The Crew Cuts were a 50s doo-wop
quartet known for their wholesome squeaky-clean white-boy glee-club image, as implied by their moniker
. The Crew Cuts were brothers John Perkins
) and Ray Perkins
), along with Rudi Maugeri
) and Pat Barrett
The foursome began their singing careers fresh out of high school in 1952 as the Toronto lounge group The Four Tones. Suffice to say, they didn't quit their day jobs. After two years of struggling to gain recognition for their talents, including several name changes, they finally hit the big-time when their agent landed them a spot on a Cleveland television program - The Gene Carroll Show. This brought them to the attention of local radio DJ Bill Randle who helped book them an audition with Mercury Records and also coined their name when he saw their matching haircuts.
The Crew Cuts were essentially one hit wonders, best known today for their 1954 number-one hit "Sh-Boom" which was a cover of the original version by The Chords. Not ones to mess with a successful formula, the lads went on to become cover specialists, helping pioneer the process of stealing black R&B music, sanitizing it for white audiences, and releasing it in wholesome whitebread form, charting several lesser hits in the process. It was a formula that many in the burgeoning Rock 'n Roll scene would follow. The Crew Cuts never matched their early success with "Sh-Boom" however, and soon slipped into obscurity, finally disbanding in 1964. Today none of their other covers, including songs such as "Earth Angel," "Kokomo," and "Young Love," are remembered better than the original versions by other artists.