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Best of Maurice Williams & Zodiacs
Maurice Williams & Zodiacs
Best of Maurice Williams & Zodiacs
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs


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All Artists: Maurice Williams & Zodiacs
Title: Best of Maurice Williams & Zodiacs
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collectables
Release Date: 8/17/1994
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Style: Oldies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090431502129


Album Description
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

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CD Reviews

A True Victim Of The Practice Of "Covers"
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When those black artists from the mid to late Fifties and early Sixties get together to discuss their plight when it came to "cover" versions of their songs, Maurice Williams probably has the biggest beef of them all.

From Lancaster, South Carolina, Maurice, along with Earl Gainey, William Massey, Willie Jones, and Norman Wade formed The Gladiolas and, after winning a local talent contest in 1955, signed with the small Excello Records label in Nashville. After several unsuccessful singles they released the Williams-penned Little Darlin' b/w Sweetheart Please Don't Go in 1957.

Rising to # 11 R&B in April, the A-side was kept from the Billboard Top 40 (#41) and Top 10 R&B only by the cover version rushed out by The Diamonds for the bigger - and more influential - Mercury label which went all the way to # 2 Billboard Top 100 AND # R&B. Even worse, The Diamonds stole their arrangement AND sound. Although not in this compilation, both sides by The Gladiolas can be found in the excellent CD Excello Vocal Groups.

When subsequent singles failed to chart, Williams left Excello in 1959 and moved north to New York where he re-formed his group and got a contract with another small independent, Herald Records. Calling themselves Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, replacing the other Gladiolas were Willie Bennett, Henry Gordon, Charles Thomas, Albert Hill, and Little Willie Morrow.

Their first hit was Stay b/w Do You Believe, and the wailing falsetto on the A-side took it to # 1 Billboard Hot 100 and # 3 R&B in November 1960. They retained the sound for their next minor hits - I Remember (# 86 Hot 100 in January 1961) and Come Along (# 83 Hot 100 the following April), but by 1962 their new sound had emerged with another group backed by a much larger label.

The Four Seasons had arrived on Vee-Jay and not only did they push Williams and his group off the Pop charts, they added insult to injury by sending four of their early hit to high positions on the R&B charts. Then, in 1964, they recorded their own version of Stay which sounds like it was cloned from the Zodiacs rendition, going to # 16 Hot 100.

After the breakup of his second group, Williams went on to record as a solo artist for Veep, Scepter (the Dionne Warwick label) and Atco without further singles success."