The Orioles

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Deborah Chessler
  • Category:
    Early Influences


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.


Hall of Fame Essay


Jerry Blavat

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.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1995
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