Hello,  The Jive Five were an R&B vocal group from Brooklyn, New York.  Their lead singer Eugene Pitt gave the group their very distinctive sound.  Members also included, Jerome Hanna, Billy Prophet, Richard Harris and Norman Johnson.

Their first hit is the classic “MY TRUE STORY” on Beltone Records.  “My True Story” entered the Billboard Hot 100 on July 3, 1961 and was a huge hit.  Just on the pop chart alone the record spent 19 weeks as it climbed to #3.  The popularity of this great record was not just limited to the pop chart as it also was a #1 record on the Billboard R&B chart, staying at the top for 3 weeks. This song is a regular on oldies radio and is considered one of the great doo-wop songs of all time. 

In November of ’61 the group charted “NEVER, NEVER”  it reached #74 and was only on the Hot 100 for 6 weeks.  It would be September of 1962 when The Jive Five charted their next pop hit.  “WHAT TIME IS IT?” a very good record with a great vocal by Eugene Pitt, climbed to #67. It would go on to become a doo-wop classic.

In 1964 the group changed its sound to be more of a soul band.  The new line up included , Eugene Pitt, Norman Johnson, Casey Spencer, Webster Harris and Beatrice Best.  The new line up, now on United Artists Records recorded another big hit, “I’M A HAPPY MAN”.  Their record hit the charts on April 14, 1965 and peaked at #36.  In 1966 they left United Artists after just one Top 40 hit and signed with Musicor Records.  On Musicor they charted a 1968 R&B hit, “SUGAR (Don’t Take Away My Candy)”.

In 1970 after the passing of Norman Johnson the groups name was changed to “JYVE FYVE”.  They continued to record for small labels during the 1970’s, but never had another hit.  In the 1980’s they recorded for, Ambient Sound Records and made some good music but had no chart success.  The Jive Five are listed as having 4 of the greatest doo-wop records by Gribin/Schiff in their “must have” book,  “The Complete Book Of Doo-Wop”.  Those songs are, “MY TRUE STORY”-1961, “NEVER, NEVER”-1961, “THESE GOLDEN RINGS”-1962 and “WHAT TIME IS IT”-1962, all of these records were on Beltone Records.

To Eugene Pitt and The Jive Five, thanks for the great music.

Till the next time—Joe


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