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The Pied Pipers

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Biography

This is the name of at least two artists.

1. In the United States, the Pied Pipers were a popular singing group in the late 1930s and 1940s.

2. In Zimbabwe, the Pied Pipers were a popular singing group in the 1970s and 1980s.

The United States group originally consisted of eight members who had belonged to three separate groups: Jo Stafford from The Stafford Sisters, and seven male singers: John Huddleston, Hal Hopper, Chuck Lowry, Bud Hervey, George Tait, Woody Newbury, and Dick Whittinghill, who had belonged to two groups named The Four Esquires and The Three Rhythm Kings. Paul Weston and Axel Stordahl, who were arrangers for Tommy Dorsey’s big band, heard of the group through two of The King Sisters, Alyce and Yvonne. Weston had a jam session at his home and a visiting advertising executive signed the octet for Dorsey’s radio program, broadcast in New York City. They sang with Dorsey’s orchestra for about six weeks before a British representative of the sponsor objected to some of the songs in their repertoire and fired them. They went back to California, but in the time they had been in New York had recorded two records for RCA Victor Records.

The Zimbabwean group began singing together as youths in a ghetto neighborhood. According to The Herald of Zimbabwe, “With time, the five — Fungai Neganje, Chowasi Mdoka, Elisha Hwata, Tendai Masango and Evans Chatew - got more serious and started calling themselves Rhythm and Blues Band.

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