• The Wigs
    The Wigs - From left: Leroy McQueen, James Porter, Art Blakey and Albert Banks

     The Wigs (Cleveland, Ohio)
    ref : Billy Wells & The Crescents (2)

    Personnel :

    Arthur Blackley (Lead / First & Second Tenor)

    Albert Banks  (Lead / First & Second Tenor)

    Leroy McQueen (Baritone / Second Tenor)

    James Porter (Bass / Baritone)

    Discography :
    1964 - Sweeter Than Wine / Chicken Switch (Golden Crest 592)


    Biography :

    After one record for Reserve Records as Billy Wells & The Crescents in 1956, Lawyer "Henry" Curtis (tenor) replaced Billy Wells "William Burrell"  and they continued to dazzle audiences. This version of the group do the background vocals for Clark Vaden's 45 release, "Irene," and "You Can Make It If You Try," on Dolly Records as the Crescents. Other members left for various reasons which left an opening for Arthur Blakey to join in 1963. Arthur Blakey did most of the Crescents' leads in his readily identifiable, boisterous, shouting, country preacher style. Other artists were amazed that the Crescents could do with four voices what some groups had difficulty achieving with five.

    The Wigs   The Wigs

    Billy Wells & The Crescents                                                                                           

    They approached Sid Friedman, their previous manager and booking agent, who after hearing their exciting sound, signed them to contracts and proceeded to launch them in a new direction. The motive was to cash in on the Beatles, the latest rage, who were coming to America. To be different, they decided to jettison the Crescents and renamed themselves the Wigs, after the Whig Political Party.  Sid had colonial costumes made for them, complete with every detail from head to toe. The costumes were topped off with authentic-looking wigs. The group was a sight to behold. Friedman called Carl Maduri (who later hit with Wild Cherry), and he struck a deal for them with Golden Crest Records, where they enjoyed a second release, "Sweeter Than Wine," and then "Chicken Switch," as the Wigs, in 1964. As the Crescents, and the Wigs, the guys hung around approximately ten years, from 1956 to 1966.

    Songs :

    Sweeter Than Wine                      Chicken Switch



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