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Donald "Duck" Porter

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Information about Donald "Duck" Porter

Profile image of Donald "Duck" Porter

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Brown, Tan
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
The difficult we do right away. The impossible takes a little longer.

Birthplace

Born:
11/22/1936
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Brown, Tan
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
The difficult we do right away. The impossible takes a little longer.

Birthplace

Born:
11/22/1936
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Donald "Duck" Porter is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Donald "Duck" Porter was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 22, 1936. The son of a teacher and a steel worker, Porter's family moved from Chicago to nearby Gary, Indiana, in 1951, where he finished high school in 1956.

The Spaniels, the musical group to which Porter would eventually belong, formed in 1952 along with Vee-Jay Records. Porter joined The Spaniels four years later, and continued to sing and tour with the group for the next three years. The Spaniels went on to become widely regarded as one of the greatest doo-wop groups of the 1950s, and their 1954 hit, "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight," was featured in several movies, including American Graffiti and Three Men and a Baby. Porter and the rest of the group toured the country with other popular acts, such as Little Richard and Chuck Berry, until the group disbanded in 1959.

Porter went to work for Acme Steel Company as a crane operator after The Spaniels broke up, where he remained until 1963; he spent the next decade working as a bookbinder. In 1973, The Spaniels re-formed and toured until 1988. After leaving the tour circuit, Porter worked as the head of security for the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston; he also traveled the country, speaking about the music of the 1950s. The Spaniels reunited again to appear as the closing act of a PBS concert special, Doo Wop 50: Celebrating Five Decades of Street Corner Harmony; the special generated more money than any other PBS special to date.

In addition to his professional activities, Porter raised seven children.

See how Donald "Duck" Porter is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Porter interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Porter names his parents and grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Porter's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Porter remembers his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Porter names his brother and sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Porter remembers his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Porter describes his childhood environment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Porter remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Porter remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Porter shares thoughts on fatherhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Porter discusses his school life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Porter discusses his and his father's shared love of poetry
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Porter recalls his high school years
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Porter describes the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Porter remembers skipping school to pursue his musical ambitions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Porter discusses the formation of the Spaniels music group
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Porter discusses race and power in the recording industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Porter details his efforts to reclaim pirated royalties
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Porter recalls the conclusion of the trial to reclaim his royalties
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Porter discusses the breakup and the reunion of the Spaniels
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Porter describes life after the Spaniels
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Porter discusses family life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Porter shares reflections on his career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Porter considers the lost legacies of musical artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Porter discusses rap's relationship with the record industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Porter considers his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Porter explains how gospel is the backbone of R&B
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Porter shares his personal philosophy and faith
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Photo - Donald Porter in a recent photograph, ca. 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Photo - Donald Porter with his mother, Edna Mae Porter, and former wife, Juanita Gibson, August 1962
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Donald Porter in a childhood photo with his siblings, ca. 1946
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Grace Porter, sister of Donald Porter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Donald Porter's bandmate, James 'Dimples' Cochran, and sister, Grace Porter, ca. 1955
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Four of Donald Porter's children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Donald Porter as a child on Easter Sunday, ca. 1945
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Donald Porter with his former wife, Juanita Gibson, in Washington, D.C., 1959
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Donald Porter with his father, Peter Porter, in Chicago, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Donald Porter with his mother, Edna Mae Porter, backstage at the Regal Theatre, 1957
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Donald Porter with his group, the Spaniels, ca. 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Donald Porter's mother, Edna Mae Porter, ca. 1940s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Donald Porter's father, Peter Porter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Donald Porter with his group, the Spaniels, 1956
  • Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Donald Porter with his group, the Spaniels, after a personnel change
  • Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Donald Porter performs with the Spaniels in Gary, Indiana, ca. 1980s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Donald Porter performs with the Spaniels, 1957
  • Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Donald Porter's daughter, Consuela, at her high school graduation, 1992
  • Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Donald Porter with members of the doo-wop group the Teenagers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Donald Porter with the Dells, Easter 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Donald Porter performs with the Spaniels after their reunion, 1973
  • Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Donald Porter's daughter, Walinda Pollard, and two grandsons, Dante and Lerome Pollard
  • Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Three of Donald Porter's sons, Paul, Dartanion, and David, 1992
  • Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Donald Porter's oldest son, Dartanion Porter, graduating from a college course
  • Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Donald Porter with Chuck Barksdale and other members of the Dells, April 20, 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 30 - Photo - Donald Porter's bandmate, Carl Rainge, ca. 2000
  • Tape: 4 Story: 31 - Photo - Program for Jackie Taylor's 'Doo Wop Shoo Bop!' play
  • Tape: 4 Story: 32 - Photo - Donald Porter with Michael 'Mickey' McGill of the Dells, April 20, 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 33 - Photo - Donald Porter in a recent publicity photo, 2000
  • Tape: 4 Story: 34 - Photo - Donald Porter in a recent publicity photo, 2000
  • Tape: 4 Story: 35 - Photo - Poster advertising Donald Porter's presentation on doo-wop music at University of California, Santa Barbara, 2000
  • Tape: 4 Story: 36 - Photo - Donald Porter's high school yearbook picture, ca. 1955
  • Tape: 4 Story: 37 - Photo - Album cover of the Spaniels's first album, 'Goodnite, It's Time to Go' reissue, 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 38 - Photo - Album cover for Vocal Poynt's Christmas album, 'Tis the Season'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 39 - Photo - Cassette cover of David Josias's album, 'In My Life'