• The Mellows (1)

    1955 - John Wilson , Lillian Leach , Harold Johnson & Norman  Brown

    The Mellows (1) (Bronx, New-York)

    Personnel :

    Lillian Leach (Lead)

    John “Tiny” Wilson (First Tenor)

    Harold Johnson (Second Tenor & Guitar)

    Norman “Polecat” Brown (Bass)


    The Mellows (1)

    1954 - How Sentimental Can I Be / Nothin' To Do (Jay Dee 793)
    1955 - Smoke From Your Cigarette / Pretty Baby, What's Your Name (Jay Dee 797)
    1955 - I Was A Fool To Let You Go / I Still Care (Jay Dee 801)
    1955 - Yesterday's Memories / Lovable Lily (Jay Dee 807)
    1956 - Lucky Guy / My Darling (Celeste 3002)
    1956 - I'm Yours / Sweet Lorraine (Celeste 3004)

    Unreleased :
    1958 - So Strange (Apollo)
    1958 - Be Mine (Apollo)

    Demos A cappella :
    1956 - I Call To You (Celeste)
    1956 - Sweet Lorraine  (Celeste)
    1956 - Lucky Guy (Celeste)
    1956 - My Darling (Celeste)
    1956 - I'm Yours (Celeste)
    1956 - You're Gone (Celeste)
    1956 - Ain't She Got Nerve (Celeste)
    1956 - When The Lights Go On Again (Celeste)
    1956 - I'm Gonna Pick Your Teeth With An Ice Pick (Celeste)

    Lillian Lee & The Mellows (1)
    1956 - You've Gone / Moon Of Silver (Candlelight 1011)

    Carl Spencer & The Mellows (1)
    1957 - Farewell, Farewell, Farewell / No More Loneliness (Candlelight 1012)

    Biography :

    The original members of this 50s vocal harmony group from the Bronx, New York, USA, were female lead Lillian Leach, first tenor Johnny ‘Tiny’ Wilson, second tenor Harold Johnson and bass Norman ‘Polecat’ Brown. The Mellows never had a national R&B hit, but enjoyed a number of regional hits on the east coast on the strength of the lead voice of Leach, who possessed one of the warmest and most sensual voices in the history of doo-wop.

    The Mellows (1)   The Mellows (1)  

    Joe Davis                                                                                   

    The three boys had met as teenagers at the Morris High School in the Bronx, New York, USA. They encountered Leach at a party in 1954 when she joined their harmonizing. The revised blend was an instant hit, and the sound it produced gave the quartet their name (having learned that their original choice, the Mello-Tones, had already been employed elsewhere). They signed a contract with veteran Joe Davis on his Jay Dee label, releasing the Johnson penned ‘How Sentimental Can I Be?’. They made their biggest impact with their second release, the exquisitely romantic ‘Smoke From A Cigarette’, from early 1955.

    The Mellows (1)

    1956 - Arthur Crier, John Wilson,  Harold Johnson , Gary Morrison & Lillian Leach

     It achieved substantial local success, and during the neo-doo-wop renaissance of the early 60s became one of the most requested oldies. The next release, another remarkable ballad, ‘I Still Care’ (1955), received modest airplay. Its b-side featured another wonderful ballad, ‘I Was A Fool To Care’. The last release for Jay Dee was ‘Yesterday’s Memories’, another under appreciated masterpiece of its time.

    The Mellows (1)    The Mellows (1)

    1956 - Harold Johnson, John Wilson, Gary Morrison, Arthur Crier & Lillian Leach with manager' David Levitt

    In 1956, the Mellows moved to the Celeste label, and at this point Norman Brown left and vocal group veterans Arthur Crier and Gary Morrison were added. Commercial success at Celeste was not forthcoming, even for the outstanding ‘My Darling’. The group left the company in 1957, and completed one more recording session for Apollo in 1958 (which was left in the can) before disbanding. Johnson and Crier went on to form the Halos, who backed Curtis Lee on ‘Pretty Little Angel Eyes’ and enjoyed a hit under their own steam with ‘Nag’.

    The Mellows (1)  

    1955 - John Wilson , Lillian Leach , Alan Freed, Harold Johnson & Norman  Brown

    Lillian Leach And The Mellows probably attained greater fame after the record collecting community rediscovered the group’s recordings during the 60s and lionized them. A reunion of the Mellows took place in 1984 with three of the original members, and the group have continued to peddle sweet R&B pop on the nostalgia circuit ever since.

    Songs :

    The Mellows (1)

    How Sentimental Can I Be         Nothin' To Do           Smoke From Your Cigarette

    I Was A Fool To Let You Go / I Still Care         Yesterday's Memories / Lovable Lily

    Lucky Guy / My Darling                 I'm Yours / Sweet Lorraine

    Pretty Baby, What's Your Name              So Strange                              Be Mine

    Lillian Lee & The Mellows (1)

    You've Gone                             Moon Of Silver

    Carl Spencer & The Mellows (1)

    Farewell, Farewell, Farewell / No More Loneliness


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