• The Vala-Quons aka The Valaquans aka The Hep Cats

    1962 - Seated : DJ's Lonnie Rochon, Tommy Smalls, Willie Bryant, & KDAY's Operations & Program Director Kelley Daniels.
    Standing in the back row : The Valaquons : Rufus Moorehead, Andrew Winsletta, Jesse Kirkland & Bobby Johnson                              (Joe Thomas & Eyzell Taylor are not on the photo)

    The Vala-Quons (Los Angeles, Ca.)
    aka The Valaquans
    aka The Hep Cats


    Personnel :

    Joe Thomas (Lead Tenor)

    Willie Gant (Bass)

    John Wesley "Wes" Hayes (Second Tenor / Baritone / Guitarist)

    Bobby Johnson (First Tenor)

    Jesse Kirkland (Second Tenor / Baritone)


    Discography :

    The Hep Cats
    1961 - The Dilly Up / What In The World Can I Do (Del-Fi 4159)

    The Vala-Quons
    1962- Madelaine / Teardrops (Laguna 102)
    1965 - Window Shopping On Girl's Avenue / I Wanna Woman (Tangerine 951)

    The Valaquans
    1965 - Diddybop  / Jolly Green Giant (Rayco 516)


    Biography :

    The Vala-Quons hailed from Los Angeles, California and were composed by Joe Thomas (Lead Tenor), Willie Gant (Bass), John Wesley "Wes" Hayes (2nd Tenor; Baritone; Guitarist), Bobby Johnson (1st Tenor) and Jesse Kirkland (2nd Tenor; Baritone). Before being known as the "Vala-Quons", the group had released a single one year earlier, in 1961 under the name "Hep-Cats", possibly with a few different group members. They recorded "The Dilly Up" b/w "What In The World Can I Do" released by Del-Fi Records, based in Hollywood, California and owned by Bob Keane. The label was most famous for signing Ritchie Valens.  It was therefore one year later, in 1962, that the group recorded their second single  "Madelaine" b/w "Teardrops". Laguna Records released the single under their new name, The Vala Quons. Laguna records was owned by  Delmar White, Joe Thomas' stepfather. The Vala Quons signs for Tangerine Records, label founded by musician Ray Charles in 1962. They cut "Window Shopping On Girl's Avenue" b/w "I Wanna Woman". The group had one other release as the Valaquans (in 1964 on Rayco.)


    Songs :

    The Hep Cats

    What In The World Can I Do                       The Dilly Up            

    The Vala-Quons

    Madelaine                               Teardrops

    Window Shopping On Girl's Avenue              I Wanna Woman                

    The Valaquans

         Diddybop                                   Jolly Green Giant

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