The Penguins

Genres: Doo Wop Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Tags: doo wop 50s oldies soul rnb Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: allmusic biography biography discogs lyrics lyrics other databases wikidata wikipedia


Formed in 1954 in Fremont High School, Los Angeles, California, USA, the Penguins were one of the most important R&B vocal groups from the west coast in the early 50s. Their hit ballad ‘Earth Angel’ remains one of the most fondly recalled ‘doo-wop’ recordings. The group comprised lead vocalist Cleveland ‘Cleve’ Duncan (23 July 1935, Los Angeles, California, USA), Bruce Tate (baritone), Curtis Williams (first tenor) and Dexter Tisby (second tenor). Williams learned ‘Earth Angel’ from Los Angeles R&B singer Jesse Belvin, and passed it on to his group. Some sources give co-writing credit to Williams, Belvin and Gaynel Hodge, a member of vocal group the Turks. Hodge won a 1956 lawsuit recognizing his role in the writing of the song. However, most reissues of ‘Earth Angel’ still list only either Belvin, Williams or both. The Penguins, who took their name from a penguin on a cigarette packet, signed with the local...

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