Doo Wop Classic
The song “Gloria” was written by Leon René (“When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano, “Someone’s Rocking My Dreamboat”) and sung by many artists. The first to record it was Buddy Baker with vocal by Bob Hayward. In 1946 it was recorded by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers, featuring Charles Brown. In 1948, The Mills Brothers released their version, and it went to #17 on the Pop Charts. There were versions by others, including Ray Anthony, Ronnie Deauville, Buddy Clark, and the Four Gabriels. In 1954, The Cadillacs changed it around (giving credit to their manager Esther Navarro, although that is disputed) and came up with a street-corner vocal harmony classic. In fact, it became one of those songs that new groups used to measure their harmonic abilities. You needed to sound like Earl “Speedo” Carroll. The version by The Cadillacs was never a national hit, although it did well in the New York East Coast region.
The Cadillacs formed in the Harlem section of New York City. They were active from 1953 to 1962. Group members at the time of “Gloria” were Earl Carroll, Laverne Drake, Bobby Phillips, Johnny Willingham, and James Clark. Of course, there were numerous changes in their lineup over the years. The Cadillacs were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. They are known for “Speedoo,” “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeeer, “Peek-A-Boo,” and “What You Bet.”