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The Orioles

The Orioles were an American R&B and doo-wop group, one of the earliest such vocal bands. Sonny Til formed the band in Baltimore with Alexander Sharp, George Nelson, Johnny Reed and Tommy Gaither and called the group The Vibranaires. A local shopkeeper and songwriter named Deborah Chessler who became the manager for the Vibranaires. They soon signed to It's a Natural Records and released "It's Too Soon to Know" (1948) that became a huge R&B hit and was one of the first "race" songs to cross over into mainstream markets.

1949 saw a series of singles by the Orioles, as they had become known as, including "Tell Me So", "Forgive and Forget" and "(It's Gonna Be A) Lonely Christmas". Gaither died and Nelson and Reed were severely injured in a 1950 accident. Nelson quit and Gaither were replaced by Gregory Carroll and Ralph Williams. This new line-up had several hits in the mid to late 1950s, including "Crying in the Chapel" and their final big hit, "In the Mission of St. Augustine". By 1954, Sharp and Reed had left to join The Ink Spots and Til continued performing and recording until he died in 1981. The Orioles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.