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Harmony-pop vocal group the Vogues were formed in 1960 by lead baritone Bill Burkette, baritone Don Miller, first tenor Hugh Geyer, and second tenor Chuck Blasko, who were all high school friends from Turtle Creek, PA. Originally dubbed the Val-Aires, the foursome eventually signed to the tiny Co & Ce label, reaching the number four spot in the autumn of 1965 with "You're the One"; the Vogues' most memorable hit, the classic "Five O'Clock World," cracked the Top Five before the year ended as well. Two more Top 40 entries, "Magic Town" and "The Land of Milk and Honey," followed in 1966, and when the group resurfaced in 1968 with the Top Ten smash "Turn Around, Look at Me," they had jumped to major label Reprise. The single, the Vogues' lone million-seller, anticipated the lighter, more sophisticated approach of subsequent hits like "My Special Angel," "Till," and "No, Not Much." Despite no further chart action from 1970 onward, various Vogues lineups continued touring oldies circuits for years to come.
The Vogues are an American vocal group from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. The original group consisted of Bill Burkette (lead baritone), Don Miller (baritone), Hugh Geyer (first tenor) and Chuck Blasko (second tenor).
They are best known for their chart topping singles "Five O'Clock World", "Magic Town", and "Turn Around, Look at Me". In addition to touring the world, the group appeared on American Bandstand, The Tonight Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.
The group, originally named the Val-Aires, formed in 1958 at Turtle Creek High School. They signed with Pittsburgh manager Elmer Willet, who produced their first recording release "Which One Will It Be / Laurie My Love". DJ Porky Chedwick became a supporter booking the group for his rock and roll shows and record hops. Porky put them on bills with the Drifters, the Platters, and the Dells. Clark Race of KDKA radio promoted the group on his KDKA TV dance show. Having strong regional sales it was picked up for national distribution by Coral Records.
After high school, several members of the group joined the Army while others went to college. A few years later with their enlistments completed and degrees in hand, they decided to record again. They pitched in $100 apiece to record a demo tape. They hired Nick Cenci, who had broken Lou Christie, to produce the recording. In 1965 Nick Cenci produced recording sessions for the Val-Aires at Gateway Studios in Pittsburgh. The band recorded vocals for a cover of the Petula Clark song "You're The One." It was released on the bands own Blue Star label. Nick Cenci persuaded John Rook, program director of KQV to play the single. With local airplay and sales Nick signed them to the Co & Ce label as the "Vogues". He had the single distributed nationally. The song became a national hit reaching number four on the Billboard charts. Later in 1965 Cenci produced another Vogues recording session giving the world the no. 4 Billboard hit "Five O'Clock World".
In 1966 Co & Ce Records released the singles "Magic Town", which reached no. 21 in February, and the no. 29 "The Land of Milk and Honey". The singles "Summer Afternoon" and "Lovers Of The World Unite" were released on Co & Ce in 1967. Co & Ce leased the Vogues to Reprise Records (distributed by Warner Bros.) where they scored a no. 7 hit with the song "Turn Around, Look at Me" (#7). They continued to hit the charts with cover versions of "My Special Angel", "Till" ,"No, Not Much", "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)", "Moments To Remember," and Green Fields".
From 2004 until 2006, original member Hugh Geyer toured with Blasko's group in the 14 Western Pennsylvania counties that Blasko's group was permitted to tour in. This limitation on Blasko's group was awarded to him by a Pennsylvania court. After creative differences with Blasko, Geyer left that group at the end of 2006.
In March of 2007, Geyer joined the national touring group of The Vogues of "trademark" owner Stan Elich. Geyer continued to perform with this group until his retirement in December 2012.
In May of 2008, original lead vocalist Bill Burkette joined Geyer in touring the USA with the "trademark" Vogues. The members of this group included Burkette, Geyer, group owner Stan Elich, Troy Elich and Jim Campagna. Stan Elich died in December 2010. His son Troy now owns the trademark "The Vogues".
The Vogues current lineup as of January 2013 are, Bill Burkette, Troy Elich and Royce Taylor. Taylor had previously been a member of The Vogues from 1991–1997. Armand DeMille, who was a member of The Vogues from 1988–1991, also does some shows with the current lineup. Current band members are Tom Lamb (guitar and musical director), Artie Deleonardis (drums), Dean Mastrangelo (keyboards), and Rich Gooch (bass).
The original group made many TV appearances in the 1960s, including The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig, The Red Skelton Show, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, American Bandstand, Hullabaloo and several appearances on The Mike Douglas Show.
The original group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 251. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. https://sites.google.com/site/pittsburghmusichistory/pittsburgh-music-story/doo-wop/te-vogues VGHF Inductees list