• The Centuries (1)
    Top : Tony Harris - Bottom : Jimmy Ellis & Billy Marshall

    The Centuries (1) (Los Angeles)


    Personnel :

    Billy Marshall (Lead)

    Tony Harris (Tenor)

    Jimmy Ellis (Baritone)


    Discography :

    1962 - I Won't Stop Lovin' You / Geraldine (Dootone 469)


    Biography :

    Jimmy Preacher Ellis was born in 1935, in the rural farming community of Foreman, Arkansas. Like most youths, his first singing experience came in church, where he and his brother both sang. By 1950 Ellis had moved to Seattle, Washington where he began singing in the choir at the nearby Mount Baker Baptist Church. Eventually his vocal talents came to the attention of the Reverend F.F. Billups who asked Jimmy to join The Traveling Four, since their baritone singer had just quit. By 1955 The Traveling Four split up, and Ellis, now 20 years old, entered the military service. By the late 1950s, he was back in Seattle and began to seriously pursue his interest in playing the guitar. In spite of his developing instrumental skills, Ellis wasn't quite ready for a solo career.

    The Centuries (1)    The Centuries (1)
    Tony Harris                                                                                                                                 

    Instead, Although living in Seattle, Ellis made excursions to Los Angeles during the early sixties to record for the Romack Label. Ellis had made a deal with Dootsie Williams at Dootone Records on West First Street. He recruited former ex-Traveling Four members, Tony Harris and Billy Marshall, to form a doo-wop group called The Centuries. Tony Harris had already embarked on a solo career with several records in 1957 and 1958 on the Ebb label. In early spring 1962 the trio entered the Dootone studios and recorded " Geraldine" backed with "I Won't Stop Lovin' You". The single id not fare very well. Consequently, the three Centuries split up and returned to their respective families. In 1964 and now a solo artist,Jimmy Ellis headed to Los Angeles, hoping to record and later that year his first record single was released. Later in 1964, he met R&B songwriter 'Fats' Washington. Ellis recorded a couple of singles that were released on Washington's Movin' label. Later he had a couple more singles released this time on the Ride label which was another one of Washington's.


    Songs :

         Geraldine                                      I Won't Stop Lovin' You



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