• The Marquees (2) (Washington, D.C.)

    Personnel :

    Reese Palmer (First Tenor)

    Marvin Gaye (Second Tenor / Baritone)

    James Nolan (Second Tenor / Baritone)

    Chester Simmons (Bass)

    Discography :

    The Marquees (2)
    1957 - Wyatt Earp / Hey Little School Girl (Okey 7096)

    Billy Stewart bb The Marquees (2)
    1957 -  Billy's Heartaches / Baby You're My Only Love (Okey 7095)

    Bo Diddley bb The Marquees (2)
    1959 -  I'm Sorry / Oh Yeah (no group) (Checker 914)


    Biography :

    Not to be confused with the Marquees on Grand, the Marquees on Len, the Marquees on Daysel or the Marquees on Warner Brothers, these Marquees recorded for Okeh in 1957. From Washington D.C. they consisted of Reese Palmer (first tenor), Marvin Gaye (second tenor/baritone), James Nolan (second tenor/baritone) and Chester Simmons (bass).

    They played local shows, sometimes with the addition of Peasie Adams who introduced them to Bo Diddley who was living in D.C. at this time.  They were soon signed by Bo's manager Phil Landwehr who landed them Columbia Records' Okeh subsidiary. They cut Wyatt Earp and Hey Little School Girl at their first session at CBS Building on Broadway on 25th September 1957.

    They were backed by Bo and his band and it was beautiful. Hey Little School Girl is an up tempo jiver with a deadly combination of extreme-doowopping and a crack r&b band. Palmer takes the lead vocals and he's so full of life but the star of the show for me is Simmons with his "bbbrrrrmmm's". Jerome Green sparkles on maracas and there's a tasty sax solo in the middle. Okeh weren't impressed by the recording of Wyatt Earp so they sent them back to the studio on November 12 to re-record it with Bo's band.

    Bo Diddley                                                                                         Billy Stewart                            

    Simmons is again the star turn and the guitar solo is hot as well - anyone know if that's Mickey Baker? Despite good reviews the song went no-where and the Marquees left both Okeh and Phil Landwehr. Chester Simmons became a driver and valet for Bo Diddley and through this managed to persuade Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows to come on board and from there the dynamics of the group changed constantly including become the new Moonglows for Fuqua. I think it's fair to say that Marvin Gaye went on to bigger things but he never went to anything better than Okeh 4-7096, a rock 'n' roll gem



    Songs :

    The Marquees (2)

    Wyatt Earp                           Hey Little School Girl

    Billy Stewart bb The Marquees (2)

    Baby You're My Only Love





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