The Vogues were a highly acclaimed pop vocal group from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania with tightly-knit harmonies and a flair for rock, folk, and blue-eyed soul that became famous beginning in the mid 1960s. They had their greatest hits in 1965 with "You're The One" and the era-defining "Five O'Clock World" which was later used as an opening theme on "The Drew Carey Show." By the late 1960s, The Vogues had also become well known for their smooth renditions of such oldies classics as "Turn Around, Look At Me," "My Special Angel," and "Till."
Formed in 1958 while all the members were still in high school, the group's lineup consisted of Hugh Geyer (first tenor), Chuck Blasko (second tenor), Don Miller (baritone), and lead baritone Bill Burkette (September 17, 1942 - March 1, 2018). Originally known as The Val-Aires, they released their first single in 1959, "Which One Will It Be," and performed widely at various local Pittsburgh-area events. After completing high school, some members went off to college while the rest joined the Army, and by the early 1960s, the foursome had regrouped and enlisted the help of producer/promoter Nick Cenci who was instrumental in Lou Christie's early career success. They landed a contract soon after with the Co & Ce label and became known as The Vogues.
The Vogues debuted on the Pop/Rock charts in 1965 with the upbeat Petula Clark/Tony Hatch-penned "You're The One," which became a Top 5 hit. This smash was followed later that year by the group's signature song, "Five O'Clock World" (1965), an Allen Reynolds-penned blue-eyed soul rocker which also made the Pop/Rock Top 5. The Vogues had two Top 40 hits in 1966 with "Magic Town" and "The Land Of Milk And Honey," followed by several minor hits through the mid 1960s.
In 1968, The Vogues had a resurgence in popularity and a change in style to one more reminiscent of an earlier era with their Top 10 versions of Glen Campbell's "Turn Around, Look At Me" and Bobby Helms' "My Special Angel," the latter of which topped the Adult Contemporary chart. Their long string of hits, which continued on both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts through 1974, also included "Woman Helping Man" (1969) and their renditions of such ca. 1950s hits as Percy Faith's "Till" (1968), The Penguins' "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" (1969), The Four Lads' "No, Not Much" (1969), and The Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You" (1970). The Vogues' final charting song came in 1974 with their cover of the 1946 Perry Como #1 hit, "Prisoner Of Love."
During their peak in commercial fame, The Vogues toured actively worldwide and made numerous TV appearances on such shows as "American Bandstand," "The Ed Sullivan Show," and "The Tonight Show." The original Vogues quartet remained intact through the group's hitmaking years until Hugh Geyer left in 1973, followed by Don Miller in 1974, with many personnel changes thereafter. Bill Burkette left The Vogues in 1983, leaving Chuck Blasko as the only original member.
Problems began for The Vogues after their manager trademarked and sold the rights to their name, which led to several other groups performing under that moniker. After an unsuccessful legal battle, original members Chuck Blasko and Bill Burkette did not win back the full rights to The Vogues name, and Blasko's group was restricted to being able to perform under that moniker in only 14 Western Pennsylvania counties, with the "trademark" group able to perform everywhere else in the world as The Vogues. Burkette and Hugh Geyer later served at various times as members of Blasko's Vogues and/or the "trademark" Vogues group.
The original Vogues quartet was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.
- Hugh Geyer describes Chuck Blasko's and Bill Burkette's thorny legal battle over the rights to The Vogues' name and discusses the history of the group in an interview with Gary James of classicbands.com (ca. 2010).
- For more info about Chuck Blasko and his current projects, visit chuckblasko.com.
- Vintagevinylnews.com remembers Vogues lead singer Bill Burkette.
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- Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine) 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Crew-Cuts (1955), the Penguins (1955), Gloria Mann (1955), and Johnny Tillotson (1960) and later also became a hit for New Edition (1986).)
- Five O'Clock World 1965
- Green Fields 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Brothers Four (1960, as "Greenfields").)
- Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye 1970
- The Land Of Milk And Honey 1966
- Magic Town 1966
- Moments To Remember 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Four Lads (1955).)
- My Special Angel 1968
(This song was previously a hit for Bobby Helms (1957).)
- No, Not Much 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Four Lads (1956) and also became a hit for Smoke Ring (1969).)
- Please Mr. Sun 1966
(This song was previously a hit for Tommy Edwards (1959).)
- Till 1968
(This song was previously a hit for Roger Williams (1957), Percy Faith (1957), and the Angels (1961) and later also became a hit for Tom Jones (1971).)
- Turn Around, Look At Me 1968
(This song was previously a hit for Glen Campbell (1961).)
- Woman Helping Man 1969
- You're The One 1965
(This upbeat song was written by Petula Clark and Tony Hatch.)
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