‘The Book of Love,’ The Monotones


The cover of a Monotones compilation album.

There must have been a million doo-wop bands in Newark, Jersey City, Camden and New Jersey’s other urban areas in the late 1950s. One of the few who broke through, though, was the poorly named but great-sounding sextet The Monotones, who formed in Newark’s Baxter Terrace housing project and got their start singing in New Hope Baptist Church, along with Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick.

Their buoyant “The Book of Love” — which asks the eternal question, “Who wrote the book of love?” — made the Top 10 in 1958, and remains one of the most indelible hits of the Doo-Wop Era.

Their success was short-lived. They never had another hit, and disbanded in 1962. Various comebacks brought new versions of the group to the oldies circuit, though, into the 1990s.

“The Book of Love” was sung by Warren Davis, Charles Patrick, George Malone, Frankie Smith and the brothers John and Warren Ryanes. There was also a seventh original Monotones member, Patrick’s brother James, but he left before “The Book of Love” became a hit.

Below is a great clip of the band lip-synching the song on the ABC television show,” Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show.”

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Explore more articles:


travis aldous April 3, 2018 - 10:30 am

hadnt heard Charles Patrick passed, when was this ?

njartsdaily@gmail.com April 3, 2018 - 10:39 am

I wrote this three and a half years ago, so I’m not sure why I wrote that, but I can find no evidence now that he has died, so I have changed copy to reflect that. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Nina May 3, 2019 - 7:23 am

I am the daughter of Warren Ryanes of the Monotones. I remember a camera crew coming out and interviewing several members of the group as a young child. I have been desperately searching for the tape with no success. Please help!!!

Adrienne Phillips May 8, 2019 - 6:40 pm

Hi Nina,

I am the niece of Warren Davis and would love to interview for something I am writing. My daughter is also working on a documentary which will expand. I have some memorabilia from The Monotones at Baxter Terrace. I would love to connect. Perhaps the website owner can connect us?


njartsdaily@gmail.com May 8, 2019 - 7:34 pm

It’s not clear to me who you’re trying to connect with. – JL

Adrienne Davis-Phillips March 21, 2022 - 7:02 pm

Hi Nina,

Warren Davis is my uncle. I would love to connect.

Alice June 6, 2020 - 10:59 pm

Charles Patrick is one of our best friends and he is alive but he does have Alzheimer’s. Is not gone yet. Wonderful man to have known

Adrienne Davis-Phillips March 21, 2022 - 7:36 pm

Hi Alice,

Warren Davis is my uncle. Is Charles still alive?


Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter