The Endeavors (Asbury Park, New Jersey)
Virginia Davis (Lead)
1959 - Suffering With My Heart / I Got The Feeling (J&S 254/255)
Virginia Davis graduated a boarding school in Bordentown, NJ, in the summer of 1955. When she returned to Asbury Park. Someone told a local vocal group, the Mar-Keys, about Virginia’s singing experience in the choir and she was invited to join the group. with the departing of Joe Major, The Mar-Keys consisted of Lenny Welch, Leroy Brown, Virginia Davis, Raymond Morris and William Penha. The group just sang at local places and went to the Apollo theatre where they finished second.
The Mar-Keys (L to R) Raymond Morris, Leroy Brown, Virginia Davis, Lenny Welch, William Penha
Leroy Brown and Virginia Davis were married in 1957. By then, Lenny Welch, Joe Major and William Penha were singing with Bobby Thomas as The Vibes. Virginia Davis Brown now started singing with Arthur Morris’ two daughters, Eleanor and Constance Morris. This group became the Endeavors. Rounding out the Endeavors was Kenneth Wilson, a former disc jockey on WJLK radio. Wilson was also a songwriter and the group soon was singing many of his songs.
The group would often rehearse at the Morris family home and quickly drew the attention of Arthur Morris. Arthur booked the Hearts (“Lonely Nights”) into Asbury Park’s Convention Hall in the late 1950’s and introduced the Endeavors to the Hearts’ manager, Zelma “Zell” Saunders. Saunders had formed her own record label, J&S Records, and signed the Endeavors to record. The Endeavors recorded “Suffering With My Hearts” backed with “I Got The Feeling” (J&S # 254/255) in 1959. Virginia sang lead. Both sides were written by Kenneth Wilson. Even so, the Endeavors’ first record was their last. It failed to chart and the group did not record again.The Endeavors did continue singing for a while, opening for big name acts at Asbury Park’s Convention Hall, including the Miracles.
Suffering With My Heart I Got The Feeling
The Parliaments (1) (Plainfield, New Jersey)
George Clinton (Lead)
1958 - Poor Willie / Party Boys (APT 25036)
1959 - Lonely Island / You Make Me Wanna Cry (Flip 100)
1965 - Heart Trouble / That Was My Girl (Golden Word-46)
The Parliaments were a doo-wop quintet from Plainfield, New Jersey, formed in the back room of a barbershop in the late 1950s and named after the cigarette brand. After some early personnel changes their lineup solidified with George Clinton, Ray Davis, Fuzzy Haskins, Calvin Simon, and Grady Thomas. Clinton was group leader and manager, and part owner of the barbershop where the group convened to entertain customers.
The Parliaments were supposed to be Clinton’s take on Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, but as you might expect from something that Clinton was involved in, they developed their own funky style. Still, hits weren’t easy to come by. The group had a tough time through most of the ’60s, recording singles that went nowhere for a variety of small labels. Early efforts included “Poor Willie” on Apt Records, “Lonely Island” on Flip Records, and “Heart Trouble” on Golden World Records.
Eventually, Clinton gained employment at Motown Records as a songwriter and producer, making weekly trips to Detroit to produce for The Pets, Roy Handy, and other acts. In 1967 the Parliaments released "(I Wanna) Testify" on Revilot and finally achieved a hit single, with the song reaching #3 R&B and #20 Pop on the Billboard charts.
Poor Willie Party Boys
You Make Me Wanna Cry Lonely Island
Heart Trouble That Was My Girl
Linda Martell & The Anglos (1) (Leesville, South Carolina)
aka The Angelos
Thelma Bynem "Linda Martell"
Linda Martell & The Anglos (1)
1962 - A Little Tear (Was Falling From My Eyes) / The Things I Do For You (Fire 512)
1963 - Lonely Hours / Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby (Vee Jay 531)
1964 - Bad Motorcycle (Wooden Wooden) / Backfield In Motion (Tollie 9003)
Linda Martell (born Thelma Bynem) was born in Leesville, South Carolina the daughter of pastor Clarence Bynem. Singing began for Linda in Leesville's (S. C.) St. Mark's Baptist Church, where Linda, her sister and three brothers sang in the choir. When Linda turned 16, her voice seemed a natural for rhythm and blues and she began singing around her home state with her sister, a cousin and her brothers who formed a band.
