Moody" Reprise 0887 - 101 21 - The Vogues Sing The Good Old Songs and Other Hits
1970 "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" "Over the Rainbow" (Non-album track) Reprise 0909 - 101 18 -
1970 "Theme (The Good Old Songs)" "Come Into My Arms" (From Turn Around, Look At Me) Reprise 0931 - - 27 -
1970 "Since I Don't Have You" "I Know You as a Woman" Reprise 0969 - - 8 -
1971 "Love Song" "We're on Our Way" Bell 991X - 118 23 - Non-album tracks
1971 "Take Time to Tell Her" "I'll Be with You" Bell 45,127 - - 38 -
1971 "An American Family" "Gotta Have You Back" Bell 45,158 - - - -
1973 "My Prayer" "I've Got to Learn to Live Without You" 20th Century 2041 - - 31 -
1973 "Wonderful Summer" "Guess Who" 20th Century 2060 - - 47 -
1974 "As Time Goes By" "Prisoner of Love" 20th Century 2085 - - -/37 -

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Our Faculty". Anderson Music Academy. Retrieved 2021-10-27.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Sixties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 462. ISBN 0-7535-0149-X.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 251. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "The Vogues - Pittsburgh Music History". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  5. ^ Breznikar, Klemen (January 30, 2016). "Paul Levinson Interview". It's Psychedelic Baby! Magazine. Archived from the original on July 27, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2021.
  6. ^ "The Vogues | HuckabeeTV". Huckabee.tv. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  7. ^ "Inductees - The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation". Vocalgroup.org. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
  8. ^ William W. Burkette III - SEPTEMBER 17, 1942 ~ MARCH 1, 2018 (AGE 75), Jobefuneralhome.com
  9. ^ Twitter https://twitter.com/hitmanhalley/status/1349443807926956037. Retrieved 2022-04-12. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Don Miller of '60s Singing Group, The Vogues, Dies at 80". Best Classic Bands. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  11. ^ "Donald Miller". The Morehead News. January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 20, 2021.

External links[edit]