Gee – Challenge #176

Members of the crow family, are known as corvids, and they are among the smartest birds in the world. Some are capable of using tools, playing tricks, teaching each other new things, even holding “funerals.” Yet there’s still much we don’t know about these fascinating, sometimes confounding creatures, however this post is about the Doo Wop group from Harlem who achieved commercial success in the 1950s. The group was fronted by Daniel “Sonny” Norton on lead vocals and also included Harold Major (tenor), Bill Davis (baritone), Gerald Hamilton (bass) and Mark Jackson (guitar). Two of the group’s members died at an early age; Hamilton in 1967 at the age of 33 and Norton in 1972 at the age of 39. They formed in 1951 when R&B vocal groups seemed to be springing up on every street corner, alleyway, and subway station in the city and they disbanded in 1955. They sang the hits of the day, adding enough of their own style to give them an edge in the regular vocal battles with other neighborhood aggregations. By January 1954, the Crows had a big hit with their song ‘Gee’, which sold 100,000 copies.

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‘Gee’ byThe Crows was released in June 1953, and many times this song is given credit for being the firstbona fiderock and rollhit by a rock and roll group. Doo Wop was the most popular style of rhythm and blues in the early 1950’s, and manypeople feel that vocal group style of singing was rock and roll, and therefore this vocal group singing, came to be the first music to be called “rock & roll” and it was also the favorite music that teenagers listened to and disc jockeys played. The Crows were adoo-wopgroup, so other people say that since this is a doo-wopsong, it can’t be the first rock and roll record but this argument will have to take place in a different post. ‘Gee’ was written by William Davis and Viola Watkins, and recorded by the Crows on the independent label,Rama Records, atBeltone StudiosinNew York Cityin…

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7 thoughts on “Gee – Challenge #176

    1. Many view the appearance of crows as an omen of death because ravens and crows are scavengers and are generally associated with dead bodies, battlefields, and cemeteries, and they’re thought to circle in large numbers above sites where animals or people are expected to soon die.


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