The Crew Cuts

Crew Cut Capers

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The Crew Cuts are remembered for their covers of R&B hits, but they could also lay down their barbershop harmonies for pop standards and teen ballads alike. They are criticized for allegedly undermining the sales potential of the singles they covered, but no one would mistake the Crew Cuts' pop-oriented renditions for the R&B originals -- they were clearly intended for different audiences. The album Crew Cut Capers precedes their hit "Sh-Boom" and features as many pop standards as youth offerings like "Blue Jean Gal." There are no R&B covers but their first hit, "Crazy 'Bout Ya Baby," sounds like an R&B song and shows that the group had a preexisting affinity for that kind of material. The Crew Cuts didn't dive into rock & roll until "Sh-Boom" topped the charts, so Crew Cut Capers is standard pop vocal group fare full of pop oldies and contemporary compositions designed to rope in a broad audience. The upbeat numbers have brassy, big-band arrangements that wouldn't be confused for rock & roll, and the teeny bopper cuts receive traditional pop interpretations so as not to unduly rankle the old folks. That would soon change with the release of Crew Cuts albums like Rock and Roll Bash.