The Vel-Tones (1) (Aliquippa, Pa.)

    Personnel :

    Willie Glenn (Lead)

    Melvin Glenn (First Tenor)

    Len Alford (Second Tenor)

    Frank Abercrombie (Baritone)

    William Kimbrough (Bass)

    Discography :

    1958 - Broken Heart / Please Say You'll Be True (Vel 9178/Fee Bee 9178)

    Biography :

    In 1954, Richie Blackson, Joe Freeman, Willie Glenn and Coyt Young formed a barbershop quartet from a Choir at Aliquippa High School in Aliquippa, Pa. In 1956, While in school Willie Glenn had been groomed to the more conservative musical stylings. Now, he and others would be crooners had become street corner vocalists. Not until early 1957 did a cohesive quintet, the Vel-Tones, surface with Willie Glenn, Melvin Glenn (Willie's brother), Len Alford, Frank Abercrombie and William Kimbrough. Initially, the only instrumental accompaniment was provided by Gorge Jones on piano and Organ.

    Kripp Johnson                                                                  
    Although the Vel-Tones offerings lacked originally, their superb harmony impressed former original "Come Go With Me" Dell-Viking, Kripp Johnson. On account of contractual obligations, Johnson was still recording for Joe Averbach's Fee Bee Label with a new assemblage of Dell-Vikings, aka, the Versatiles. Kripp johnson arranged an audition for the Vel-Tones at Averbach's home in Whitehall, Pa. The group brought along a new number called "Broken Heart" which had been written just for them.

    Top : W.Kimbrough - L.Alford                                                   The Dell-Vikings - Willie Glenn in the Middle
    Middle : F.Abercrombie - W.Glenn                                                                                                       
    Bottom : G.Jones - M.Glenn                                                                                                              

    In August, the group traveled to Cleveland, Ohio for a session at the Way Out Recording Studio. "Broken Heart" and "Please Say You'll Be True" were waxed. The Vel-Tones shared the stage with the Five Royales at the CIO Hall in Aliquippa. there were continuous engagements at a multitude of club in Pensylvania. In 1959, Kripp Johnson approached Willie Glenn about joining a new edition of the Del Vikings. Glenn agreed and With his departure the Vel-Tones finally Disbanded.

    Songs :

    Broken Heart / Please Say You'll Be True

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