George P. Nelson
Lloyd 'Tommy' Gaither Jr.
The Forefathers of R&B.
The Orioles took the popular crooning of the Forties and gave it an edge of soul, setting the stage for rhythm and blues vocal groups.
Deborah Chessler Inducts The OriolesDeborah Chessler Inducts The Orioles at the 1995 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Deborah Chessler Inducts The Orioles00:02:25
The Orioles Acceptance Speech00:05:10
Hall of Fame Essay
The rise of Sonny Til and the Orioles in the late ’40s and early ’50s signaled a major change in American popular music taste, a change that had actually started to take shape in the years just after World War II.
Until that time, the charts were dominated by the vocalists and the big bands of the day - the Dorseys, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Perry Como, Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby and Dick Haymes. But by the last years of the ’40s, even before Alan Freed realized that kids were rocking and rolling, a new sound — but one as old as the blues — was catching on with the American public. It was street-corner harmony.
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