• Top : William"Bill"Davis & Daniel "Sonny'"Norton - Middle : Harold Major - Bottom : Gerald Hamilton

     The Crows (Harlem, New York)
    aka  The Jewels (1) aka  The Four Notes (1)


    Personnel :

    Daniel "Sonny'"Norton(Lead)

    Mark Jackson(Tenor)

    Harold Major(Tenor)


    Gerald Hamilton(Bass)


    Fat Man Humphries  (bb The Four Notes)
    1952 - I Can't Get Started With You / Lulubell Blues (Jubilee 5085)

    Viola Watkins (bb The Crows)
    1952 - Paint A Sky For Me / Really Real (no group) (Jubilee 5095)

    The Crows

    Singles :
    1953 - Seven Lonely Days / No Help Wanted(Rama 3)
    1953 - Gee / I Love You So(Rama 5)
    1954 - Perfidia / Piano Player Plays A Tune(Gee 1)
    1954 - Heartbreaker / Call A Doctor* (The Jewels (1)) (Rama 10)
    1954 - Baby / Untrue(Rama 29)
    1955 - Mambo Shevitz / Mambo No.5(Tico 1082)
    1954 - Miss You / I Really, Really Love You(Rama 30)
    1955 - Baby Doll / Sweet Sue(Rama 50)
    N/A - Don't Come Back (Rama)
    N/A - What's The Matter With You, Woman (Rama)

    The Jewels (1)
    1954 -  Call A Doctor* / Heartbreaker (The Crows)(Rama 10)

    Lorraine Ellis (bb The Crows)
    1954 - Perfidia / [Piano Player Play A Tune - Lorraine Ellis]
    1955 - Mambo Shevitz / [Mambo No. 5 - Melino & His Orchestra](Tico 1082)

    *West Coast pressings had "Call A Doctor" credited to the "Jewels"


    Biography :

    When The Crows started out in 1951, practicing sidewalk harmonies, the original members were Daniel "Sonny" Norton (lead), William "Bill" Davis (baritone), Harold Major (tenor), Jerry Wittick (tenor), and Gerald Hamilton (bass). In 1952, Wittick left the group and was replaced by Mark Jackson (tenor and guitarist).

    Frank "Fat Man" Humphries                                                                  Viola Watkins

    They were discovered at Apollo Theater's Wednesday night talent show by talent agent Cliff Martinez and brought to independent producer George Goldner who had just set up the tiny new Rama Records label. The Crows were the first group signed and the first to record. Their first songs they recorded were as backup Fat Man Humphries as The Four Notes and singer Viola Watkins.


    The song "Gee" was the third song recorded during their first recording session, on February 10, 1953. It was put together in a few minutes by group member William Davis, with Watkins also being credited as cowriter. The song was first released as the B-side of a ballad, "I Love You So".

        The Crows aka  The Jewels (1) aka The Four Notes (1)

    However, radio stations began turning it over and playing "Gee," first in Philadelphia and later in New York and Los Angeles. By January 1954 it had sold 100,000 copies, and by April it entered the national R&B and pop charts, rising to #2 R&B and #14 pop.The song was a huge hit a year after it was recorded.


    In June 1953, The Crows were back in the studio recording "Heartbreaker" and "Call A Doctor."  Issued in July 1953, the disc was released on the West Coast, for unknown reasons, with "Call A Doctor" being credited to the Jewels and "Heartbreaker" to the Crows.

    Songs :

    Fat Man Humphries  (bb The 4 notes)

     Lulubell Blue                             I Can't Get Started With You

    The Crows

    Seven Lonely Days / No Help Wanted                  I Love You So                                 Gee              

    Perfidia / Piano Player Plays A Tune                   Call A Doctor / Heartbreaker                               Baby / Untrue                 

         Mambo Shevitz                          Miss You / I Really, Really Love You                      Baby Doll / Sweet Sue

    Viola Watkins (bb The Crows)

    Paint A Sky For Me / Really Real


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