Although Maurice Williams
& the Zodiacs only had one big hit, the song became one of the classic
singles in the history of rock & roll and R&B. The song, "Stay," was a number one hit upon its
release in 1960. Williams and the Zodiacs' career didn't prove to be as popular as the song itself.
They only had two more minor pop hits before they disappeared from the charts, but over the
course of the next three decades, "Stay" remained one of the most popular songs of the era and it
was played constantly on oldies radio station. "Stay" was covered by numerous other artists and has
enjoyed a few revivals in mass popularity, most notably when it was featured in the hit 1987 film,
Before he formed
the Zodiacs, Maurice Williams sang with a number of different doo wop and
vocal groups, beginning with the Royal Charms in the early '50s. In 1955, he formed the Gladiolas
with Earl Gainey, Willie Jones, William Massey, and Norman Wade. The Gladiolas signed to
Excello and recorded "Little Darlin'," which reached number 11 on the R&B charts, number 41 pop
in the spring of 1957. The single's acension on the pop charts was undercut by a cover of the song
by the White Canadian vocal group, the Diamonds. After a financial dispute, Williams lost the rights
to the name the Gladolias in 1959.
formed the Zodiacs in 1960, recruiting Wiley Bennett, Albert Hill, Henry
Little Willie Morrow, and Charley Thomas. The group released their first single, "Stay," on Herald
records in the summer of 1960. The song worked its way up the charts, peaking at number three on
the R&B charts and number one on the pop charts. After the single charted nationally, the Zodiacs
constantly toured America, playing revues with artists like James Brown. The group released a
follow-up single titled "I Remember" at the end of the year, but it didn't make it past 86 on the pop
charts and didn't appear on the R&B charts at all. Neither did "Come Along," which was released in
the spring of 1961 and only climbed to number 83 on the pop charts.
and the Zodiacs continued to release singles until the late '60s, but none
records received any attention. Throughout the '70s and '80s, Williams led various incarnations of
the Zodiacs on oldies tours, primarily on the Beach Music circuit on the U.S. East Coast.