The Spaniels Biography
The Spaniels were an American R&B and doo-wop group, best known for the hit “Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite”. The original members included: Thornton James “Pookie” Hudson (June 11, 1934 – January 16, 2007), Ernest Warren (December 2, 1933 – May 7, 2012), Willie C. Jackson (died February 18, 2015; aged 79), Opal Courtney Jr. (November 22, 1936 – September 18, 2008), and Gerald Gregory (June 10, 1934 – February 12, 1999). They also started a trend of incorporating tap dance routines in live performances and were one of the first R&B groups to perform with the main singer using one microphone and the rest of the group sharing another. The purity of a sound and manner that is exclusively their own may be heard on several of their a cappella albums. The Spaniels also played a role in the development of Vee-Jay, one of the most successful Black-owned record labels in the nation and a legendary R&B label.
They have been referred to as the first influential Midwestern R&B band. Because the Spaniels invented the practice of having the lead vocalist perform solo at his microphone while the rest of the group shared a second microphone, some vocal group historians believe Pookie Hudson to be the first leader of a vocal group.
Pookie Hudson & The Hudsonaires made their stage debut in late 1952 at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana. They changed their name to The Spaniels and joined the first group of musicians to sign with Vee-Jay Records in April 1953. On May 5, 1953, the trio cut “Baby It’s You,” their debut single. The single, which was released in July, peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard R&B record chart on September 5, 1953.
“Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight” reached No. 24 on Variety’s pop chart in the spring of 1954 and reached No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B chart. On the Chitlin tour, The Spaniels frequently performed at The Apollo, The Regal, and other sizable theaters. Gerald Gregory, the singer for the Bass, aided other doo-wop groups on occasion.
Over the years that followed, the lineup was altered quite a bit. The Spaniels were Vee-best-selling Jay’s vocal ensemble. The band split up in 1966 after the record company declared bankruptcy, but they came back together in 1969 and put out songs like “Fairy Tales” in 1970. When the group’s song “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight” was widely included in the films American Graffiti and Three Men and a Baby, an entire new generation was introduced to their music.
Later, the original group, still located in Gary, and a second Spaniels ensemble, one in Washington, D.C., both performed simultaneously. The Washington, D.C.-based group had an appearance on the PBS series Doo Wop 50 with Pookie Hudson and Joe Herndon.
Gerald Gregory, a bassist, passed away in 1999. On January 16, 2007, at the age of 72, Hudson passed away in Capitol Heights, Maryland, following a protracted battle with cancer. Courtney passed away from a heart attack on September 18, 2008, when she was 71 years old. At the age of 78, Ernest Warren passed away in Gary, Indiana, on May 7, 2012. At the age of 79, Willie C. Jackson passed away from a rare lung condition on February 18, 2015.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Members Of The The Spaniels?
The Spaniels were a doo-wop group from Gary, Indiana. The group was originally formed in 1953, and consisted of members George “Guy” Oldham, Edward “Sonny” Tilghman, Aaron Collins, Wiley Griffin, and Bobby Lewis. The Spaniels are best known for their hit song “Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite”, which reached the top of the R&B charts in 1954. The group continued to have success throughout the 1950s and 1960s with songs like “You Gave Me Peace of Mind”, “I Know”, and “Baby It’s You”. The Spaniels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. The group’s current lineup consists of Oldham, Tilghman, Collins, and Griffin.
Who Was The Lead Singer Of The Spaniels?
Lead singer of the Spaniels was George Wright.
What Genre Is The The Spaniels?
The Spaniels were an American doo-wop group from Gary, Indiana, United States, who were active in the 1950s and early 1960s. They are best known for their songs “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight” and “You Gave Me Peace of Mind”. The group’s membership consisted of lead singer Eugene Pitt, baritone David Tyree, first tenor Jerry Daniels, second tenor Pervis Jackson, and bass singer Spencer Jones. The Spaniels were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2002. They also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
What Is The Spaniels’S Biggest Hit?
The Spaniels’ biggest hit is “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight.” The song was released in 1954 and peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
How Many Albums Did The The Spaniels Release?
The Spaniels released two albums during their career. The first album, entitled “Barking Up the Right Tree,” was released in 1955 and featured the hit single “Goodnight Sweetheart.” The second album, “The Spaniels Sing the Best of Rhythm and Blues,” was released in 1957 and included such classics as “Stormy Weather” and “Fever.