Five Sharks

The Five Sharks
Bronx, NY
An Acappella Street Corner Vocal Group
Mark Dinep, Eddie Black, Steve Horn, Kenny Bank and Henry Sal Salas


Four guys, Eddie Black, Henry Levy, Mark Dinep and Mario Ibenez started to harmonize in the school stairwell and in the lunch room of Taft High School in The Bronx 1964. . Mario went on to form his own group the Zirkons. Eddie, Henry and Mark went on to form The Five Sharks. Here is there story. One night Eddie, Mark and Henry went to a dance at Saint Tolentines High School, where we met a guy named DJ or at least that is what he called himself, he had a 45 record with him of a group he had just recorded named The Rueteens - Formerly Jimmy and The Crestones, who recorded a song called Angel Maureen. He invited us over his house to hear it, while at his house, a friend of his came by - named Larry Rosenzweig- and we had four guys. Larry also sang, so we tried a few songs and the blend was great. DJ wanted to record us, that was our start.

We started recording for Bobby Miller at Cat Time Records. Our harmony was very high and Bobby suggested a bass , so we sang with several basses and none clicked. Then we heard a bunch of guys harmonizing in a store front, the bass was pretty good we asked him to try out , his voice clicked and so did his personality, now we had five steady guys. About two years later Larry got drafted and Henry drifted away. They were replaced by Kenny Bank, baritone and Henry (Sal) Salis as second tenor with myself as first tenor and some time lead and Mark as main lead and Steve Horn as bass, this version of the Sharks had a higher and better blend.

We sang all over the place, discos, clubs, bars and the first two East Coast Acappella shows. The Chambers Brothers heard us and thought we were the best white group they ever heard. They introduced us to their producer at Columbia Records. It was The Chambers Brothers who taught us People Get Ready version that is on the beaudaddy web-site. Steve dropped out to sing with a band called Peck’s Bad Boys. The rest of the group got a record deal with Diamond Records and recorded a song written by one of The Detergents (of Leader of The Laundremat fame) it was produced by Johnnie Cymbal (Hey Mr. Bassman). The song was called Monday Kind of Friday. It did quite well on the east coast becoming number one in upstate New York for awhile. Kenny and me then got pulled into the service and The Five Sharks dissolved. We regrouped two years ago - 2006. Mark is gone, he died in 1980 - a shame. I now sing lead and Frank of the The Legends of Doowop does first tenor sometimes. He also does lead and I do first , we have recorded again and it should be out soon .Whew!!!

Eddie Black - October 2008

Complete Song List:
Lost Love
So Much In Love
Remember Me Baby
Blue Moon
Canadian Sunset
Little Girl (You're Gonna Belong To Me)
You'll Never Walk Alone
Is Everybody Happy
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Teardrops Follow Me
Adios My Love
Happy Teenager
Cara Mia
Look In Her Eyes
Monday Kind Of Friday
Let's Not Break Up
Stand By Me
I'll Never Let You Go
Hang On Sloopy
When We Get Married
As Tears Go By
Flames'66 Alt. Version
What Kind Of Fool Do You Think I Am

On that rather famous I Dig Acappella  1 album with the graveyard cover and girl in a bikini,  you can read just to the right on one of the grave stones Five Sharks, however since Relic Rack sold the company my groups song Little Girl which we wrote is attributed to The Five Sharps it sounds nothing like them , it is not one of our best works but does sound like us , I called the people who own Relic Rack now to let them know they have a print problem but they refuse to change it!The music business, it's a jungle! lol
Eddie Black, first tenor/ lead, The Five Sharks

Here is something I found hilarious when it first happened, A long time ago , oh 10 or 12 years perhaps I answered an add on line for a first tenor lead, after talking to the guy who posted it (Stu,the guy who now holds those doo wop meet ups in Jersey monthly), anyway the time was changed' the meeting place was out in Brooklyn at Stu's friend's house ,bass singer Hal real nice guy ,good bass,( before I became an actor my real last name as those who've heard our early records know was Schwartz) I just Americanized it , it means black or dark in German,, though I am not German, apparently they needed to tell me of the time change but lost my number and all they could think about is Oh! Five Sharks The Bronx I had long ago moved to Manhattan , but they called an Edward Schwartz in The Bronx and he said yes I was in The Five Sharks, so at our meeting this extra guy shows me his ID and he is Edward Schwartz and as it turned out he was one of The Florals who Slim from Times Square Records enlisted to be The Five Sharks for one 45rpm Stormy Weather and If You Loved Me both great songs!!! So in two groups named The Five Sharks there was an Eddie Schwartz in each group, how Twilight Zone and funny is that?
Eddie Black,first tenor/lead The Five Sharks

I have always thought that my group The Five Sharks were much better then our recordings.In those days 1963 through 1967 acappella music labels were largely owned by guys not much older then us and we were 15 years old.Recording and production techniques were largely hit or miss and experimental.As an example our first record on Old Timer Records was a fast version of the doo wop standard Gloria done fast ,Bobby Miller who owned the label decided to try some super reverb, and given out very high harmony and super echo,reverb we sounded like The Chipmonks singing doo wop lol.Our best recordings I believe were few, although tastes vary and people have uploaded songs of ours on youtube that I do not really like again our best work in my opinion was Stand By Me, Flames alternate version 1966, a song we wrote,Young Boy Blues and a live recording of People Get Ready that was taught to us by The Chambers Brothers.
Eddie Black,first tenor/lead The Five Sharks

As a group The Five Sharks were much better then our recordings,in those days people who owned acappella labels were not much older then we were an recording at best was experimental.Our best songs were Flames ,the alternate version 1966, Stand By Me,Young Boy Blues and People Get Ready which was live but never released it is like the others on youtube.
Eddie Black, first tenor/lead The Five Sharks

Don't forget The Five Sharks who are considered one of the pioneers of the music Abe called "The Hudson Sound" and Warner calls the "corridor sound". Members, Henry Salas and Kenny Bank were both Puerto Rican ... KennyB, The Five Sharks/Dukes Of Doo Wop

Eddie Black has left a new comment

Just so you know ,those Five Sharks who would use the name but once, were a group called The Florals, they recorded one more record under the name The Gold Bugs , and recorded a song called Stop that Wedding, great group great high harmony you can hear Stop That Wedding on youtube by The Gold Bugs 

Eddie Black has left a new comment 

I sang first tenor and sometimes lead with The Five Sharks, I also recorded for Diamond Records with a group called Dawn's Early light which was The Five Sharks minus our bass Steve Horn RIP. it was not doo wop doo wop by then was not selling so we recorded a Brill Building pop tune written by the second tenor of The Detergents (Leader of The Laundromat), and produced by Johnny Cymbal who had his own hit ( Hey Mr. Bassman)