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.