Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!


Earth Angel

First recorded by The Penguins (R&B #1 1954).
Other hit versions by The Crew Cuts (US #3/UK #4 1955), Gloria Mann (US #18 1955), New Edition (US #21/R&B #3 1985).

From the wiki: “The recording sounds so simple, and it is: four voices and a piano. It first aired on the radio before the records were even pressed, and the immediate and massive reaction it received forced the group to release the recording “as-is” without the additional embellishment and orchestration that had been originally planned. ‘Earth Angel’ became one of the blueprints for Doo-wop; the second such recording to hit the Top 10 (after The Chords’ ‘Sh-Boom’). The Penguins were four high school students from Fremont High in Los Angeles, and they recorded ‘Earth Angel’ in a garage and released it on a small black-owned label called Dootone Records. The recording became the first independent label release to appear on Billboard’s national pop charts.

“‘Earth Angel’ was first issued as the B-side of another song titled ‘Hey Senorita’ but DJs flipped the record and ‘Earth Angel’ became the hit, landing The Penguins a major label record deal with Mercury Records. The group never had another hit, although a re-release of ‘Earth Angel’ in 1960 ‘bubbled under’ at #101. It wasn’t the worst deal for Mercury Records, however, as the Penguins were managed by Buck Ram who, as part of the deal, insisted that Mercury also sign another of his acts: The Platters.”

The Crew Cuts, “Earth Angel” (1955):

Gloria Mann, “Earth Angel” (1955):

New Edition, “Earth Angel” (1985):

Comments are closed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.