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About The Del Vikings The Del Vikings recorded Jitterbug Mary under the name Del Tones and the song never entered the top 40; it "bubbled under," as Billboard magazine use to phrase it. As jocks played the tune on weekend doo-wop blocks on oldies radio stations, the song became a classic. Oldies Television was fortunate to unearth the clip of the Del Vikings singing the tune on, we believe, on Ed Sullivan's Sunday night CBS show, then called Toast Of The Town. The clip had no lead in or out. Some differ that it was The Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Show on NBC, which gave unknown rock & roll performers (including Elvis Presley) their first appearance

With The Del Vikings' first appearance on "The Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey Show," the Dorsey weekly variety series which also presented Tony Williams & The Platters, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers. So it would be fair to say that the swing era bandleaders, on long before Dick Clark and Alan Freed, were the first to present back street harmony R&B (a/k/a Doo Wops) to a national audience, albeit host/producer Al Jarvis at WOOK-TV ch 49 was doing it locally on UHF via a black version of the early 50's lily white dance shows on other area independent stations. Jarvis, as well as Alan Freed, turned America on to the original R&B versions ripped off in Boone/Crew Cuts pop music covers. Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey, who always paid tribute to swing music pioneers such as Duke Ellington, recognized, we would say, the great harmony of streetcorner created groups and songs. Doo Wop, as well as R&B and Rock & Roll, is here to stay. Next: Del Vikings Bio.

While "Jitterbug Mary" may be one of the lesser known songs by the De; Vikings, no one, not even those into Oldies but not Doo Wops, would not remember their catchy hit, Come Go With Me

Members changed from time to time, but The Del Vikings crooners include Donald "Gus" Backus (born c. 1942 in Southhampton, Long Island, NY), Chuck Jackson (born on July 22, 1937, in Winston-Salem, North CarolinaC), Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson (born c. 1933 in Cambridge, Maryland-er lost him June 22, 1990); Dave Lerchey (born c. 1946 in New Albany, Indiana), Clarence Quick (born c. 1944 in Brooklyn, New York), Norman Wright (born on October 31, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
After a few lackluster charting releases, The Del Vikings finally reached the national top ten with Come Go with Me and Whispering Bells

The group, however, had more than a fair share of dissension among the members. Their manager attempted to break theot contract with Fee Bee Records, a small independent, because most of the members except Johnson were minors when the record contract was executed. Apparently, a court agreed, because they went to Chicago giantMercury Records. To add to the mix, Whispering Bells was released "split label: (a common practice in the late 50's and 60's, for whatever reason) and was released in 1957 by Dot Records (who usually released "white" versions of "race" music (a la Pat Boone's awful rendition of Little Richard's Tutti Fruittu). Followups Willette, "I Want to Marry You, barely broke Billboard's national top 100. An almost re-staffed Del Vikings (Backus, Blakely, Lerchey, along with original members Quick, and Wright) released Cool Shake, "Sunday Kind of Love on the Mercury label. Ultimately, a federal judge awarded the name Del Vikings to Mercury.

But Who are The Deltones??? When we received the 16mm film transfer of Jitterbug Mary kinescope from a then monochrome CBS Toast Of The Town (early Ed Sullivan)
the leader read The Deltones whom visitors from the MSN Doo Wop fan group
told us they were actually The Del Vikings. Apparently, the Del Vikings first performed locally as The Deltones, sort of like those Jersey Boys, The Four Lovers who became The Four Seasons when Bob Crew came calling with the hot record deal.
Remember, there's more Video Doo Wops on the Oldies Television Video Juke Box,
the ORIGINAL performances, not re-stages. BTW: Before Dion teamed up with The Belmonts, The Del Vikings backed him for a few Morris Levy Roulette cuts. Typical of Levy, who was convicted of Federal Tax Fraud charges, The Del Vikings received no credits...or royalties.

Don't forget to check out ch81 Doo Wop Boulevard here at Oldies Television.



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8.11.2012 Hubcap jr TX Doo Wop & Del Vikings forever!!!!!!!!!



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