THE RIVIERAS–“MOONLIGHT COCKTAILS”

Hello,  The Rivieras are an excellent harmony vocal group.  Their smooth sound and wonderful selection of classic songs brought them to the head of the class for a short period of time between 1958 and 1960.  Member included, Homer Dunn-lead vocals, Andy Jones, Ronald Cook and Charles Allen.  The Rivieras formed in 1957.  Homer Dunn had sung with the recording group, The Bob-O-Links on OKeh Records in 1953.

They were seen at a party performing by the manager of The Avons.  He thought they had that Broadway sound and recommended that they change their name to the Four Arts.  They worked clubs for two years under the Four Arts name.  One day they met a talent scout, who became their manager and changed their name to the El Rivieras.  George Fix, manager of The Ames Brothers invited the group to audition.  He enjoyed their R&B style and took them to meet George Paxton, owner of Coed Records.  He listened to them sing and signed them to a three-year recording contract.

On August 25, 1958 the group, now being called The Rivieras charted their first national hit record.  COUNT EVERY STAR, sung in their distinctive, R&B, Doo-Wop style climbed the Billboard Top 100, reaching #73. The group was on their way.  Their next hit came in February of 1959, MOONLIGHT SERENADE, would be The Rivieras biggest hit, climbing to #47 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 11 weeks.  The Glenn Miller classic was on the charts again…this time in an R&B style and it was grand.  In July of 1959 they would release OUR LOVE, but it did not chart.  It did reach the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #103.

A new decade and The Rivieras were back on the Hot 100.  In January of 1960 their last Hot 100 hit made its debut.  SINCE I MADE YOU CRY reached #93.  Their were other great sides by the group, like MOONLIGHT COCKTAILS, that failed to reach the national charts.  By 1961 Coed Records was on their way out and The Rivieras, who had not had a hit in some time disappeared into the history of rock and roll.

Moonlight Cocktails, although it did not become a Hot 100 hit, it did chart at #103 on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart, has been called The Rivieras signature song.  It is a perennial favorite of oldies fans all over the world.  This wonderful group turned out some of the best R&B/Doo-Wop music in a short period of time.  They have earned their place in the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.

SEE A VIDEO OF THE RIVIERAS ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.

Till the next time—Joe

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