Heartbeats, The

Started by montage, June 05, 2017, 05:56:04 AM

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The Heartbeats were a 1950s American doo-wop group best known for their song "A Thousand Miles Away", which charted at #53 in the US Billboard listings in 1957.

The Heartbeats began as a quartet in early 1953 in Jamaica, Queens as "The Hearts", consisting of baritone Vernon Sievers, bass Wally Roker, first tenor Albert Crump, and second tenor Robbie Tatum. When it was later discovered that there was a female group of the same name (who scored a minor Billboard hit with "Lonely Nights"), the male group extended their name to "Heartbeats".

They were signed shortly after James "Shep" Sheppard joined the group as lead vocalist and were shuffled between various production companies and record labels over the next few years. The group split up in 1959 and Sheppard went on to form Shep and the Limelites. Roker remained in the music business as a promoter while the other group members went on to other professions. James Sheppard died under mysterious circumstances in 1970.

On May 13, 2003, the four original surviving Heartbeats, joined by Walter Crump (Albert's brother) on lead vocals, reunited for the PBS special Rock and Roll at 50 at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Later that same year on December 27, they reunited again for their 50th anniversary at a meeting of the United in Group Harmony Association in New Jersey. Albert Crump and Robbie Tatum retired from performing shortly thereafter.

The Heartbeats recently consisted of original members Wally Roker (bass) and Vernon Sievers (baritone), lead vocalist Walter Crump, and two members of the 1980s lineup of Shep & The Limelites, Ron Bassett (second tenor) and Randy Reid (first tenor).

Original first tenor Albert Crump died of cancer on October 3, 2012 at age 75. Wally Roker died on December 2, 2015 following brain surgery, at the age of 78.



"A Thousand Miles Away" is a 1957 song recorded by the American doo-wop group The Heartbeats. The song reached #5 on the R&B Singles chart and #52 in the US on The Billboard Hot 100.

The song was written by James Sheppard and William H. Miller. Sheppard wrote the song after his ex-girlfriend moved away to Texas.

The Fleetwoods and Harry Nilsson released a cover version of the song.


1000 Miles Away
Wishing you the best day ever followed always by better tomorrows !!