• The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)
    The Pearls 1956 from left to right Rosco, Howard, Max, Derek, Baby Cortez 

    The Pearls (1)  (Detroit)
     aka The Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)

    Personnel : 

    Howard 'Howie' Guyton  (Lead)

    Dave 'Baby Cortez' Clowney  (Tenor/Pianno)

    Derek Martin  (Tenor)

    George Torrence (Baritone)

    Coley Washington (Bass) 

    Max (High Tenor)


    Discography : 

    The Five Pearls  
    1954 -  Please Let Me Know / Real Humdinger (Aladdin 3265)

    The Pearls (1)
    1955 - Shadows Of Love / Yum Yummy (Atco 6057)
    1956 - Bells Of Love / Come On Home (Atco 6066)
    1956 - Let’s You And I Go Steady / Zippidy Zippidy Zoom (Onyx 503)
    1956 - Tree In The Meadow / My Oh My (Onyx 506)
    1957 - Your Cheatin’ Heart / I Sure Need You (Onyx 510)
    1957 - Ice Cream Baby / Yuz-A-Ma-Tuz (Onyx 511)
    1957 - It’s Love, Love, Love / The Wheel Of Love (Onyx 516)
    1959 - Ugly Face / Band of Angels (On The Square 320)

    Howie & The Sapphires (2)
    1959 - More than the day before / Rockin' horse (Okeh 7112)

    Biography :

    A doo-wop group called the Pearls was at different times and in various line-ups also known as the Fabulous Pearls, the Five Pearls and to a degree even Howie & the Sapphires. Out of the "Motor City", Detroit, Michigan comes the Pearls. Managed at that point by Don Angelo, “Five Pearls” was discovered by Aladdin’s Leo Mesner at the Apollo Theater talent contest.  The Pearls originally signed with Aladdin Records of Los Angeles in 1954 and had one release as the Five Pearls.  The group picked Derek Martin up when stopping over in Detroit on their tour.  Derek became one of their tenor singers, and the other members of the line-up those days included Howard Guyton (lead), David Cortez Clowney (tenor), George Wilson Torrence, Jr. – spelt also Torrance - (baritone), Coley Washington (bass and tenor!) and a high tenor called Max. Besides Howard, David, Derek and Max, in the very first line-up there was also a singer named Rosco. Similarly to Derek Martin, also David Cortez was born in 1938 in Detroit, Michigan. 

    The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)   The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)

     He is Howard Guyton’s cousin, and after about two years with the Pearls, he joined first the Valentines in 1956, then the Jesters, until finally making his mark with two memorable instrumental hits, The Happy Organ on Clock in 1959 (# 1-pop) and Rinky Dink on Julia/Chess in 1962 (# 10-pop).  From there in 1955 the signed with the Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco for a couple of singles. This time on the label it reads simply “the Pearls”, instead of “Five Pearls” as on their debut. Unfortunately, none of these three Pearls singles charted on a national level. The group switched labels, to Onyx Records. The next five singles by the group in 1956 and ’57 were all released on Onyx Records out of New York.  Onyx was Jerry Winston’s label and during its two years plus existence it put out twenty singles by the Velours and the Miller Sisters, among others, but the Pearls was their main act.  By this time David Cortez Clowney had left the group, but he came back later.

    The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)    The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)
        Derek Martin                                                                             David Cortez 

    The arranger Sammy Lowe and his orchestra are featured on these Onyx sides, which mostly are uptempo dancers.  "It’s Love, Love, Love" and "Yuz-A-Ma-Tuz" are quite poppy ones, whereas "Zippidy Zippidy Zoom" and "My oh My" worked best on stage.  Also Hank Williams’ "Your Cheatin’ Heart" is turned into a swinging mid-tempo number.  "The Wheel of Love" and "Tree in the Meadow" are the only ballads, and the latter one was first recorded in 1948 by Billy Reid’s Orchestra with Dorothy Squires as vocalist.  

    The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)    The Pearls (1) aka Five Pearls aka Howie & The Sapphires (2)

    Even more, Howard was the lead vocalist on Howie & the Sapphires’ 1959 single, "More than the Day Before" b/w "Rockin’ Horse", on Okeh 7112. The Pearls did come back together for one more single, though.  Even David Cortez Clowney joined them, in spite of his spring hit in 1959, The Happy Organ.  The Pearls released on E. Duke Pilgrim’s On the Square label out of New York a Coasters type of a novelty number called "Ugly Face", backed with a big-voiced ballad titled "Band of Angels". The single flopped, and there were no more releases on the label, neither by the Pearls, nor anybody else.  

    Songs :

    The Five Pearls  

    Please Let Me Know                            Real Humdinger

    The Pearls (1)

    Shadows Of Love                 Yum Yummy                            Bells Of Love

    Come On Home            Let’s You And I Go Steady        Zippidy Zippidy Zoom

    Tree In The Meadow           Your Cheatin’ Heart              I Sure Need You

    Ice Cream Baby               Yuz-A-Ma-Tuz                 It’s Love, Love, Love

    The Wheel Of Love                  Ugly Face                 Band of Angels

    My Oh My

    Howie & The Sapphires (2)

    More Than The Day Before                    Rockin' Horse




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