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Crests Legend and Originator, JT Carter to be recognized on the House Floor of the PA State Capital
On Tuesday, November 12th, 1pm, at The Pennsylvania State Capital in Harrisburg, on the House Floor, Rep. Rosemary M. Brown will be recognizing JT Carter of the innovative, interracial, vocal group "The Crest".
Session will convene at 1pm and Rep. Rosemary M. Brown will be recognizing Mr. Carter on the House floor of The Pennsylvania State Capital in Harrisburg just after the start of Session and Prayer. Mr. Carter will be recognized by the State of Pennsylvania's Speaker of the House for being one of the first to form an interracial vocal group. Following the ceremonies, Mr. Carter will perform in the lower East Wing from 1:30-2:30. Press is invited to attend, please follow Capital protocol.
JT Carter’s - The Crests were a New York R&B doo-wop group of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Their most popular song was "16 Candles," which rose to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959. It sold over one million copies, earning a gold disc. The interracial group had three black members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian-American.
The band was founded by J. T. Carter and included Talmoudge Gough, Harold Torres, and Patricia Van Dross (older sister of R&B great Luther Vandross). Carter selected vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (shortened to Johnny Mastro and later to Johnny Maestro) to perform as lead vocalist for the group. Maestro's vocal style on the group's recordings became instantly recognizable and a juke box favorite of the national teen audiences. Maestro's quality vocals, great song selections, and recordings with dance-easy beats made the winning combination for charted hits. The group had several Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s on Coed Records, including "16 Candles," "Six Nights a Week," "The Angels Listened In," "A Year Ago Tonight," "Step By Step" and "Trouble in Paradise." They also charted with "Sweetest One" (Joyce label) in 1957. The Crests appeared and performed several times on national teen dance television shows in the late 1950s. Leona Carter, JT's wife was the bands manager and a member of the band since the early 1970's.
In 1978, the group split. Carter went on to sing with Charlie Thomas' The Drifters. He also perfoemed with Freddy Paris and "The Five Satins". He also went on to record with Harald Melvin and "The Blue Notes" and Teddy Peendergrass. Carter then reformed the group in 1980. He auditioned over 200 singers, finally settling on lead Bill Damon, Greg Sereck, and Dennis Ray and New York drummer Jon Ihle. Carter continued the group well into the 1990s.
In 1984 John Hughes teen film, Sixteen Candles, took its title from The Crests' song, which was re-recorded by The Stray Cats for the Sixteen Candles soundtrack.
The Crests were inducted into the "United in Group Harmony Association (UGHA) Hall of Fame" in 2000. The Crests were then inducted into "The Vocal Group Hall of Fame" in 2004.
On May 9, 2012, Johnny Maestro was honored by the House of Representatives of the United States of America. Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York.
In 2013 JT performed for Cousin Brucie at his "1st Annual Palisades Park Reunion" with Ronnie Spector, Neil Sedaka, Lesley Gore and Bobby Lewis. 13,000 attended and it was broadcast "live" on SiriusXM Radio. 2.5 million Tuned in.
To this day millions of people throughout the world still listen to JT's The Crest's and they receive FM/Internet airplay from thousands of stations.
EA Kroll Productions
Erik A. Kroll