“Mommy-Os and Daddy-Os, these are The Videos!”
That was how the cutting-edge DJ, Jocko Henderson, introduced the song “Trickle, Trickle” back in 1958.
Before there were even videos as we know them today, there was a doo-wop group by that very name. Their biggest record, “Trickle Trickle,” never made the Billboard Top 100, but did peak at an unimpressive # 90 on the Cashbox chart. However, the record by the group from Queens, New York, did receive a lot of airplay in the New York area.
The flip side of “Trickle”, “Moonglow You Know” and a subsequent release, “Love or Infatuation” showcased the group, and particularly the magnificent voice of lead singer, Ronald Cussey, although some accounts list him as Cuffey. Sadly, a few years later, Mr. Cussey died of leukemia and the group disbanded. Other members, first tenor, Clarence Bassett, who wrote “Trickle, Trickle” and second tenor, Charles Baskerville, went on to sing with Shep and the Limelights of “Daddy’s Home” fame.
They, too, are all but forgotten.
The Videos’ legacy is a song that has become a classic. A 2004 listing by Digital Driver ranks “Trickle, Trickle” as the 19th greatest upbeat doo-wop song of all time.
Manhattan Transfer released a credible version of the song in 1979.
But that is just the beginning! Today, “Trickle, Trickle,” as a YouTube search will quickly reveal, is performed by countless high school and college ensembles, a cappella troupes and retro Doo-wop groups around the world!
Today few people remember, let alone credit, Ronald Cussey or Clarence Bassett. But they are the ones who launched a tune now heard and enjoyed by millions.
The Lesson: We should do all that we can do and be the best that we can be! We never know what impact our efforts might have on others –even millions of others — down the road!
Remember, The rain keeps droppin’, there ain’t no stoppin…’
11 thoughts on “The Trickle That Became A Mighty Stream”
i think you did an excellent job on recounting the story behind the song “trickle trickle” and the group “the videos”. i too,am a lover of the music known as “doo wop” and am very impressed with your article! you are a brilliant writer and incorporate lifes lessons into your articles. continue your writings,you certainly have my attention!!!!!!!
Jackie, thank you so much! You are not just a “lover of the music,” you know more about doo-wop than anyone I have ever met, so from you this is a great compliment that I treasure!
Thank you for providing some insight into this song and The Videos. I hooe you will share more about Doo-Wop in the future.
Dear Wizard, I so appreciate your visit and encouragement. While my main focus is ideas connected to my book, I find great spiritual values often expressed in doo wop songs, so there might be more doo wop related posts down the line. In fact several years ago on Facebook I did a series of posts called “The Spirituality of Doo Wop. Then my account was hacked, and I closed it before rejoining. I lost them all.
I have listened with interest to dozens of professional and amateur covers of this great song. Some are pretty good, but for my money none of them has come even close to the vibrancy and genuine emotion tone heard in the original!
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I would love to create a doo-wop compilation of songs that had been old Sinatra-style standards. My dad loves to tell me about how appalled his parents were upon first hearing the Marcells’ version of “Blue Moon.” Since then, I’ve become aware of a number of other ’30s and ’40s “standards” that were reimagined in doo-wop style in the ’50s and ’60s. These include “Imagination” by the Quotations, “Juke Box Saturday Night” by Nino and the Ebb Tides, the Marcells’ “Heartaches,” Vito and the Salutations’ “Unchained Melody,” etc. I figure there has to be enough material for a full CD.
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Easily enough material for two CD’s, Adam! So happy to read your comment. Nevertheless, “Trickle Trickle,” as many times as it has been performed by so many all over the world is original with the Videos in 1958.
On another sight they had Ron Woodhall Had died.. Back then on the Long Island Express way who also Bass in the group thats my Dad and he moved to Long Ialand and did not die until 2005 of Lukiema and I have the record Trickle Trickle but great version of the story you have
Thank you so much, Crystal. I appreciate the information you are sharing here. Thank you for visiting my site too!
It actually peaked at #32 on the Cash Box national pop charts.
Thank you, William!