The Nutmegs Biography

The Nutmegs comprised lead Leroy Griffin, first tenor James ‘Sonny’ Griffin, second tenor James Tyson, baritone Billy Emery and bass Leroy McNeil. The group was formed in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, in 1954. The Nutmegs are famed for just two records, ‘Story Untold’ (number 2 R&B) and the follow-up, ‘Ship Of Love’ (number 13 R&B), both from 1955. The songs, with their exotic warbling, are a working definition of ‘rockaballad’, a valuable term of the era that anticipated the rock ‘n’ roll revolution. Most notable among the lesser songs are ‘Whispering Sorrows’, ‘My Story’, and the west coast-sounding ‘My Sweet Dream’. Surviving less well in the Nutmegs’ canon were the rock ‘n’ roll jumps, which were mostly routine. After several years of declining fortunes and many personnel changes, the group broke up in 1962. The Nutmegs were one of the cult groups of the east coast collecting scene, and during the early 60s, a cappella practice versions of their songs launched a craze for a cappella doo-wop recordings. The group, without lead Leroy Griffin (who died years earlier), worked the doo-wop revival circuit on the east coast during the 70s.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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