• The Blue Jays (3) (Venice, California)
    aka The Values


    Personnel :

    Leon Peels(lead)

    Van Earl Richardson(Tenor)

    Alexander Manigo(Baritone)

    Leonard Davidson(Bass)


    Discography :

    The Blue Jays (3)

    Singles :
    1961 - Lover's Island / You're Gonna Cry (Milestone 2008)
    1961 - Tears Are Falling / Tree Tall Len (Milestone 2009)
    1961 - Let's Make Love / Rock, Rock, Rock (Milestone 2010)
    1962 - The Right To Love / Rock, Rock, Rock (Milestone 2012)
    1962 - Venus My Love / Tree Tall Len (Milestone 2014)

    Lps :
    1962 - The Blue Jays Meet Little Caesar & The Romans (Mileston 1001)
    Tears Are Falling / Tree Tall Len / The Right to Love / Rock, Rock, Rock / Let's Make Love / Lover's Island / You're Gonna Cry / Venus My Love


    Leon Peels & The Blue Jays  (3)
    1990 - Once Upon a Love / Alice From Above (Classic Artists 111)

    The Values
    1962 - Return To Me / That's The Way (Invicta 1002/Ember 211'1965')


    Leon Peels & The Hi-Tensions
    Singles :
    1964 - A Magic Island / Darlene (Whirlybird 2008)
    Unreleased :
    1964 - Woe Is Me  (Whirlybird)
    1964 - Thats All It Took  (Whirlybird)

    Leon Peels
    1964 - A Casual Kiss / Cottonhead Joe (Whirlybird 2002)

    Leon Peels & Lolly Vegas Trio
    1965 - The Heart You Break May Be Your Own        
    1965 - So Long Lovers Island   


    Biography :

    The Blue Jays perfectly represent the transitional era between '50s R&B and the '60s soul era by singing doo wop-styled songs with a gospelly lead vocal. They are best known for their 1961 Top 40 hit "Lovers Island," which many consider to be the last hit record in true doo wop style. The Los Angeles-based vocal quartet — Leon Peels (b. 1936, Newport, AR), Van Richardson, Alex Manigo, and Leonard Davidson (aka "Len" and "Tree Tall Len") — came together in the suburb of Venice, CA, in 1961.

    Following an appearance at an amateur show at the Fox Theater in Venice, the group were put in touch with country singer Werly Fairburn, who signed them to his Milestone label. Milestone's roster consisted mostly of rockabilly bands and had already achieved some success with the Paradons ("Diamonds and Pearls"). The Blue Jays' first single "Lovers Island," written by Peels and Manigeault, seemed almost like a throwback to an earlier time in vocal group music.


    Though it was not a big seller like other vocal act singles of the time by groups like the Jive Five or the Dreamlovers — it charted in the pop Top 40 at number 31 and performed well on the local L.A. R&B charts — it served as a beautiful swan song for the doo wop era.  The group followed their hit with singles like "Tears Are Falling" (1961) and "The Right to Love" (1962), but nothing came of them and the group change their name to 'the Values' and recorded "Return To Me" b/w "That's The Way" on the Invicta label. The group broke up in early 1962. Leon Peels later recorded a number of singles — including "On a Magic Island" — for Whirlybird Records, backed by the Hi-Tensions.


    Songs :

    The Blue Jays (3)

    Lover's Island                       You're Gonna Cry                  Tears Are Falling

    Tree Tall Len                       Let's Make Love                   Rock, Rock, Rock

    The Right To Love                   Venus My Love                 Once Upon a Love

    Alice From Above

    The Values

    That's The Way                                    Return To Me


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