• Charles Wright, Donald Morris & William "Sonny" Gordon

    Sonny Gordon & The Angels (1) (Philadelphia)


    Personnel :

    William "Sonny" Gordon (Lead)

    Frank Grier (Tenor)

    Donald Morris (Baritone)

    Leamon Crooms (Bass)

    Robert "Sonny" Brockington (Guitarist)


    Discography :

    1954 - Wedding Bells Are Ringing In My Ears / Times Have Changed (Grand 115) 
    1955 - Lovely Way To Spend An Evening / You're Still My Baby (Grand 121) 


    Biography :

    William "Sonny" Gordon had started his singing career in the late 40s in the choir at Sulzberger Junior High School in West Philadelphia.  In 1950, Sonny graduated to Overbrook High School, along with a neighborhood friend, Frank Grier (tenor). They started singing with a couple of other guys from the neighborhood (West Philly, north of Market), Donald Morris (baritone) and Leamon Crooms (bass), who attended Dobbins Tech. A fifth member was guitarist Robert "Sonny" Brockington, Frank's second cousin. hey were all around 16 at the time. The Angels signed a recording contract whith Grand Records. "Wedding Bells Are Ringing In My Ears" did well in Philadelphia, making Billboard's R&B Territorial Best Seller chart the week of October 16 (and for several weeks after that).


    T However, national hits are what bring in the money and when "Wedding Bells Are Ringing In My Ears" failed to take off nationally, Grand issued a second pairing: "Lovely Way To Spend An Evening" and "You're Still My Baby," in January 1955. Both were led by Sonny, with Donald Morris on the bridge of "Evening." he Angels were history, but they weren't quite ready to give up. Without Sonny Gordon, there was no question of doing any touring, so Donald Morris returned as the new lead singer. They recruited Frank Grier's wife's cousin, Roberta Roots (alto), as the fourth member of the re-formed Angels. While they practiced, they never made any appearances. It was all over by 1957, when Leamon joined the Air Force (he'd end up spending 23 years with them). After that, Frank put together a succession of groups called the "Frank Grier Quartet" (including one that recorded for Swan in 1958). 



    Songs :

                  Wedding Bells             Lovely Way To Spend An Evening

    Times Have Changed             You're Still My Baby



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