• The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    Seated : Jerry Crutchfield . Standing : Gerald Nelson, Jan Crutchfield and Olin Bryant.

    The Escorts (2) (Paducah, Kentucky)
    aka The Country Gentlemen (2)


    Personnel :

    Jerry Crutchfield (Lead)

    Gerald Nelson (Tenor)

    Jan Crutchfield (Baritone)

    Olin Bryant (Bass)


    Discography :

    The Country Gentlemen (2)
    1956 - A Rose And A Baby Ruth / Why Did You Go (RCA Victor 47-6673)
    1956 - My Heart's Desire / Right Around The Corner  (RCA Victor EP 47-6764) 

    George Hamilton IV & The Country Gentlemen (2)
    1956 -  A Rose And A Baby Ruth / If You Don't Know (George Hamilton IV) (Colonial 420)

    The Escorts (2)
    Singles :
    1957 - Arrow Two Hearts / Misty Eyes (OJ 1010)
    1960 - I Will Be Home Again / Leaky Heart And His Red Go-Kart (Scarlet 4005)
    1961 - Snow Dreams / Misty Eyes (De'voice 777)
    Unreleased :
    1957 - Tragedy (OJ)

    Bobby Chandler & The Escorts (2)
    1958 - Winter Time / Junior Prom (OJ 1012)


    Biography :

    Gerald Nelson, the tenor, is a senior 8t Murray Stats College. Jerry Crutchfield , who sings the lead, is another Murray senior, Jan Crutchfield , baritone, is a senior at Tilghman High School in Paducah and Olin Bryant, is a sophomore in the University of Kentucky College of Engineering.  Jerry and Jan Crutchfield are brothers. All four are natives of Paducah, hey started singing together since 1952. In those early days, they were Gospel singers, and were known at various times as the "Melody Masters" and the "Jubilaires." Gospel singing wasn't productive in the money department, but it was good experience. Later, when they left. Paducah and enrolled, at Murray, Jerry Crutchfield, Gerald Nelson and Olin Bryant branched out into popular singing, and worked with Jimmy Cooper in a quartet called the "Four Winds." They also started working parttime when Radio Station WCBL opened  in Benton. On the side, however, they continued to sing with the original quartet. In 1955, the Four Winds won the annual gospel-quartet-singing competition.

    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    1955 - The Four Winds From left, Jimmy Cooper, Jerry Crutchfield, Gerald Nelson, Olin Bryant

    Jerry Crutchfield began to get in touch with recording companies about an audition. The break came in 1956, after one of his periodic visits, Jerry Crutchfield was told by a man at Victor's office in Nashville that the group should work out a distinctive style of singing. They had a style, the Victor  spokesman said, but it was too similar to that of the "Four Freshmen," a current top quartet. There might be a demand for change-of-pace singing group, one with a style that sort of combines rock'n'roll with straight harmony, they were told. With that encouragement, the four altered their style once again. In August 1956, they made four test recordings for Victor; and a contract followed almost immediately. The contract calls for a minimum of four records in six months.

    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)  The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    George Hamilton IV                                                                                                     

    The first record offered "A Rose and A Baby Ruth" on one side and "Why Did You Go?", written by Jerry Crutchfield, on the other. "A Rose and A Baby Ruth" was Issued 2 month after the first press by George Hamilton IV and The group on Colonial # 420 (pressed by RCA). The second record combines "My Heart's Desire" and "Right Around The Corner." The name Country Gentlemen almost proved a disastrous stumbling block. When their first record was released, many radio disc jockeys didn't give it a play because, judging from the name, they thought the group was a hillbilly outfit.  RCA issued two singles by them before they were renamed "The Escorts" early in 1957.

    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    1957 - The Escorts : Gerald Nelson, Jerry and Jan Crutchfield, and Olin Bryant

    In 1957, The Escorts Won the Arthur Godfrey "Talent Scouts' award Monday on Channel 11 and has been appearing many week on the Godfrey show. With these appearances the group sign a recording contract with OJ records. OJ RECORDS was the manufacturing arm of Old Judge Music Publishing whose offices were locate at 1018 North Watkins Street in Memphis, Tennessee.  The label seems to have begun operations sometime in 1956 or 1957 under the supervision of Bill Biggs and C. J. (Red) Matthews.  The Escorts had two release on O.J., "Misty Eyes"/"Arrow Two Heart" (OJ 1010), there's also Bobby Chandler & The Escorts: "Winter Time"/"Junior Prom" (OJ 1012).

    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    Bobby Chandler                                                                   Gerald Nelson

    The Escorts had records issued on Scarlett "I Will Be Home Again" b/w "Leaky Heart And His Red Go-Kart" and on the De'Voice label "Snow Dreams" b/w  "Misty Eyes". Gerald Nelson had co-written the song 'Tragedy' with Fred Burch and had recorded the original version with The Escorts. Nelson brought this song to the attention of Scotty Moore who decided that it suited the vocal stylings of Thomas Wayne. With Scotty playing the guitar fills and Bill Black on bass plus vocal backing by The De-Lons , the song was recorded along with 'Saturday Date' at Hi's Royalty Studio and released on Fernwood 109 in September 1958.

    The Escorts (2) aka The Country Gentlemen (2)
    At Station WCBL, in Benton, Seated is Jerry Crutchfield and standing are Gerald Nelson, Jan Crutchfield and Olin Bryant.

    At first 'Saturday Date' was plugged as the main side but in the spring of 1959, a disc jockey in Kentucky played the flip 'Tragedy' and the disc took off. It eventually peaked at #5 on the national charts and sold over a million copies along the way. Gerald & Fred were songwriters and they wrote many songs for Elvis including "The Love Machine", "Great Shakin' Fever" for Dorsey Burnette, "That's All Right With Me" for Ral Donner.


    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim)

    The Country Gentlemen (2)

    Why Did You Go                    Right Around The Corner

     My Heart's Desire

    George Hamilton IV & The Country Gentlemen

    A Rose And A Baby Ruth

    The Escorts (2)

         Misty Eyes                                  Arrow Two Hearts

            I Will Be Home Again               Leaky Heart And His Red Go-Kart

    Bobby Chandler & The Escorts (2)

    Junior Prom                              Winter Time

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