THE CLOVERS are a great example of how R&B/Doo-wop influenced the birth of Rock and Roll. They started as a Trio in the mid-50's: Harold Lucas, Billy Shelton and Thomas Woods, but became a Quartet with the addition of Lead Singer, John "Buddy" Bailey, At first they called themselves, The Four Clovers, but changed it to just The Clovers.
Since their founding in Washington, DC in 1946 there have been over 20 singers in the group. But what I want to talk about is the prejudice that kept Black Groups off most of the Pop Radio Stations. There was a pocket in the Northeast centered in New York City, where doo-wop was played on the radio by deejays like Alan Freed, and the acts became huge, but the kids in the rest of the country hardly knew it existed until white groups like Dion and the Belmonts came along, and were suitable for Top 40 Radio even in the South.
This particular clip from a Black TV Show called, "Showtime at the Apollo," beautifully restored with augmented sound, is one of the few ways these acts could break through. This is a great song to show the way white singers would steal their material, like the Clover's LOVEY DOVEY, which was covered by a boy from Happy, Texas, named BUDDY KNOX, as a follow up to his big hit in 1957 with a tune called, "Party Doll."
The Clovers recording of "Lovey Dovey" in 1954 went to #2 on the R&B Chart, but was non-existent on the Top 40 because of no radio play, while Buddy Knox's version climbed to #25. But thanks to Chuck, Elvis, Fats and Little Richard by 1959 R&B was breaking through on Top 40 Radio and The Clovers hit #23 on both the Pop and R&B charts with their version of LOVE POTION NUMBER 9.
American's outside the urban areas were discovering fun and cool music that had been right under their noses. In 2002 The Clovers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame, in 2003 The DooWop Hall of Fame, and then the Class of 2013 R&B Hall of Fame. The Clovers were appreciated. (Scott pointed out that Steve Miller lifted a line from this song.) @therealdonrocks
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