Formed as “The Romances” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1956, the Dreamlovers notched up two claims to fame: their own US Top 10 doo-wop ballad, 1961’s ‘When We Get Married’, and their role as Chubby Checker’s back-up group on his top-selling dance hit ‘The Twist’.
The quintet initially comprised lead vocalist William Johnson, tenor Tommy Ricks, tenor Cleveland Hammock Jr., baritone Conrad Dunn and bass James Ray Dunn. After Johnson was killed in a street fight, Morris Gardner was brought in as his replacement, and a new name, the Dreamlovers, was taken.
In 1960, they recorded their first tracks for the Len and V-Tone labels, which failed to sell, but that same year Cameo-Parkway Records hired the group to provide vocals behind Chubby Checker on his future hit, as well as subsequent Cameo label tracks by Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, and the Dovells.
The Dreamlovers made their mark in the pop history books with ‘When We Get Married’, written by Don Hogan, a part-time member of the group.
One single for End Records also charted and in 1973, after making a single under the name “A Brother’s Guiding Light”, the group disbanded.
Some of the members formed a new Dreamlovers in 1980 and were still performing in the early 90s.