Leroy Griffin Biography

The two biggest hits by the Nutmegs are often chosen as among the best 100 doo wop records ever made. The group's lead tenor singer, Leroy Griffin, has been expansively praised for his performances on "Story Untold" and "Ship of Love," a detail that is inevitably of much more importance than the fact that this is one of the few performing musical groups named after an ingredient in pumpkin pie. Other details of Griffin's own life add a good deal more spice. For laughs, consider that Griffin may be the only vocalist whose replacement had exactly the same name, a personal affront to discographers everywhere that was thankfully corrected when the second Griffin opted to change his name to Leroy Gomez. For tears without onion powder, or in order to sprout a new conspiracy theory, consider the end of Griffin's life. He was found inside a furnace; how he got there has remained a mystery, one strong possibility being that someone pushed him. Griffin came out of New Haven, Connecticut, with the rest of the Nutmegs. He had previously been a member of the Chestnuts, falling from the branches of that vocal group before it began cutting sides. Griffin began singing on records when the Nutmegs signed with the Herald company in 1955. When the string of big hits stopped after the previously mentioned pair, Griffin tried other ventures such the 1957 Rajahs, in which he enlisted singer Sonny Washburn. Griffin soon changed the group right back into the Nutmegs, but it was Washburn who assumed some of the lead vocal chores on later sides by the group such as the 1962 "Crazy 'Bout You." ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Featured Links