Clive Duncan, tenor on Penguins hit 'Earth Angel,' dies at 78
BY LOS ANGELES TIMES
Sunday, November 18, 2012
11/18/12 at 4:24 AM
Cleve Duncan, whose plaintive tenor captured the heartache of teen love in the enduring 1954 doo-wop hit "Earth Angel," died Nov. 7 in Los Angeles. He was 78.
A spokeswoman for the Inglewood Park Cemetery Mortuary confirmed his death but could not provide the cause.
"Earth Angel," which reached No. 1 on rhythm and blues charts, was the only hit for the doo-wop act that Duncan fronted, the Penguins.
But what a hit. "Earth Angel" sold millions of copies through the decades, has been repeatedly covered by other bands and been used in movie soundtracks as a nostalgic evocation of post-World War II youth culture.
"It was one of the pioneering songs of its day," said Tom Reed, a former disc jockey and music historian.
The Los Angeles-based group disbanded in 1957. Duncan bought the Penguins' name and continued to perform with others until relatively recently, Reed said.
Original Print Headline: 'Earth Angel' tenor dies