May 18, 2004 by

Rudy Maugeri


Categories: Musicians

Rudolph V. “Rudy” Maugeri, the co-founder of the 1950s doo-wop group the Crewcuts, died on May 7 of pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Maugeri was still in high school in Toronto when he and classmate John Perkins formed the Canadaires in 1952. After recruiting their friend Pat Barrett and Perkins’s brother Ray into the group, Cleveland disc jockey Bill Randle renamed them the Crewcuts.

The group signed with Mercury Records and recorded a series of rock ‘n roll covers of black R&B songs, including chart-topping versions of the Chords’ “Sh-Boom” and the Penguins’ “Earth Angel.” The Crewcuts appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and sold millions of records, but was best known for the 1954 hit, “Crazy ‘Bout Ya Baby,” which became a part of the Broadway show “Forever Plaid.”

When the band broke up in 1964, Maugeri became a DJ and music director for radio stations in New York and Los Angeles. In the early 1980s, he and his wife Marilyn moved to Las Vegas and formed the Fully Alive Charity, an organization that helps people deal with addictions and anger management problems.

The Crewcuts were inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1984.

13 Responses to Rudy Maugeri

  1. Negevoli

    I saw The Crewcuts in person several times when I was in grade school in St. Louis and was a huge fan through early high school. Mostly because I had a crush on Ray, but I remember Rudy very well and send my condolences.

  2. peter and ambeka stark

    My wife and I are seeing a 2004 version of the Crewcuts at Stagewest in Mississauga,Ontario,Canada tonight..October 18th 2004.
    Almost 50 year,since the hit Sh Boom came out and was a million seller.
    I am sure we will enjoy this group perform all of your hits.
    Peter and Ambeka Stark

  3. John Thornley

    I went to school with all 4 crewcuts.Rudy’s father was a taylor and made my uniform for St Mikes .Sang in choir with them 1941 to 1946
    Knew Ray Perkins most….we would run down yonge street at lunch and eat our sandwiches on top of Permanent Trust Bldg.

  4. T. Rufo

    I worked with Rudy at a radio syndication company in Los Angeles in the late seventies and found him to be a fine person and kind fellow-worker. He was the music director and had previously worked at KFI Radio in LA. His car bore the license place, “Sh Boom.” He was kind enough to autograph a copy of a Hit Parader Magazine featuring the Crewcuts for me.

  5. ray

    I remember the group with Rudy Maugeri singing with them in 1950s.I was at colledge at the time and a friend of mine sang earth angel in between classes continously .at the end of classes all of the guys new the song of bye heart

  6. pat

    While watching an oldies program on our local PBS channel-I started thinking about the Crewcuts and wondering what has happened to them and came upon this blog with the sad news of Rudy. I was president of a local fan club outside Chicago and met the group many times. They were so good to their fans-wrote us newsy letters when they traveled abroad-called to invite us to a press conference at the Hilton in Chic. Once when they were appearing at the Palmer House in the Empire Room, a very pricey and rather stoodgy club, my sister and I “took” my parents there for their anniversary-we wrote a note to them and asked our waiter to deliver it to them letting them know we were there-during the singing of ShBoom there is a pause twice in the song when us fans would yell our their names-Johnny,Ray, Pat, Rudy-we did that in the restaurant to the surprise of the other patrons-but those neat guys just smiled and you could tell they liked it. Afterwards they came to our table and spent about 15 minutes chatting with my parents while my sister and I just sat there completely overwhelmed and in love with them forever. About 5 years later when they no longer were on the hit parade, my family and I ran into them again at a hotel near Treasure Island Fla. and we watched the show and afterwards they danced with some of the patrons. I’ve saved all the memorablia and still get it out once in awhile to reminisce while listening to an old record of theirs. Such nice people they were!

  7. Basil McCormick

    I remember “The Crewcuts” because I’m a fellow-“Torontonian/Canadian”! They & anotherToronto Rock Grp put Canada on the Rock Group Music hall of fame. They were quite excellent & had a fine theoretical and practical Music education/background. They were graduates of the famed St. Michael’s Choir School of Toronto.
    Basil Mccormick

  8. gail hennessey

    when i was in high school at mt st mary on the hudson in newburgh,ny there was a fan club of the crewcuts roseanne,maggie,pat,anne therese would travel to new york city to see the crewcuts preform. these young ladies were so lucky they had such fun and came home and told us how good the crew cuts had been to them and how very mannerly,and nice i think one of the girls had a crush on pat i’m sorry to read about the passing of rudi i secretly enjoyed their records and had always wished i was a member of that fan-club. rgh

  9. gail hennessey

    to add on to my tribute roseanne lives in toronto,canada and she always remembers her crew cuts fan club days very fondly. as i am new to this computer i am not up to speed like the rest of you please help me what does url mean my blog is true as i remember it and i truly am sorry at the passing of rudi i only wish i could have met them

  10. JoAnne Thorne

    My cousin (by marraige) and I would pack a lunch and spend the entire day at the Chicago Theatre where they were performing along with a Jerry Lewis movie. Guess we were part of the original “groupies”. Wonderful fellows and I still love their music 50 years later! I was definately “in love” with Pat. Where are the rest of the group now?
    JoAnne Kienzle

    • Phil Tuckett

      I’m a filmmaker that’s using Angel In the Sky in a documentary about a master violin maker who loved that song. I’m looking for original photos of the group for my story and would be willing to pay you for digital copies from your collection. If you are interested contact me as quickly as you can.
      Thank you.

  11. R. Russ

    I did a name search for Rudy, whom I lost contact with many years ago. I was truly saddened to learn of his passing.
    I worked with Rudy in the late 70s and cherished every minute I spent with him. He was fun, had a great sense of humor and an unusual trait: he never spoke ill of ANYONE. I’ve yet to meet another person who I have felt was more at peace with himself than Rudy. And I have often told others I wanted to be just like him “when I grow up.” He mastered the concept of “balance” in his life and it showed. EVERYONE loved Rudy.
    God rest your soul my friend. You earned it!

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