Otis Williams / The Charms


This one is confusing.  There are two Otis Williams, one with the Charms and one with the Temptations.  Well, I will go way back and look at a very confusing group of  The Charms/Otis Williams and his Charms. You know they where really all the same but there where different variations, but a very great early Doo Wop or R&B group.  I will just let you listen to some of there early greats from as far back and 1954…
The Charms
Otis Williams and the Charms
At Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh

At the Rock and Roll Graffiti Party
Available only online – click this link:

1.  Hearts of Stone/ DeLuxe 6062/ November 1954/ #15
2.  Ling, Ting, Tong/ DeLuxe 6076/  January 1955/ #26
3.  Ivory Tower/ DeLuxe 6093/ April 1956/ #11
Not Charted
1. Two Hearts/ 1954 / The Charms
2.  Gum Drop/ 1955 /  Otis Williams and his new Group
3.  Oh Julie/ 1957 / Otis Williams and the Charms
4.  One Night Only/ 1956 Otis Williams and the Charms
5.  My Baby Dearest Darling / 1954 The Charms
6.  I’ll Remember You / 1956 Otis Williams & the Charms

Otis Williams (born June 2, 1936, Cincinnati, Ohio), attended Withrow High School in Cincinnati, and in 1952 joined an existing singing group in the school when one of its members was sick. The other original members were Bob Smith (tenor) (later replaced by Donald Peak), Rolland Bradley (tenor), Joe Penn (baritone/tenor), and Richard Parker (bass).

The group, who Williams named The Charms, appeared in a high school show in early 1953, and were drawn to the attention of Syd Nathan of King Records. Nathan only wanted to sign Williams, but Williams insisted on taking the rest of the group along. They signed to a subsidiary label, Rockin’ Records, based in Florida and owned by Henry Stone (later of TK Records), Williams giving up a sports career to pursue singing instead.

The Charms first record in June 1953, “Heaven Only Knows”, was not a hit, and after a couple more releases they moved to another King subsidiary label, De Luxe Records, also run by Stone. They recorded several more times before, in 1954, “Hearts of Stone” gave them their first and biggest hit, reaching #1 on the R&Bcharts for nine weeks at the end of the year. It sold over one million copies, their first recording to do so, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] It also reached #15 on the pop charts, with a cover version by the Fontane Sisters reaching #1.

The group had further R&B chart success with “Ling, Ting, Tong” and “Two Hearts”, and they toured with The Clovers, Big Joe Turner and others. However, in late 1955, Stone persuaded the other members of the group that they could succeed without Williams, and they left to join Stone’s new Chart label. After a court battle, Williams continued recording for DeLuxe, credited as Otis Williams and His Charms, and had another big hit in 1956 with “Ivory Tower” (#5 R&B, #11 pop).

Williams continued to record for DeLuxe in the late 1950s, but with less success. He also co-produced and arrangedHank Ballard‘s original version of “The Twist“, and helped arrange Little Willie John‘s “Fever“. Peak, Bradley, Penn, and Parker, the Chart Records Charms, had their last recordings released in 1956. These recordings were, however, re-releases of older recordings that featured Otis Williams. The group made no other recordings.

Williams was drafted in 1960, and recorded sporadically as his army leave permitted. This also marked the breakup of his Charms. He was discharged in 1962 and recorded solo for another year, before retiring in 1963. He returned in 1965, recordingsoul music for the Okehlabel. He took a further break, becoming a barber, and later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he recorded a country music album, Otis Williams and the Midnight Cowboys, produced by Pete Drake and released in 1971.

In the 1990s Williams returned to group harmony singing, touring internationally with a new Charms group, and, in 2001, being inducted to the United in Group Harmony Association Hall of Fame.

Williams performed in Cincinnati with The Coda Band on November 24, 2007.



2 responses to “Otis Williams / The Charms

  1. great group,they don’t get the credit for what they did for music.covered by pat boone ,two heart’s his first hit single written by otis.presley was doing their heart’s made of stone. crew cuts, fontain sisters and a lot more.no 1 r&b group of 1955 by down beat mag.not concidered for r&b hall of fame. there are some in for just 1 hit. crazy crazy crazy

  2. r&r hall of fame for some reason do not consider this group,is that crazy.this makes no since.cross-over started with this group and their (hearts made of stone).it got the pop stations to start playing r&b artist in force.now everyone can them all over the world.yes they belong in the hall . ( what’s up with that)

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