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The Cufflinks / The Cufflinx was the name given to two different American R&B/DooWop vocal groups by Dootsie Williams of Dootone Records. The earliest group bearing the name was started by Alfred Gaitwood and was active from 1956 to 1957. Band members included Robert Truesdale (tenor and piano), John Saxon (first and second tenor), Roger Smith (tenor), Ed Tyson (baritone), and Alfred Gaitwood (bass).
Alfred Gaitwood started the group in Sacremento, California when he was transferred to McClellan Air Force Base. He started singing with some other airmen in the Service Club and they decided to form a group calling themselves the “Cuff Links”. Early members of the group changed rapidly.
In the fall of 1956 the group went to Los Angeles and auditioned for Dootsie Williams of Dootone Records, with some of the songs that Alfred had been writing in his spare time. Dootsie didn't like any of the songs but was taken by the group; so Alfred composed some new songs, including “Guided Missiles”. At a recording studio in Sacramento, the Cufflinks made a dub of “Guided Missiles,” which they sent to Dootsie, who liked it enough to sign them to a one-year contract. At the ensuing Dootone session, in October of 1956, they recorded “Guided Missiles” and “My Heart”, both written by Alfred. The lead singer for “Guided Missiles” was Robert Truesdale, and for “My Heart”, John Saxon.
“Guided Missiles” was released in November 1956 and become a hit in several regions, including reaching the #2 spot in Pittsburgh. As part of the promotion for the release Dootsie Williams would send expensive cuff link sets to DJs who pushed the record.
Although, the group only lasted 2 years, the single "Guided Missles" has persisted as a classic of the DooWop genre and has been republished in over 20 collections of classic rock & roll and DooWop, including MVTV's "The Very Best of DooWop".
The second group bearing the name "The Cufflinx" started out as "The Rain Drops", around 1952 by a group of servicemen on the U.S.S. Noble. The group consisted of Henry Houston (lead tenor), Moses “Moe” Walker (first tenor), Jerry Speed (second tenor, baritone, and alto), and Elroy Coleman (bass). The group hung together after they were discharged and recorded songs for the Dolphin and Spin-It Labels until 1958, when they auditioned for Dootsie Williams. As the story goes, Dootsie, for whatever reason, proposed that the group call themselves "The Cufflinx" and that they record "So Tough", a song that had recently been released by the "Kuf-Linx". So, their very first release was a cover of a song by a group with a similar name to theirs, which name was itself a cover. Dootsie not only named them after the earlier "Cuff Links" but billed them as "The Original Cufflinx" and had them learn the arrangements for "Guided Missle". All of the Dooto releases by the "Cufflinx" from 1958 on were by this second group.
DOOTONE (The Cuff Links)
409 Guided Missiles /My Heart (1956)
DOOTO (The Cuff Links, The Cufflinks, The Cufflinx)
409 Guided Missiles / My Heart (1956)
413 How You Lied / The Winner (1957)
414 Twinkle / Off Day Blues (1957)
422 It's Too Late Now / The Saxaphone Rag (Instrumental) (1957)
433 So Tough / My Love Is with You (1958)
434 A Fool's Fortune / Trick Knees (1958)
438 Lawful Wedding / Zoom (1958)
474 Changing My Love / I Don't Want Nobody (1963)
DOOTO D-1000 - The Best of The Cufflinks (197?)
This, the only LP dedicated entirely to the Cuff Links, is a bootleg release. Pressed on red wax, it includes the singles:
Side 1: Guided Missles / My Heart / It's Too Late Now / A Fool's Fortune / Trick Knees / Chancing My Love / I Don't Want Nobody
Side 2: How You Lied / The Winner / Lawful Wedding / Zoom / My Love Is With You / So Tough
- Goldberg, Marv. "The Cuff Links, Kuf-Linx, and Cufflinx", 2005 & 2009 - http://www.uncamarvy.com
- Discogs, Composition, "Guided Missiles"
- Rosalsky, Mitch. "Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups", 2002, Scarecrow Press, ISBN-10: 081084592X, entry:"Cuff-Links/Cufflinx" p.128,
- Dootone/Dooto Album Discography, by Mike Callahan, David Edwards, and Patrice Eyries, Both Sides Now (newsletter of Michael A. Callahan; born 1945), McKinney, Texas (article last updated January 13, 2010)