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The Halos were an American doo wop group from The Bronx.
After The Mellows broke up, Arthur Crier formed The Halos. The original group consisted of J. R. Bailey (1st tenor), Harold Johnson (2nd tenor), Al Cleveland (baritone), and Arthur Crier (bass). Al Cleveland was from Pittsburgh and was in New York trying to make it as a singer. As fate would have it, he had been having absolutely no luck and was standing on Broadway waiting to catch a bus to go back home. Arthur and Carl Spencer had been doing some demo work and needed a third voice. As they left the Brill Building, they saw Cleveland and asked him if he could sing!
This Halos group recorded “Nag” (#25 Billboard Hot 100 in 1961) (with J.R. Bailey doing the “nagging sounds”). The flip (b-side of “Nag”), “Copy Cat”, was actually a previously-recorded duet between Arthur and Carl, which had been done for Morty Craft.
J.R. Bailey decided that he didn’t want to travel and was replaced by Phil Johnson, former lead of The Duvals on Kelit and Club. (Bailey later joined The Cadillacs)
While the Halos were riding on the charts with “Nag”, Morty Craft decided to release two sides that the group had cut at the same session. L-O-V-E and Heartbreaking World. However, since the group already had a record going for them, Craft decided to call them the Craftys.
Several more singles followed, none of which reached the same level of chart success. However, the group continued to be busy on the studio scene, cutting several singles with singer Cammy Carol and adding doo wops and harmonies to two early Phil Spector productions, Curtis Lee’s “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” and Gene Pitney’s “Every Breath I Take”. While The Halos would never achieve true stardom, Arthur Crier’s influence as a musician certainly paid off for his family — Crier’s son Sabu Crier was a member of the group GQ, and Crier’s grandson Keith Sabu Crier Jr. would become a major R&B star under the stage name Keith Sweat.
The Halos, besides doing their own material, became a very prolific backup group, interchanging members from session to session. The group often included Carl Spencer, Bobby Spencer, J.R. Bailey, and Gary Morrison. Some of their background work included Curtis Lee (Pretty Little Angel Eyes), Barry Mann (Who Put The Bomp), Ben E. King (Don’t Play That Song), Connie Francis, Tommy Hunt, Bobby Vinton, The Coasters, Brian Hyland, Johnny Nash, Dion, Little Eva, Gene Pitney (Every Breath I Take), Shirley & Lee, Johnny Mathis, and many others too numerous to mention.
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