The Rip-Chords

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Chicago doo wop quintet the Rip-Chords formed in 1954 -- according to Marv Goldberg's profile in the April 1979 issue of Goldmine -- lead tenor/songwriter Leon Arnold, first tenor George Vinyard, second…
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Chicago doo wop quintet the Rip-Chords formed in 1954 -- according to Marv Goldberg's profile in the April 1979 issue of Goldmine -- lead tenor/songwriter Leon Arnold, first tenor George Vinyard, second tenor David Hargrove, alto John Gillespie, and bass Lester Martin first performed as the Five Knights of Rhythm. Upon signing with Ted Daniels, a local impresario who also guided the careers of the Calvaes and the Five Thrills, the Five Knights of Rhythm cut a record deal with the Vee-Jay label, in the summer of 1955 cutting a split session with the El Dorados; in truth, however, Vee-Jay was most interested in Arnold's compositional prowess, and while the label never released the group's session, it later issued as an El Dorados cover of Arnold's "Forever Loving You." (His "Lights Are Low" subsequently appeared on another El Dorados disc as well.) The experience upset the Knights so much that they rechristened themselves the Rip-Chords before signing to the local independent label Abco to issue their official debut single "Let's Do the Razzle Dazzle" in 1956 -- when the record barely registered on Chicago radio, the group dissolved. Arnold resurfaced in 1961 with a solo single on the tiny Wes label before quitting the music business for good.