• The Radiants (4)
    1962 (At the Apollo) Jerome Butler, Green McLaurin, Wallace Sampson, Leonard Caston Jr. and Maurice McAlister 

    The Radiants (3)  (Chicago, Illinois)
    (The Early Years)


    Personnel :

    Maurice McAlister (Lead)

    Wallace Sampson (Baritone)

    Jerome Brooks (Second Tenor)

    Elzie Butler (Bass)

    Charles Washington (First Tenor)


    Discography :

    The Radiants (3)
    1962 - Father Knows Best / One Day I'll Show You (Chess 1832)
    1963 - Heartbreak Society / Please Don't Leave Me (Chess 1849)

    Maurice McAlister & The Radiants (3)
    1963 - Shy Guy / I'm In Love (Chess 1872)


    Biography :

    (From Doo Wop To Soul) - The story of the Radiants began in 1960, when Maurice McAlister distilled a vocal group from the members of the Greater Harvest Baptist Church youth choir. He sang the lead and first tenor, and rounded out the group with Wallace Sampson (baritone), Jerome Brooks (second tenor), Elzie Butler (bass), and Charles Washington (first tenor). The group sang gospel and toured the local churches,  but the singers were also working on secular material. After a few months, Green McLauren, also a member of the youth choir replaced Washington.

    The Radiants (4)

    By 1961, the Radiants had given up gospel completely and had recorded a demo of McAlister- written songs. They sent it to a number of recording companies, including Chess and Motown, but none expressed interest. "We had been trying, walking up and down Michigan Avenue, which was Record Row then, going to companies. They went to Chess four or five times, but they never did have the time for The group. Fortunately, Lee Jackson, their manager, knew Leonard Chess. Lee was a supervisor for a meat-packing company, and he used to go to Chess Records and talk to Leonard. A lot of time he would bring him a thing of bologna or salami, so they got pretty tight. Then he introduced The Radiants to Leonard by the way of the demo. They signed the group who recorded their first session in May of 1962. They had a release out in August of the same year, "One Day I'll Show You" and "Father Knows Best"

    The Radiants (4)  

    The Radiants' first release, though no blockbuster, was a solid double-sided hit. "Father Knows Best," which the company deemed the A side, was essentially a Miracles-styled variation of the group's big hit, "Shop Around," but several steps down from the original. It did well in Chicago and a few other locales. "One Day I'll Show You" was a medium-tempo cross between doowop and soul, with McAlister's forceful lead strongly supported by full-bodied chorusing. The song ranks with the Radiants' best and is McAlister's all-time favorite. In February 1963 the Radiants followed up with "Heartbreak Society." The song was first-rank Radiants' material, but the record failed to make an impact in the market. McAlister's arresting timbre, plus a great hook of a refrain, in which the rest of the guys riffed behind his chanting of "heart...breeaaak," combined to make the record a richly rewarding listening experience. "Shy Guy," a fast rocking tune, was the group's next release, in October 1963.

    The Radiants (4)    The Radiants (4)

    In Chicago, it made the top-forty radio stations and became a hit in the city's dance halls. "Shy Guy" introduced a new member of the group, Frank McCollum, a replacement for McLauren, who entered the Army in the latter part of 1963. In 1964 the Radiants began experiencing internal difficulties, fell into disarray, and broke up. Only McAlister and Sampson were left to continue the group. At that time, however, a fellow choir member and organist at the Greater Harvest Church, Leonard Caston, Jr., had just gotten out of the Army. The three got together and formed a new Radiants ensemble...


    Songs :

    One Day I'll Show You                         Father Knows Best   

    Heartbreak Society                        Please Don't Leave Me

     Shy Guy                                              I'm In Love



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