• The Five Shillings 

    The Five Shillings (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Personnel :

    John Tierney (Tenor)

    Jimmy Clancy (High Lyric Tenor)

    Teddy Whitley (High Lyric Tenor)

    Dennis Walton (Baritone & Bass)

    Melvin Walton (Baritone & Bass)

    Discography :

    Single :
    1958 - Letter To An Angel / The Snake (Decca 30722)
    Unreleased :
    1958 - Well, Come On, Baby (Decca)

    Biography :

The 4 Velvetones were from Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1957, they were composed by John Tierney (tenor), Jimmy Clancy (high lyric tenor), Teddy Whitley (high lyric tenor), and Dennis Walton (baritone and bass). An integrated group, John and Jimmy were Irish; Teddy and Dennis were black. Another  was Dennis' brother, Melvin. He could also sing baritone and bass, but was usually content to write songs for them and try his hand at managing the group. In January 1958, they drove down to New York City  and started hanging out on Broadway. Bill Ross  who heard them , introduced them to Kay Toomey, who became their manager. She, in turn, took them to Marty Wilson at Decca Records. They auditioned with "Two Hearts In Love" (which Melvin had written and which they expected big things from); he didn't like it at all. But that didn't stop Mel; he whipped up "Letter To An Angel" and that was more like it. In March 31, 1958. The 4 Velvetones went to the Decca studios to record at least three songs: "Letter To An Angel," "The Snake," and "Well, Come On, Baby" . Teddy Whitley was supposed to lead "Letter To An Angel," but he couldn't get the part just right. So at the last minute, Mel Walton became part of the group and led his own composition. Since there were now five, Decca decided to rename them, choosing the "5 Shillings." The guys weren't particularly enthused with the name, but went along with it. The 5 Shillings appeared on Dave Maynard's TV show on WBZ-TV, on Bob Clayton's "Boston Ballroom" over WHDH-TV, and Bob Still's show in New York.

    Songs :

    Letter To An Angel                             The Snake


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