The Orioles

Led by Sonny Til, the Orioles were the first black vocal group to sing music directly for a black audience. Through their early recordings -- which were made in the late '40s and early '50s -- the band laid the groundwork for R&B vocal groups and doo wop. The Orioles fused traditional pop songs with gospel sensibilities and arranged blues and gospel material with smooth harmonies, designed to appeal to the broadest audience possible.