May 10, 2011

The Crystalaires.... ...(Lancaster 1959)

The reformed Crystalaires (after the accident).








The only info I've found on this group is from Daddy C's Youtube channel, but it's a fascinating and terrible story so here it is:

The Crystalaires were a group from Lancaster, PA and were the hottest act in town back in 1959. On May 25, 1959, while coming home from a gig in Reading, PA, they were involved in a serious car accident that claimed the lives of 4 members of the group. Earlier that evening they were informed by their manager that King Records, out of Cincinnati, OH, offered them a record deal and wanted them to come to Chicago to re-cut "Nobody Nowhere" for national release. In July of 1960, Stan Selfon, of Stan's Record Bar in Lancaster, released the 2nd version of the tune (complete with bad splices in the master tape), on Sound Souvenir No.1.  The proceeds (in part) were intended for the families of the deceased members to raise money for their headstones.


photo by M. Fitzgerald
The Stan's Record Bar connection is interesting.   I bought my first records there in the early 80s and always wondered who Stan was.  The store goes way back and it's still there at 48 N Prince Street!   The accident must have been big local news, so if anyone has access to Lancaster newspapers on microfilm it would be interesting to read the articles and obits. If you were around Lancaster in those days and remember the bands, clubs, music stores, record labels, or any other part of the scene, please help us salvage that history!

7 comments:

  1. What a tragic story. I assume the rest of these guys are still living. Wonder what they're up to, whether they're still in Lancaster or not.

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  2. Does anyone have a copy of their "over the rainbow"?

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  3. On the other side of Nobody Nowhere is Over the Rainbow. Does Stans have it, or can they get a copy?

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  4. I have just completed copy the 45 to a disc. I do know where there is a 45 from Stans.

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  5. I'd be happy to know if Larry Spelling/Spellor is still alive?

    Please respond to doverdoobie@verizon.net

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  6. I remember seeing the article and photo of the mangled car in the newspaper. One of the members of the group was Kenny Grey (Gray?). His was the first funeral I'd ever gone to. My grandmother would pass away about a month later. Her's would be the scribed in such a short period of time. She ran the grocery store where Kenny's family shopped at the corner of Duke and Juniata streets. Kenny's younger brother, Sammy, was a good childhood friend of mine. One of my best and oldest pals is Daddy C. Just this very day, he told me he had this song on his YouTube channel because I had mentioned Kenny and this horrible accident during a conversation we'd had last night.

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  7. I have a copy. the b side is called "Henry said goodbye"

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