Personalities | The Orioles | Roots of Rock
(Vocal group, 1948–54)
The Orioles were one of the first R&B vocal groups. Led by vocalist Sonny Til, the Baltimore-based group hit No. 1 in 1948 with ‘It’s Too Soon To Know’, and followed it up with the Top 10 ‘Lonely Christmas’ and ‘Tell Me So’, their second No. 1. In 1950, a car accident would kill guitarist Tommy Gaither and injure singers George Nelson and Johnny Reed, but the group would return with hits like ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’, and ‘Crying In The Chapel’, later covered by Elvis. Til would continue to perform and record with various line-ups until his death in 1981.
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