• Mickey Toliver & The Capitols (1) (Pittsburgh)


     Personnel :

    Mickey Toliver (Lead)

    Arthur Dixon (First Tenor)

    Dora "Spike" Hall (Tenor)

    Rick Toliver (Baritone)

    Freddy McCray (Bass)


    Discography :

    Singles :
    1957 - Rose Mary / Millie (Cindy 3002)
    1963 - Day By Day / Little Things (Gateway 721)

    Unreleased :
    1963 - Looking Through The Windows(Gateway)
    1963 - My Love Has Gone (Gateway)

    1958 - Sitting In The Park (Atlantic)
    1958 - I Got A Girl (Atlantic)
    1958 - Give Me A Thought (Atlantic)
    1958 - There's A Reason Why (Atlantic)
    1961 - Man Across the Hill (Atlantic)
    1961 - Just The Way You Axe (Atlantic)


    Biography :

    In the summer of 1957, The Capitols, from Pittsburgh’s Homewood district, released two up-tempo sides, “Rose-Marie” and “Millie” on George Goldner's Cindy label. Both sides featured the lead voice of thirteen year old Michael "Mickey" Toliver. The origin of the young group dates back to 1954 consisting of Mickey Toliver (lead), Arthur Dixon (first tenor), Freddy McCray (second tenor), Rick Toliver (baritone) and Frank Hill (bass).

    By 1956, the Capitols headlined Bill Powell’s (WILY) Rock n Roll shows. Their records were favorites among local disc-jockeys Sir Walter (WILY), Porky Chedwick (WHOD), Barry Kaye (WJAS) and Al Noble (KQV). In the midst of their hectic schedule, Frank Hill was drafted by the army. A young female singer, Dora "Spike" Hall, replaced Frank which gave Fred the duty of singing bass. With this new lineup, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols (still collectively billed as The Capitols) landed their first record contract.


    On July 13, 1957, “Rose-Marie” was ranked 1 on the Jaybird Eyes Best Sellers list and remained there for three consecutive weeks. The group performed at all of the Pittsburgh venues as they rode the crest of their successful Cindy recording. After headlining Jay Michael’s Top Ten Revue Concert in August 1957, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols received national attention.

    With a signature five part harmony sound the group enjoyed the success of two chart toppers and concert tour; Ahmet Ertegun offered the group a record contract. In 1958, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols signed with Atlantic Records. As a songwriter, using the name Michael Toliver, Mickey penned “Sitting In The Park”, “I Got A Girl”, “Give Me A Thought” and “There’s A Reason Why” for Atlantic. 

     In 1960, Mickey was drafted by the U.S. Army and The Capitols continued with Dora Hall on lead, and auditioned at Gateway Studios in Pittsburgh. A superb showing landed them a recording contract. In November 1963, the group released “Day by Day” and “Little Things” (both penned by Eddie Hicks) on Gateway Records.


    Songs :

             Millie                                Day By day

    Little Things                         I Got A Girl



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