Newport News Virginia is a town by the sea with a current population of just under 200,000 people. It was home to several great vocal groups in the 1950's. The Five Keys,The Avalons,The Chateaus, and The Leaders were among them. The Leaders were known early in their career as the Pokenoes and then the Five Swans. The members included Harry Burton, Nelson Shields, Edward Alston, Ronald Judge and Charles Simpson. They all grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same high school, Hunnington High. As the Five Swans, they competed in many amateur shows and did quite well. Well enough to win a trip to the famed Apollo theatre in New York. They won the show 4 weeks in a row in 1955, and soon after signed a record deal with the Glory label. The name change was first, and in the late summer of 1955, they recorded their bluesy rendition of "Stormy Weather." The band that backed them up included Mickey Baker, Sam The Man Taylor and Panama Francis. Two additional records soon followed, but none had the same success as their first, and the contract with Glory records was not renewed. A picture of the Leaders is below, and to the right are the Corvairs.