Be Bop Wino Pages

Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Rhythm And Blues Hits Past And Present - The Five Keys (King LP 692)

Side One
1. Valley Of Love
2. I Can't Escape From You
3. Wrapped Up In A Dream
4. Will You
5. Do Something For Me
6. No Says My Heart

Side Two
1. Bimbo
2. That's What You're Doing To Me
3. Now I Know I Love You
4. I'll Never Stop Loving You
5. Stop Your Crying
6. Girl You Better Stop It

All sides were recorded in Cincinnati on the 21st and 24th of March, 1960. This was the last session recorded by The Five Keys, who had started out as the gospel group The Sentimental Four in 1945, becoming The Five Keys in 1949, and starting a long recording career in 1951.

In November 2010 I posted the Charly LP “It’s a Groove” which contained 16 sides recorded by The Five Keys for Aladdin and Capitol between 1951 and 1957. The post features an outline of the career of The Five Keys who surely rank as one of the most important vocal groups in the history of R&B, being right up there with The Ravens, The Orioles, The Dominoes, The Clovers and The Drifters.

I came across this 1980s reissue of King LP 692 in the second hand vinyl browser of a Glasgow city centre record shop a couple of months ago. I was rather put off by the price but the prospect of using it in a follow up post to “It’s a Groove” and also finally hearing some of the group’s work on King was too tempting.

The Five Keys signed for Aladdin in 1951 and had a big hit with “Glory Of Love.” Subsequent releases on Aladdin failed to provide a follow up hit, but after signing for Capitol in August 1954 they had further chart success with “Ling Ting Tong,” “Close Your Eyes,” “The Verdict,” “’Cause You’re My Lover” and “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind.”

The last session recorded by The Five Keys for Capitol took place in February 1958, although the group remained signed to the label which released their recordings up until November 1958. Founder member Rudy West left soon after the February session and was soon followed by Ramon Loper. Rudy West was replaced by Thomas Threatt and Ramon Loper was replaced by Charles “Bobby” Crawley.

In July 1959 The Five Keys signed for King Records and recorded their first session for their new label on the 18th, 19th and 20th of August. Before the session, Bobby Crawley left the group and was replaced by former member Dickie Smith on baritone. The Five Keys personnel who recorded for King were: Maryland Pierce, Thomas Threatt, Ripley Ingram, Bernie West and Dickie Smith.

From the August 1959 session four singles were released: “I Took Your Love For A Toy” / “Ziggus” (King 5251), “Dream On” / “Dancing Senorita” (King 5273), “How Can I Forget You” / “I Burned Your Letter” (King 5302) and “Gonna Be Too Late” / “Rosetta” (King 5330). An LP, “The Five Keys” (King LP 688) was released in 1960.

The second and final sessions for King took place in March 1960, resulting in the 12 track LP “Rhythm and Blues Hits Past and Present” with 10 of the tracks also being released on 5 singles. The singles were: “I Didn’t Know” / “No Says My Heart” (King 5358) – “I Didn’t Know” was retitled “Now I Know I Love You” on the LP, “Valley Of Love” / “Bimbo” (King 5398), “You Broke The Only Heart” / “That’s What You’re Doing To Me” (King 5446), “Stop Your Crying” / “Do Something For Me” (King 5496) and “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” / “I Can’t Escape From You” (King 5877). The first two of these singles were released in June and September 1960, the next two in January and May 1961, and the final single wasn’t released until May 1964.

After the move to a pop sound in the Capitol years, the King sessions saw a return to an R&B style by the group. As you can hear from the streamed audio playlist and the download of the full LP, most of these tracks are pretty gutsy, reminding me somewhat of The “5” Royales. When I listened to this LP I was pleasantly surprised as the big band arrangements and girly choruses of the later Capitol recordings had been dropped in favour of tight sax driven R&B backing combos (Sam Taylor?) and hoarse soulful lead vocals.

The full story of The Five Keys can be read on Marv Goldberg’s website at:

This article was also published as a two parter in issues 246 and 247 of Blues and Rhythm magazine.

For the real lowdown on The Five Keys read Unca Marvy!

Download King LP 692 from here:

or from here:


iggy said...

Hey Boogie. Great music, as was so much of the output of the amazing KING label. They seemed especially good with vocal groups like the Keys and the Royales. Thanks so much,


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leeducat said...

Link has issues, so sad

Lonesome Lefty said...

Unfortunately I get the message "Download permission denied by uploader." :-(

boogiewoody said...

Hi MM - I've just listened to the rips, the streamed audio and the LP - not much sign of stereo in any of the plays. I'm a fan of mono! The songs are rather great though, aren't they?

Leeducat - I've just downloaded from the link without any problems. Anyone else not managing to download? I only put up a rapidshare link because a bunch of my mediafire links were taken down recently.

boogiewoody said...

Oops, just got your comment Lonesome. I've turned on direct downloading - maybe that will work. There have been 145 downloads so the link has been working until now.

boogiewoody said...

New link added - download while you can!

Anonymous said...

Look it's simple. If the recorded sound is mono disc will be heard in mono. Addition, the essence of sound is to listen well. Do not understand how some people still do not understand this. Moreover, the sound is fantastic. Excellent work. Thank you. By the way, the links work correctly. Kind regards.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boogiewoody said...

Steady on folks! The record label says stereo, but this is a 1980s repro which I think isn't in stereo. What you hear on the divshare player and the downloaded mp3s is pretty much the way the LP sounds.

bigdaddy said...

Thanks for the blog and the great music! The issue with Rapidshare is they changed the default folder settings from public to private. If you haven't specifically made them public in the permissions they now are locked down. You will need to adjust the permissions for every folder.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks bigdaddy - I've made the necessary adjustment and downloading should be possible again.

sfdoomed said...

Weird that I just got this CD and you posted it around the same day! I enjoyed the information you included in the post (I came across your cool blog while searching info on this album).

It's great to see a quality music blog like Be Bop Wino still going in the sad era of file sharing getting jumped on.


boogiewoody said...

I had no idea that this album was available on CD. File sharing is getting more difficult - a load of mediafire links were taken down because the files were password protected. I'm on the lookout for an alternative to rapidshare if anyone has any suggestions ...

ralph11 said...

I always loved the Five Keys. Thanks for this one.

Unknown said...

Hey man you have got to get some gut-bicket recordings of my Uncle James "Red" Holloway. He died recently after a 60 year career as a tenor sax player. He never made it big. He was always a side man. But he made a decent living.

Unknown said...

Hey man you have got to get some recordings of the gut bucket style of honking on tenor sax my Uncle James "Red" Holloway used to do. He started recording in the 50's and just recently died. All he ever did was play music for a living. He was never a big named leader but he was successful as a side man with a lot of big name leaders.

Unknown said...

We have a local gospel all male singing group that calls themselves "The Five Keys" Rev J.C. Oliver is the leader. I don't see him listed as personnel here. I wondered where they got the name. Now I think I know where he got the name.

voyager said...

Thank you, I really love this