Shirley Gunter & The Queens (Los Angeles)


    Personnel :

    Shirley Gunter (Lead)

    Lula B. Kenney (Soprano)

    Lula Mae Suggs (Middle Harmony)

    Blondene Taylor (Alto)


    Discography :

    1954 - Oop Shoop / It's You (Flair 1050)
    1955 - You're Mine / Why (Flair 1060)
    1955 - Baby, I Love You So / What Difference Does It Make (Flair 1065)
    1955 - That's The Way I Like It / Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (Flair 1070)     


    Biography :

    Shirley Gunter was born in 1934 in Coffeyville, Kansas, and migrated to Los Angeles with her family in early 1942. She began her singing career as a solo artist in 1953 when her older brother, Cornelius, a member of a vocal group called The Flairs, took her to his label, Flair Records, a subsidiary of Modern Records.


    After her first two singles, Shirley put together her own group called The Four Queens in 1954 with high soprano Lula B. Kenney, Lula's Aunt Lula Mae Suggs (middle harmony) and alto Blondene Taylor, Shirley's best friend at Polytechnic High School. One day the four girls were fooling around on the piano in Shirley's living room when they came up with a "Sh-Boom"-like ditty with nonsense lyrics called "Oop Shoop." When they took it to saxophonist Maxwell Davis, Shirley's mentor at Flair Records, he helped them work up a more polished arrangement.

    Label chief Joe Bihari liked what he heard, changed their name to Shirley Gunter & The Queens, and released "Oop Shoop" in August 1954. Within two months it entered the R&B charts and rose to number eight, but before the record had a chance to cross over into pop territory, The Crew-Cuts, who had already had a major hit by covering "Sh-Boom" for Mercury Records, gave "Oop Shoop" the same treatment.

    Blondene Taylor                                                                       The Flairs

    Bandleader Spike Jones' wife, Helen Greco, also recorded it (on RCA's X label), along with The Hamilton Sisters (Columbia), Big John & His Buzzards (Okeh) and Kay Brown (on Crown, another Modern Records subsidiary ). After four singles and a couple of tours with The Queens, Shirley Gunter paired up with her brother's group, The Flairs.




    Songs :

    Oop Shoop                             That`s The Way I Like It

    Why                                         You're Mine

    Gimme, Gimme, Gimme                  Baby, I Love You So

    It's You                                         What Difference Does It Make






    CDs :

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