Billy Ward (September 19, 1921 - February 16, 2002) and his Dominoes were one of the most successful R&B groups of the early 1950s.
They recorded the song "Sixty Minute Man" on December 30, 1950, which is regarded as one of the earliest rock and roll recordings. At the time of recording, the lineup featured Clyde McPhatter (lead tenor), Charlie White (tenor), Joe Lamont (baritone), and Bill Brown (bass) with Billy Ward functioning as composer, arranger, and singer.
Though Clyde McPhatter typically sang the lead on their songs, "Sixty Minute Man" features bass, Bill Brown, at the forefront.
However, Billy Ward's insistence on military-like drills and precision caused fractures in the group. Charlie White would leave the group in September 1951, followed by Bill Brown in February 1952. Together, they would form another group called the "Checkers". By April 1952, record labels would read "Billy Ward and His Dominoes".
Clyde McPhatter and Joe Lamont would leave in April 1953. McPhatter would go on to form his highly successful group, "The Drifters". Jackie Wilson would replace him as lead tenor with his powerful voice opening a new era for The Dominoes.
By January 6, 1955, the lineup consisted of Jackie Wilson, Prentice Moreland, Milton Merle, and Cliff Givens with Billy Ward as the only original member of the Dominoes. They recorded an answer song to their previous hit as "Can't Do Sixty No More" using the same melody.
Coincidentally, Prentice Moreland was part of another group called the Du-Droppers who recorded an earlier version of "Can't Do Sixty No More" in 1952. Despite the identical titles, the earlier song was written by the group's lead tenor, J.C. Ginyard.
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- The Dominoes Part 1 By Marv Goldberg - Based on interviews with David McNeil, Milton Grayson, Monroe Powell, Al Anderson, Lou Ragland, and Robbie Robinson