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The Crests

The Crests were an American, New York R&B doo-wop group, formed by bass vocalist J. T. Carter in the mid 1950s. Their most popular song, "16 Candles," rose to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959, selling over one million copies, earning a gold disc.[1] The interracial group had three black members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian-American.

The band was founded by J. T. Carter and included Talmoudge Gough, Harold Torres, and Patricia Van Dross (older sister of Luther Vandross Sr. father of R&B great Luther Vandross). Carter found lead vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (later just Johnny Maestro). The group had several Top 40 hits in the 1950s, including "Sixteen Candles", "In the Still of the Nite", "Step By Step" and "The Angels Listened In". They also charted (barely, at #86) for "Sweetest One" b/w "My Juanita" in 1957 on the Joyce label.
Maestro left for a solo career in 1960. He would later join The Del Satins, which would become Brooklyn Bridge. They had a Top 40 hit with "The Worst That Could Happen" in 1968. His place was taken by new lead James Ancrum. The group recorded a new single, "Little Miracles." It was the first single not to chart in the top 100. Gough quit the group after the single, and was replaced by Gary Lewis (not the same as Gary Lewis & the Playboys). The group failed to find success throughout the decade.
Van Dross and Torres would also be gone by the late 1960s. The group continued as a trio of Carter, Ancrum, and Lewis. This lineup continued until 1978, when the group split. Carter went on to sing with Charlie Thomas' Drifters.
Carter then reformed the group in 1980. He auditioned over 200 singers, finally settling on lead Bill Damon, Greg Sereck, and Dennis Ray and New York drummer Jon Ihle. Carter continued the group well into the 1990s. He sold the trademarks to the Crests name to Tommy Mara in the late 1990s. He now performs as part of the three person group Starz. Mara was lead vocalist at the time, and now continues the group without Carter. Lewis is now singing with The Cadillacs.
The 1984 John Hughes teen movie, Sixteen Candles, took its title from The Crests' song, which was re-recorded by The Stray Cats for the Sixteen Candles soundtrack.


50s, 60s Hits

16 Candles
The Angels Listened To


Earth Angel

Members of this Group




mr mustang


The Bee




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