In the summer of 1957, The Capitols, from Pittsburgh’s Homewood district, released two up-tempo sides, “Rose-Marie” and “Millie” on George Goldner's Cindy label. Both sides featured the lead voice of thirteen year old Michael Toliver.
The origin of the young group dates back to 1954 consisting of Mickey Toliver, lead, Arthur Dixon, first tenor, Freddy McCray, second tenor, Rick Toliver, Baritone and Frank Hill on bass.
By 1956, the Capitols headlined Bill Powell’s (WILY) Rock n Roll shows. Their records were favorites among local disc-jockeys Sir Walter (WILY), Porky Chedwick (WHOD), Barry Kaye (WJAS) and Al Noble (KQV).
In the midst of their hectic schedule, Frank Hill was drafted by the army. A young female singer, Dora Hall, replaced Frank which gave Fred the duty of singing bass.
With this new lineup, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols (still collectively billed as The Capitols) landed their first record contract. On July 13, 1957, “Rose-Marie” was ranked #1 on the Jaybird Eyes Best Sellers list and remained there for three consecutive weeks.
The group performed at all of the Pittsburgh venues as they rode the crest of their successful Cindy recording. After headlining Jay Michael’s Top Ten Revue Concert in August 1957, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols received national attention.
With a signature five part harmony sound the group enjoyed the success of two chart toppers and concert tour; Ahmet Ertegun offered the group a record contract.
In 1958, Mickey Toliver and the Capitols signed with Atlantic Records. As a songwriter, using the name Michael Toliver, Mickey penned “Sitting In The Park”, “I Got A Girl”, “Give Me A Thought” and “There’s A Reason Why” for Atlantic.
In 1960, Mickey was drafted by the U.S. Army and The Capitols continued with Dora Hall on lead, and auditioned at Gateway Studios in Pittsburgh. A superb showing landed them a recording contract. In November 1963, the group released “Day by Day” and “Little Things” (both penned by Eddie Hicks) on Gateway Records.
It’s been over forty years since the group’s 1965 “farewell” performance at the Paradise Club. To commemorate their 50th year in music, original members Dora Hall, Mickey Toliver, and Rick Toliver have rejoined Eddie Hicks and Calvin Moore for the latest chapter in their legacy:
Presenting “Mickey Toliver and the Capitols”
- Our web site has biographical information on the group as well as audio and video.
- Mickey Toliver and the Capitols consist of five lead singers:
- We request a four piece (minimum) backup band (we can provide instrumentation and/ or charts if needed)
- Artist requires hotel, air & ground transportation, backline and catering (in addition to performance fees). Rider Available Upon Booking.