• The Gems (1)
    Rip Reed, Wilson James, Ray Pettis, Bobby Robinson & David Taylor

    The Gems (1) (Evanston, Illinois)


    Personnel :

    Ray Pettis (Lead)

    Rip Reed (Bass)

    Bobby Robinson (First Tenor)

    Wilson James (Bass-Baritone)

    David Taylor (Second Tenor)


    Discography :

    The Gems (1)
    1954 - Talk About The Weather / Deed I Do (Drexel 901)
    1955 - I Thought You'd Care / Kitty From New York City (Drexel 903)
    1955 - You're Tired Of Love / Ol Man River (Drexel 904)
    1956 - The Darkest Night / One Woman Man (Drexel 909)
    1957 - Till The Day I Die / Monkey Face Baby (Drexel 915)

    Dorothy Logan & The Gems (1)
    1954 - Since I Fell For You / Small Town Man (Dorothy Logan) (Drexel 902


    Biography :

    Not to be confused with the girl group of the same name from the same city, who were signed to Chess Records -- were a quintet formed in Chicago in 1952, with Ray Pettis on lead, Bob Robinson and David Taylor as tenors, William James as baritone, and Rip Reed as bass. After a couple of years of singing around the Windy City, they were signed to Drexel Records in the spring of 1954, and their "Let's Talk About the Weather" b/w "Deed I Do" became the company's first release a few weeks later. It did well enough locally so that the group was also on the label's second single A-side, "Since I Fell for You," although the B-side was given to another Drexel artist, Dorothy Logan. They were also represented on the company's third single, "Kitty from New York City" b/w "I Thought You'd Care," and the fourth, an R&B rendition of "Old Man River" backed with "You're Tired of Love."

    The Gems (1)
    Bobby Robinson, David Taylor, Ray Pettis, Wilson James & Rip Reed

    Their recording activity slackened considerably after 1955, with their single "One Woman Man" b/w "The Darkest Night" getting some local and regional airplay. Drexel was still plugging them a couple of years later when it issued their final single, "Monkey Face Baby" b/w "Till the Day I Die." The group apparently broke up after 1957, ending a good five-year run. Their recordings retain a serious following among harmony vocal and doo wop enthusiasts, and devotees of Chicago's music history in those genres. After the Gems broke up, Ray Pettis took over as the lead of another Evanston-based vocal group called the Foster Brothers. As a soloist, Pettis recorded for the Boss and Dee Dee labels (which were co-owned by former Gem Bobby Robinson). He was on singles for Boss released in 1962 and 1963, and on one side of a single for Dee Dee (1963). After a single for Salem in 1965 and one for Exodus (run briefly by Jimmy Bracken and Vivian Carter after Vee-Jay went bankrupt, 1966), Pettis recorded his last two singles for Dee Dee in 1969.

    Songs :

    The Gems (1)

         Deed I Do   /   Talk About The Weather           I Thought You'd Care   /   Kitty From New York  

         You're Tired Of Love   /   Ol Man River
                  The Darkest Night   /   One Woman Man  

    Till The Day I Die / Monkey Face Baby

    Dorothy Logan & The Gems (1)

    Since I Fell For You


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