The Inspirators

Top Songs & Albums The Inspirators

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... read moreThe Inspirators were among the myriad doo wop groups to emerge from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. According to Marv Goldberg's profile in the March 1997 issue of Discoveries, lead Cleo Perry, first tenor William Massey, second tenor Clifton Johnson, baritone Barney Fields, and bass...

Key songs

The Inspirators
Oh What A Feeling
2:12
The Inspirators
Starlight Tonight
2:13
The Inspirators
Oh What A Feeling In My Heart
2:12
The Inspirators
Three Sixty
2:30
The Inspirators
If Loving You Is Wrong
2:52

Biography

Active: 1950s
Country Of origin: United States of America

The Inspirators were among the myriad doo wop groups to emerge from Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. According to Marv Goldberg's profile in the March 1997 issue of Discoveries, lead Cleo Perry, first tenor William Massey, second tenor Clifton Johnson, baritone Barney Fields, and bass Buster Boyce were all high-school students when they began their collaboration in 1949. Inspired by local heroes including the Velours and the Strangers, the Inspirators were a regular presence on the Brooklyn club circuit and placed second during their lone appearance at the Apollo Theater's renowned amateur showcase, but their career remained stuck in neutral until the mid-'50s, when they became fixtures of the neighborhood surrounding New York's famed songwriting capital the Brill Building. While harmonizing on the street corner, the quintet captured the attention of Treat Records general manager Larry Newton, who extended a contract offer. The Inspirators' debut single, "If Loving You Is Wrong," hit retail in April 1955 but attracted little attention. For reasons unknown, Newton credited the follow-up, "Let's Fall in Love," to the Five Stars, but it too failed to catch on at radio. The Inspirators returned to Treat to cut several additional sessions, all of which remain unreleased. Newton finally terminated the group's contract in early 1958, and at mid-year their final single, "Starlight Tonight," appeared on the Old Town label. Its failure essentially spelled the Inspirators' demise, although Perry later toured clubs and the Catskills as a solo act, cutting singles for Dot under the aliases Lee Perry and Perry Lee. ~ Jason Ankeny~ Rovi

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