The Velvets were an American doo wop group from Odessa in Ector County in west Texas. The African American quintet was formed in 1959 by Virgil Johnson, a high school English teacher, with four of his students Roy Orbison heard the group and signed them to Monument Records in 1960. Their first release was a tune called "That Lucky Old Sun". Their biggest hit single was "Tonight (Could Be the Night)", which hit No. 26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. The follow-up, "Laugh", peaked at number 90 and after a half-dozen further singles the group disbanded.
Their complete recorded output runs to just thirty songs, which were collected on one compact disc and released on Ace Records in 1996.
Johnson sometimes appears in nostalgia concerts.
Clarence Rigby (died in an auto accident, 1978)