Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight
#5 in 1954

The group debuted in late 1952 at Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana as Pookie Hudson & The Hudsonaires. They changed their name to The Spaniels that Spring and, upon graduation, became one of the first two artists to sign with Vee Jay Records, the first large, independent Afro-American owned record label. The group recorded their initial release, "Baby It's You" on May 5, 1953. Released in July, 1953, the song reached number ten on Billboard magazine's Rhythm and Blues chart on September 5. In Spring 1954, "Goodnite Sweetheart, Goodnite" hit number twenty-four on Variety's pop chart, and rose to number five on Billboard's R&B chart. The Spaniels played regularly at the Apollo, and were on the tour that proved fatal for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. The line-up changed numerous times over the ensuing years. The original members included: Thornton James "Pookie" Hudson, Ernest Warren, Willie C. Jackson, Opal Courtney Jr, &Gerald Gregory, Hudson died January 16, 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Courtney, Jr. died September 18, 2008 after suffering a heart attack. Ernest Warren died on May 7, 2012, and Willie C. Jackson died of lung disease on February 18, 2015. Gerald Gregory died on February 12, 1999.
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