The Dominoes

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1975 (The 1976 Induction Ceremony)

Nominated in: 1997   

Previously Considered? No  what's this?

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Sixty Minute Man (1951)
Have Mercy, Baby (1952)

The Dominoes @ Wikipedia

The Dominoes Videos

Will The Dominoes be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."


14 comments so far (post your own)

Billy Ward and his Dominoes were one of the top vocal groups of early rhythm and blues. Already nominated (as the Dominoes) once to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they deserve to be inducted just on the strength of the rowdy, timeless, countlessly remade hit "Sixty Minute Man". Go check it out if you haven't heard it yet. Even if you don't like the style, the lyrics would put a smile on any rock fans face. You'd be surprised this ribald song was allowed on ANY radio station back in 1951, let alone BOTH pop (#17 hit) and R&B (#1, of course). But it doesn't stop there.

This is the group where Clyde McPhatter got his start, and with him, they had top ten R&B hits with "Do Something For Me" and "I Am With You" before "Sixty Minute Man" in 1951. They followed that up with another #1 R&B hit in 1952, "Have Mercy Baby", and had three more top ten R&B hits with "The Bells", "I'd Be Satisfied", "That's What You're Doing To Me", "Pedal Pushin' Papa" and "Those Foolish Things Remind Me Of You" before McPhatter went solo. That's when Jackie Wilson got his start with the group, and with Wilson on board, they garnered a #2 R&B hit with "Rags To Riches". Now, some people love "St. Therese Of The Roses", which became their biggest pop chart hit, and their last before Wilson went solo. Billy Ward and his Dominoes brought on Eugene Mumford, and continued releasing pop songs through the early 60s.

So, you've got an excellent, rhythm & blues vocal group that served as the starting place for two of the best r&b vocalists already inducted in the Hall, who had a string of enviable rhythm & blues hits, including the standard "Sixty Minute Man". One can't ask for better reasons of why an act deserves to be inducted.

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Monday, 01.15.07 @ 14:01pm

55 years after "Sixty Minute Man" first hit the airwaves, we are far, far removed from that time and period. I can't emphasize enough the impact this group had on the rhythm and blues scene. However, Jay Marion's thoroughly researched Doo Wop Nation e-zine ( vividly explains all this in his webpages dedicated to the Dominoes. In the paragraphs below, Marion captures the sensation the Dominoes became after the release of "Sixty Minute Man".

"In late April The Dominoes were well established enough to embark on their first tour of one nighters as a starring act when they hit the road through the South with the Joe Thomas band. Just before the beginning of the tour, the new Dominoes record was issued. It was Federal #12022 - "Sixty Minute Man" and "I Can't Escape From You". The rocking 'A' side became an instant classic and a landmark recording in the history of American music. Bill Brown's bass singing of the double entendre lyrics led the way for this tune which literally exploded on the scene that late spring in 1951.

"Everywhere one went in the Spring and Summer of that year, the sounds of the Dominoes "Sixty Minute Man" acted as a sound track of life for everyone. The record sold well over one and a half million copies, was in the top ten R & B tunes for months, and got considerable play in pop music areas. It was the single record that introduced thousands of White listeners to the music that had been bubbling right under their noses for the past few years and would soon take over the country. The charge of the record across the landscape of America turned The Dominoes into a top gate attraction and their was a huge demand to see them in person."

When considering influence, innovation and perpetuation, yes, it's important to assess how a song impacted its society. But it's equally important to assess how well a song communicates today, and even today, "Sixty Minute Man" remains comic with its subtle raunichiness. And as the other R&B top ten hits I listed in my previous comment attest, as well as its influence in starting the careers of famed vocalist Clyde McPhatter and famed showman Jackie Wilson, Billy Ward and his Dominoes is a group worthy of induction.

Posted by Charles Crossley Jr on Tuesday, 01.16.07 @ 08:15am

What about Robbie Robinson????

Posted by MARSHA K ROSS on Friday, 04.9.10 @ 23:57pm

Umm this site has them listed as not being previously considered, even though they were nominated? Just thought Id throw that out there for FRL

Posted by Jim on Saturday, 11.6.10 @ 17:10pm

Imho there are already enough Dominoes-like groups in the Hall.

Posted by Robert on Tuesday, 11.15.11 @ 10:01am

They took their lead from the Dominoes. That's why the Dominoes deserve induction.

Also, they haven't represented doo-wop nearly well-enough yet.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 11.15.11 @ 13:03pm


It's fckng hopeless with voters like this.

I've been emailing back and forth with Terry Stewart, the CEO of the hall of fame. He buys records from me. He says that the commitee to assess the older artists nominate Roy Brown and Wynonie Harris every year, but they never get put on the ballot by the main nominating committee. He is personally pushing every year for the Mills Brothers and Ravens as early infleunces, but that's going nowhere either. Then there's the Clovers and the Dominoes who are still waiting.

Then there's sht like the whole Dave Clark 5 fiasco a few years ago, and stories of doo wop groups being voted in, but not getting inducted because they want a more modern act that will draw some people to the dinner instead.

The biggest problem with things is that there is no transparency. They don't tell the public who is on these nominating commitees, and they don't tell the public how many votes each nominee got, or anything like that.

The whole thing has just become one big farce.

Posted by Roy on Sunday, 12.4.11 @ 05:19am

If the Dominoes get nominated again, it will likely be as "Billy Ward & The Dominoes."

Posted by FRL on Sunday, 09.9.12 @ 11:37am

Was Billy Ward ever a member of the Dominoes, or just Billy Ward and the Dominoes? Why were they only nominated as the Dominoes to begin with?

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 08:43am

Billy Ward was the group's founder. He was a classically trained vocal instructor who chose from among his students to form a group. His intent was to sing "good" music but was told by Ralph Bass of King/Federal Records to do rock 'n' roll. He wrote the songs, played piano and was able to sing various parts with them if need be, but was more of their drill instructor than anything else, which is what eventually caused Clyde McPhatter to leave. Following Clyde's departure and the arrival of Jackie Wilson their name was changed from the Dominoes to Billy Ward & The Dominoes and they began moving in the musical direction that Ward wanted all along - the pop style, eventually hitting with St. Therese Of The Roses, Stardust and Deep Purple. But it's their early rock stuff that they're most deserving for obviously and should be nominated and inducted as the Dominoes for that reason, but it really makes little difference as long as they get in.

Posted by Roy on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 13:03pm

Roy, stop copying other people's writings without giving them proper attribution. If you keep doing it, EVERY comment you make will be deleted.

Posted by FRL on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 13:48pm

Yes, please turn Roy off. 99% of what he posts is conjecture, nonsensical or copied from other (dubious) sources. It is really agitating.

Posted by Paul on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 14:01pm

Thanks Roy for the Info..

Posted by Happy on Tuesday, 02.26.13 @ 15:21pm

The DOMINOES and BILLY WARD & THE DOMINOES were one and the same group. Just like THE MIRACLES and SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES or PATTI LaBELLE & THE BLUEBELLES and LaBELLE. Same group, same members.

So why to they have two different sites here ? (just curious).

Posted by Bill G. on Wednesday, 08.14.13 @ 18:28pm

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