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Cleveland, 1961-4

The Secrets were Cleveland's most successful girl group during the height of the girl group era. The group was started by four Shaw High School students, the three main members being Karen Gray, Carole Raymont, and Jackie Allen. The original fourth member didn't last long and was replaced by Patty Miller, who was from a different school.

The group found a ready audience by performing on the greaser band circuit, including shows with Tom King (also from Shaw HS a few years earlier) and the Starfires. Redda Robbins became their manager and sent word to her Philadelphia connections, John Madara and Dave White. Madara and White scouted and liked the act and got them signed to Mercury Records. 

The group was sent to NYC to record a couple Madara/White songs. "The Boy Next Door" was their first recording, and their only major hit, reaching #16 on the Billboard chart. Just as the record was hitting stride, the group was booked for American Bandstand, and had travelled to Philadelphia in anticipation. However, the assassination of President Kennedy occurred just a couple days before and the show was pre-empted. The group did appear on AB a couple months later.

The group released three more 45s over a period of about 10 months, all recorded in NYC over a few different sessions. During that time, they peformed in several places up and down the east coast, and in major cities near Cleveland such as Detroit. However, each record was less successful and the group was witness to the birth of the British Invasion and their sound was falling out of favor as far as radio and recording acts. 

The group continued to perform through 1965, but eventually quit as a couple members wanted to get married and did not want to juggle a singing career with a family life. 

Carole Raymont is deceased.

The Boy Next Door / Learnin' To Forget - Philips 40146
Hey, Big Boy / The Other Side Of Town - Philips 40173 (pic sleeve)
Here He Comes / Oh Donnie - Philips 40196
He's The Boy / He Doesn't Want You - Philips 40222 -