In 1961, the girls, Linda, her sister and her cousin formed a vocal trio called the Anglos. The Anglos cut "A Little Tear" b/w "The Things I Do For You" on Bobby Robinson's Fire Records (1962, as Linda Martell & the Anglos). The group also recorded two singles for Vee-Jay records and Vee-Jay’s subsidiary Tollie Records as The Angelos with "Lonely Hours" written by Linda and "Backfield In Motion" by her brother Elzie - both produced by Ray Stevens
The family group enjoyed a modest success for eight years. They sang behind the Drifters and recorded behind Jimmy Hughes. They really divided when her cousin got married. In 1969, she joined Shelby Singleton's Plantation Records. Linda Martell was a chocolate-brown beauty from South Carolina who had a hit song, "Color Him Father," on the country radio.
Linda Martell & The Anglos (1)
A Little Tear The Things I Do For You
Lonely Hours Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby
Bad Motorcycle (Wooden Wooden) Backfield In Motion
The Rhythm Heirs & Art Wheeler
The Rhythm Heirs (El Paso, Texas)
Featuring Evelyn & Virgie / Art Wheeler (Mello-Tones)
Eugene Anchondo (Guitarist)
Beto Velez (Tenor Sax)
Fernando "Ferny" Pena (Sax)
Adolfo H. Molinar, Sr (Drummer)
1959 - Strange World / Cradle Rock (Yucca 105)
By 1960 there was Little Joe and the Latinaires up north in Temple, Los Dinos in Corpus Christi, Junior & The Starlites in Waco, The Playboys in Seguin, Freddy Frender in San Benito, and the The Rhythmairs in El Paso. The Rhythmairs who along the way changed to the Rhythm Heirs. The band was started five years ago when a South El Paso boy suggested to the Rev. Harold J. Rahin that the Center director organize a group of musicians.
Virgie and Evelyn Galleges
The band consisted of two saxophones, two guitars, a trumpet, pianist and drums. The musicians doubled up for vocals and for a short while Virgie and Evelyn Galleges, two cute girls from El Paso High added a new dimension to the group with a flair for dress and good harmony. The Mello-tones, a quartet of the band led by Art Wheeler also participate in the show backed by the Band. Competition kept the band practicing to excel as the Blue Kings, Night Dreamers, Kingsmen and others .
After numerous concerts and performance and growing popularity, the Band signed a recording contract with Calvin Boles, owner of the label Yucca Records of Alamogordo (New Mexico). Virgie and Evelyn Galleges with The Rhythm Heirs sang "Cradle Rock", The other side of the record is "Strange-World", by Art Wheeler and the Mello-Tones (uncredited) backing by the The Rhythm Heirs.
The Rhythm Heirs & The Mello-Tones
Ruben Molina places Evelyn and Virgie in El Paso in his book Chicano Soul, even referring to "Cradle Rock" as one of the very first doo wop-styled recordings to come out of the border town. And yet this February 1959 release sounds earlier.
The vocal group sound hit El Paso a bit late, but just as it was in cities like Los Angeles and San Antonio the Chicanos hung on to the 'oldies' sound loooooong after it had fallen out of favor on radio. The most interesting thing about "Cradle Rock" is that it was remade by brothers Benny and Joe Rodriguez who, as members of L.A.'s Heartbreakers, re-recorded the song for Bob Keane's Donna Records in 1964.
Art Wheeler (& The Mello-Tones) bb The Rhythm Heirs
Evelyn & Virgie bb The Rhythm Heirs
The Elgins 1959 (L to R) William DeVase, Oscar McDonald, Kenny Sinclair, Darryl Lewis and Jimmy Smith.
