Virgil Lewis Johnson was the first African American to sign a major recording contract and to be honored on the West Texas Hall of Fame. He formed the American doo-wop group The Velvets in 1960 with a group of his students. Their greatest hit, “Tonight (Could Be the Night),” reached No. 26 on the Billboard chart in 1961. He also served Lubbock ISD for almost 30 years, including 9 years as principal of Dunbar High School.