152. The Penguins, 'Earth Angel'
Writers: Jesse Belvin, Curtis Williams
Producer: Dootsie Williams
Released: Dec. '54, Dootone
15 weeks; No. 8
Crudely recorded in a garage and released on a small label, "Earth Angel" turned out to be a pivotal record in the early development of rock & roll. The artless, unaffected vocals of the Penguins, four black high schoolers from L.A., defined the street-corner elegance of doo-wop. The Penguins' version also outsold a sanitized, big-label cover by schmaltzy white group the Crew-Cuts.
Appears on: Earth Angel (Ace)