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The Jive Five

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The Jive Five is an American doo wop group. They are best known for their debut hit single, “My True Story” (1961), and the fact that they outlasted most of their doo wop musical peers, by re-modelling themselves as a soul group in the 1960s and beyond.

The group formed in Brooklyn, New York in the late 1950s with Eugene Pitt, Jerome Hanna, Richard Harris, Thurmon Prophet, and Norman Johnson. The group found success in 1961 with “My True Story” on Beltone Records, which reached No. 3 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart.

The group reorganized following the death of Hanna in 1962 with Pitt, Johnson, Hanna’s replacement Andre Coles, Casey Spencer, and Beatrice Best. They recorded “What Time is It” and “These Golden Rings” for Belltone, before switching to United Artists Records, where they had a hit with “I’m a Happy Man”. In 1970 the group moved to Decca Records and recorded as “The Jyve Fyve”, with Pitt, Spencer, Richard Fisher, and Richard Harris’s brother Webster. They had a minor hit with this name, “I Want You To Be My Baby”, on Decca. They also recorded briefly for Avco Records. They made a 1974 recording for Chess Records as “Shadow”, and a 1975 recording for Columbia Records as “Ebony, Ivory, and the Jades”.

They changed back to “The Jive Five” in 1978. At this time the line-up was Pitt, Spencer, and the returning Beatrice Best and Richard Harris. The group reorganized in 1982, with Pitt, Best, Charles Mitchell, and Pitt’s brothers Herbert and Frank. In the late 1990s, the group was Pitt, Best, Harold Gill, Maurice Unthank, and Art Loria. Daniel Loria came in for Best at times, who was in and out with health issues.

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