The Crests Starring Tommy Mara


It was 1955 on the lower East side of Manhattan; the music scene was alive with an exciting new sound that had captured the nation's youth - Rock ‘n Roll. Derived from Rhythm and Blues, the mood was expectant as contemporary artists struggled to restructure their sound to take advantage of what was then thought to be little more than another fad

At the same time, a youthful J. T, Carter was busy developing the sound that was to provide the new fad with such a solid foundation that 30 years later Rock 'n Roll historians can point to the creation of “The Crests” as a major milestone in the institutionalization of genre.

One fateful day in 1956 while singing in a New York subway, “The Crests” were discovered. Their meteoric rise in popularity was spurred on by repeated requests to appear on another Rock 'n Roll institution - Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

The original "Crests" consisted of J. T. Carter, Tallmadge Gough, Harold Torres and Patricia Vandross. In late 1956, Vandross, the sister of celebrated singer/composer Luther Vandross, left the group and Johnny Maestro joined. In 1962, the original "Crests" separated and J. T. Carter decided to continue with the “Crests" name and brought in new members. J. T. Carter has been performing with the "Crests" name since that time.

“The Crests” hold an impressive list of credits. Their record sales will soon surpass the 12 million mark. In 1958 “The Crests” recorded a song called "Beside You" on the 'A' side of a single. It wasn't long before the disc jockeys started turning the record over and 'discovered' the B side, a song entitled "Sixteen Candles". The rest, as they say, is 'history'.

"Sixteen Candles” quickly became one of the most memorable ballads of all time. The Crests were 'rediscovered in the late 70's and their music became an important contribution to classic films including “American Graffiti”, later Molly Ringwold was to star in the movie “Sixteen Candles", as the song became the anthem of the American rite of passage into adulthood. Hit followed hit for “The Crests” with songs including "My Juanita", “Sweetest One", "Step by Step", "The Angels Listened In", "Six Nights A Week" and “Trouble in Paradise”. Their credits now consist of 38 chart singles plus three gold albums. “The Crests” hits have become sought after collectibles allover the world.

In recent times “The Crests” have performed throughout the United States including an impressive run in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and a successful 6 month tour of New Zealand. In 1988 “The Crests” replaced the “Contours" for a European tour with “'The Dirty Dancing Tour Co."

Few 1950's groups are fortunate enough to be remembered 30 years after their rise to fame, but "J. T. Carter and “The Crests” have withstood the test of time and continue to bring joy to generations of new fans.

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