The Elgins (1) (Southern California)
aka The Elements aka The Daniels aka The Bagdads
Jimmy Smith (Lead)
1960 - Lonely Hearts Club / Bad Man (Titan 1708)
1961 - My Illness / Extra Extra (By the Elgins) (Titan 1724)
The Elgins (1)
1961 - Uncle Sam's Man / Casey Cop (Flip 353)
1961 - Extra Extra / My Illness (By the Elements) (Titan 1724)
1961 - Extra! Extra! / Heartache, Heartbreak (Titan 1724)
1962 - A Winner Never Quits / Finally (Lummtone 109)
1962 - A Winner Never Quits / Johnny I'm Sorry (Lummtone 109)
1962 - Johnny I'm Sorry / You Got Your Magnet On Me (Lummtone 110)
1963 - Lost My Love In The Big City / Finally (Lummtone 112)
1963 - Your Lovely Ways / Finding A Sweetheart (Lummtone 113)
1965 - Street Scene / You Found Yourself Another Fool (Valiant 752)
1963 - Big City / Finally (Lantam 01)
1968 - Livin' In Fear / Let's Talk About the Bad Times (Double Shot 128)
1968 - Bring Back Those Doo-Wopps / Green Power 1968 (Double Shot 133)
1969 - Love Has Two Faces / Jelly (Double Shot 140)
1970 - Keep Those Mini Skirts Up / Let's Talk About the Bad Times (Double Shot 151)
1969 - Push Me Baby (Double Shot)
Oscar McDonald and Jimmy Smith attended high school together in Beaumont, Texas. Jimmy, on occasion, laments the fact that he came in second place in several talent contests in Texas to Johnny Nash, of "I Can See Clearly Now" fame. Darryl Lewis, Kenny Sinclair and William Devase attended high school in southern California. Darryl and Kenny were original members of the Six Teens, of "A Casual Look" fame, along with Darryl's cousin Trudy Williams. After leaving the Six Teens, Kenny hooked up with William to sing in various groups while in high school.
The Elgins (1960)
Cappie, as Darryl is affectionately called by close friends, reunited with Kenny, his brother Carl, and William. He brought Jimmy into the group to sing lead. This quintet recorded "Lonely Hearts Club" b/w "Bad Man" for the Titan label in 1960 under the name of the Elements. They also recorded "My Illness" as the Elements for Titan, but this was to go unreleased at the time. Soon thereafter, Carl left the group to devote more time to pursuing an acting career. Jimmy brought Oscar McDonald into the group and the Elgins were born. Along with a change in personnel was a label change to Flip.
This was a return to familiar shores. Flip had been the recording home for the Six Teens. Jimmy Smith had also recorded "I Cry And Cry Every Night" b/w "Night Time" for Flip in 1959 backed by the Lockettes. The Elgins recording on Flip of "Uncle Sam’s Man" b/w "Casey Cop" was released in 1960 and established the group on the west coast. The success of "Uncle Sam’s Man" certainly caught the attention of George Brown at Titan records.
The Bagdads (1968)
Rembering that he still had an unreleased recording by the group (prior to the name change) still in the vaults, Brown decided to capitalize on their recent success and issued "My Illness" b/w "Extra Extra" in 1961 under the name Elgins rather than the Elements . 1962 saw the record reissued with the title of "My Illness" changed to "Heartaches Heartbreak", a somewhat less somber name for the tune. 1962 saw yet another label change for the group, this time to Lummie Fowler's Lummtone label. Their first release, Lummtone 109 was "Finally" b/w "A Winner Never Quits". Barbara Lewis, who had replaced Devase in the group at the time, is heard on "Finally", behind the lead of Darryl Lewis. Their next release, also in '62 was "Johnny I'm Sorry" b/w "A Winner Never Quits", and was also issued as Lummtone 109. "Johnny I'm Sorry" took on new life when it was issued again as Lummtone 110 this time b/w "You Got Your Magnet On Me Baby".
The Elgins (2003)
Devase was back in the group for their next outing on Lummtone which was "I Left My Heart In The Big City" b/w "Finally", which was resurrected from their previous release. This record was also released on the Lantam label as by the Daniels. The Elgins final recording for Lummtone in 1963 was "Your Lovely Ways" b/w "Finding A Sweetheart". In 1965, the Elgins released a more POP sounding record "Street Scene" b/w "You Found Yourself Another Fool" for the Valiant label. Sinclair, Devase and McDonald recorded again between 1968-1970 as the Bagdads, putting out four singles, most notable of which was "Bring Back Those Doo-Wops" b/w "Green Power" for the Double Shot label.
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
Lonely Hearts Club / Bad Man My Illness
The Elgins (1)
Uncle Sam's Man / Casey Cop Extra! Extra! Heartache, Heartbreak
A Winner Never Quits / Johnny I'm Sorry
You Got Your Magnet On Me Lost My Love In The Big City / Finally
Your Lovely Ways / Finding A Sweetheart You Found Yourself Another Fool
Street Scene Finally
Bring Back Those Doo-Wopps / Green Power
Push Me Livin' In Fear Let's Talk About The Bad Times
Love Has Two Faces Jelly
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