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The Velvets were an Americanmarker doo wop group from Odessamarker in Ector Countymarker in west Texasmarker. The African American quintet was formed in 1959 by Virgil Johnson, a high school English teacher, with four of his students. Roy Orbison heard the group and signed them to Monument Records in 1960. Their first release was a tune called "That Lucky Old Sun". Their biggest hit single was "Tonight ", which hit #26 on the U.S.marker Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. "That Lucky Old Sun" (#46) and "Tonight (Could Be the Night)" (#50) made brief appearances in the UK Singles Chart in 1961. The follow-up, "Laugh", peaked at number 90, and after a half-dozen further singles the group disbanded.

Their complete recorded output runs to just thirty songs, which were collected on one compact disc and released on Ace Records in 1996.

Johnson sometimes appears in nostalgia concerts.



  1. Biography,
  2. Nite, Norm N. Rock On: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock n' Roll (The Solid Gold Years). Thomas Y. Crowell (1974), p. 630.
  3. Billboard Singles,
  4. The Complete Velvets.
  5. - accessed June 2009

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