The Jive Five

The Jive Five was a 60's doo-wop group from Brooklyn. It changed line-ups and changed names from time to time as many groups do, but it was as the Jive Five that this vocal group scored with its only top ten song.

Eugene Pitt was born in 1937 and formed his first group with some friends from school in 1954. It was known as the Genies, with Pitt himself as lead singer. This group's best effort was Who's That Knockin' which reached the lower end of the charts in 1957. The Genies eventually split up, and Eugene looked to form another group somewhere.

In 1959 he joined with Jerome Hanna, Richard Harris, Norman Johnson and Billy Prophet and they used the name the Jive Five. They came up with a song that Pitt had written (co-writing credits went to Oscar Waltzer) about his girlfriend's marriage to his best friend, calling it My True Story. Released on the Beltone label, it became quite popular nationally, rising to number three in 1961. The Jive Five toured with Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars, and had a few more minor hits in the ensuing years with songs such as Never, Never, What Time Is It? and I'm A Happy Man.

The Jive Five kept going, but their popularity had waned and they attempted to gain notice by changing the name of the group several times, to such things as the Shadow, Showdown, and following Johnson's death in 1970, the Jyve Fyve. Billy Prophet stayed with the group but Hanna and Harris left and others were brought in, including brothers Frank and Herbert Pitt, Charles Mitchell, and Beatrice Best. They released an album, Here We Go!, as late as 1982.

Meanwhile two members of Pitt's original group the Genies, Roland Trone and Claude Johnson, went on to have a top ten hit of their own in 1962. Recording as Don & Juan on the Big Top label, their very popular song was What's Your Name.

The Jive Five's signature song My True Story took its place in the annals of 50's/60's doo-wop hits.

Most Recent Update: May 1, 2005

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