The Crests were probably the most respected and revered doo-wop group by the end of the 1950s. In fact, they were hailed, as not only the first integrated musical group, but the first successful interracial music group. The group’s faces changed frequently shortly after the 60s. However, when the group originally started, there were a two African American males, one Puerto Rican, one Italian, and one African American female. Wow, I had absolutely no idea a woman was in the group 😨.
For many of my younger readers, the group’s name will not “ring a bell.” Perhaps maybe my older readers too, as they have fell in to the realm of obscurity. However, I think you’ll remember their single big hit that cemented their careers once you hear it. The song that put them on the American Billboard map was called “16 Candles!” Then Italian lead singer, Johnny Maestro, took this song to #2 on Top 100 Charts in 1959. You may also remember the song from the movie “16 Candles (1984).” However, it was not sung by The Crests, it was actually covered by a rock group called “The Stray Cats.”
The group’s song “16 Candles” was played and used everywhere. In fact, I’m pretty certain I heard it on one or two episodes of “Happy Days (1974),” which was an extremely popular TV show, that dealt with a lot of normal teenage issues. The Crests had other hits as well. “Step By Step (1960),” “Trouble In Paradise (1960),” and “Six Nights A Week (1959).” However, “16 Candles” remained their biggest and most memorable hit.