The Music's Over

but the songs live on forever

Died On This Date (November 7, 2012) Cleve Duncan / The Penguins; Sang “Earth Angel”

Posted by themusicsover on November 7, 2012

Cleve Duncan
 July 23, 1935 – November 7, 2012

Cleve Duncan was a founding member of popular 50’s doo-wop group, the Penguins.  Formed with Curtis Williams, Dexter Tisby, and Bruce Tate while Duncan was still in high school, the group released its first record on Dootone Records in 1954.  The single was “Hey Senorita” with the Duncan-sung “Earth Angel” sitting on its b-side.  But when an unknown disc jockey flipped the 45 over and played “Earth Angel,” the phones lit up and other radio stations soon followed suit.  In the early weeks of 1955, the record hit #1 on the pop charts and stayed there for three weeks.  Years later, Frank Zappa had Duncan reprise the popular chorus on his record, “Memories Of El Monte.”  The Penguins’ only other hit came with “Pledge of Love” in 1957. That record peaked at #15 on the R&B chart.  The group broke up on in 1962, but Duncan continued on with various incarnations well into the 2000s.  The Penguins were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.  On November 7, 2012, Cleve Duncan, 77, reportedly died unexpectedly while casting his vote in the Presidential Election  Cause of death was not immediately release.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.

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8 Responses to “Died On This Date (November 7, 2012) Cleve Duncan / The Penguins; Sang “Earth Angel””

  1. My sympathy to his family and to the Doo Wop generation. We lost a great one!

  2. Cynthia said

    I truly loved to hear Cleve sing even in my church choir

  3. Rudy Wison said

    I am a former penguin.cleve,Vera and I had some fun years togethere on the road back in 1965.we lived on the road for A FEW years performing in and out of various cities.its been 42 years since we last seen each other,the three o9f us,but they have allways been in my memories,and i still miss them.R.I.P.Cleve,,Mr EARTH ANGEL IM STILL LIVING IN pHILADELPHIA pA.215-492 1337 i

  4. Rudy Wison said

    I want to extend my deepest sympathy to Cleve Duncan’s family as well as all who loved him.i need to know how to contact his sister Francis? please help me find some one!

  5. Rudy Wison said

    R.I.P Cleve…Rudy Wilson(Rodofis)and’s allmost two months,,still hasent sunk in.Obama also thank you for your voye.

  6. R.I.P
    Mr.Cleve Duncan
    I knew Cleve well. He was my supervisor and hired me at Barmet Aluminum/ Commonwealth Aluminum in Carson Ca. He worked there for over 20 years and still performed. I’m remembered when he retired we threw a little going away party for him and I remember he came in and sang a little verse of EARTH ANGEL. I remember him telling me about how they got there name.I still have the picture I took with him and the CD of the Penguins he signed for me.Cleve you will be missed. Your music and you as a person will never be forgotten.

  7. DANTE SUDOL said

    Earth angel is may favorite song and i miss Cleve Duncan

  8. Earth Angel is my favorite song and I miss Cleve Duncan

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