The Five Keys were from Newport News, Virginia.
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Let us set the stage: It is late in the 1940s in Newport News, Virginia, and two sets of brothers find friendship in singing sweet songs for their neighbors and friends. These boys are the Ingrams (Ripley and Raphael) and the Wests (Rudy and Bernie). They formed the band under the name The Sentimental Four, but as life would have it, one of the Ingram brothers had to leave the band. Maryland Pierce and Thomas "Dickie" Threatt auditioned for this rhythm and blues band and replaced Ingram. This was when they realized "The Sentimental Four" had to be changed, and they all decided on "The Five Keys."
In 1951, The Five Keys were signed to Aladdin Records. In 1952, Rudy West left the band to join the United States Army. Ulysses K. Hicks replaced Rudy but perished from a heart attack three years later. Rudy came back around the time Hicks passed away and was asked to come back to the Five Keys.
Courtesy of soulwalking.co.uk
In 1954, The Five Keys were signed to Capitol Records, and they grew in popularity. Ramon Loper also joined the band in 1954. They recorded two of their six albums with Capitol, The Five Keys on Stage in 1957 and The Fantastic Five Keys in 1962. They went on to produce more albums, such as The Best of the Five Keys, The Five Keys on the Town, The Five Keys,
and Rhythm and Blues Hits Past and Present.
Four of their songs hit the U.S. Hot 100 Charts, and seven of their songs also charted on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list. "The Glory of Love," a song they recorded in 1951, made it to the top of the Hot R&B list, while "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," recorded in 1956, hit No. 23 on the Hot 100 charts.
What is your favorite Virginia musician? What is your favorite Five Keys song? What are other weird facts about "The 757" that you want us to explore? Tell us in the comments!