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The Crew-Cuts
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The Crew-Cuts

The Crew-Cuts were a Canadian vocal quartet that made a number of popular records that charted in the United States of America.

They were Rudi Maugeri (born January 21, 1931) (baritone), John Perkins (born January 28, 1931) (lead), Ray Perkins (born November 28, 1932) (bass), and Pat Barrett (born September 15, 1933) (tenor), originally all members of the St. Michael's Boys' Choir in Toronto, which also spawned another famous quartet, The Four Lads. Maugeri, John Perkins, and two others who later were among the Four Lads first formed a group called The Jordonaires (not to be confused with a similarly named group, The Jordanaires, that was known for singing Elvis Presley's hits), but they split from the group to finish high school and later joined with Barrett and Ray Perkins in March 1952. The group was originally called The Four Tones (not to be confused with The Four Tunes, a group on the bordereline between pop music and rhythm and blues).

A Toronto disk jockey, Barry Nesbitt, put them on his weekly teen show, whose audience gave the group a new name, The Canadaires. All four of the members were at the time working at jobs with the Ontario government, but quit their jobs to sing full-time. They worked clubs in the Niagara Falls, Ontario area, but saved up their money and drove to New York City, so they could appear on Arthur Godfrey's television/radio program, Talent Scouts, where they came in second. This led to no improvement in their fortune, however, and they continued playing minor night clubs.

In March 1953, they returned to Toronto and appeared as a backup act for Gisele MacKenzie. She was impressed with them and commented favorably to her record label, but could not remember the group's name!

They were playing in a Sudbury, Ontario night club in a sub-zero Canadian winter when they received notice that they had been invited to appear as a guest on a Cleveland television program. They drove 600 miles at -40° temperatures to appear on the Gene Carroll show, and also, while in Clevelend, met local disk jockey Bill Randle. On his show, on Cleveland AM radio station WERE, he coined the name that would from that point on belong to the group. In addition, Randle arranged for them to audition with Mercury Records, who liked them enough to sign the quartet to a contract.

Although their first hit, "Crazy 'Bout You, Baby," was written by Maugeri and Barrett themselves, they quickly became specialists in cover recordings of originally-R&B songs. Their first cover, "Sh-Boom" (of which the R&B original was recorded by The Chords) hit #1 on the charts in 1954. A number of other hits followed.

Interestingly, many of the non-cover songs of theirs that became hits in Canada were unknown in the United States of America, while it was only their covers that had great success in the USA.

The group moved from Mercury to RCA Records in 1958 and eventually broke up in 1964, but they all moved to the USA and reunited in Nashville, Tennessee in 1977. In the 1990s they were inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame.

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