•  Bob Feldman, Barry Mann & Jerry Goldstein

    Bob & Jerry & Their Friends (Brooklyn, New York)
    aka Ezra & The Ivies (2)
    aka The Kittens (1)
    aka Bobbi & The Beaus (2)

     

    Personnel :

    Jerry Goldstein

    Bob Feldman

     

    Discography :

    Ezra & The Ivies (2)
    1959 - Comick Book Crazy / Rockin Shoes (Baca Laca Ling Dong) (UA 165)

    The Kittens (1)
    1959 - A Letter To Donna / It's All Over Now (Unart 2010)

    Bobbi & The Beaus (2)
    1959 - Melvin / Losing Game (Unart 2009)

    Bob & Jerry
    1961 - Dreamy Eyes / We're The Guys   (Who Drive Your Baby Wild) (Bob & Jerry & Their Friends) (Columbia 42162)
    1962 - Chubby Isn't Chubby Anymore / Nursery Rhyme Folk (Musicor 1018)


    Biography :

    Born in Brooklyn in 1940, Feldman grew up in an orthodox Jewish home and originally studied to be a cantor. The Feldmans lived across the street from Neil Diamond’s folks, just around the corner from the Sedakas, whose son, Neil, was a promising classical pianist, and a couple of blocks away from members of the Tokens, all Lincoln High School graduates and friends. By the mid-50s, doo wop was all the rage and Feldman soon fell in with various groups practising harmonies on the Brooklyn backstreets. He teamed up with his neighbourhood buddy, Jerry Goldstein, and wrote some songs that brought the pair to the attention of Jack Lewis, an A&R man at United Artists Records. Lewis allowed the enthusiastic 18 year-old to sit in on sessions at weekends and mentored him on various aspects of the music business.

    Bob & Jerry aka Ezra & The Ivies (2) aka The Kittens (1) aka Bobbi & The Beaus (2)    Bob & Jerry aka Ezra & The Ivies (2) aka The Kittens (1) aka Bobbi & The Beaus (2)

    Back then, the quickest route to a potential hit was a novelty recording and Feldman and Goldstein chose this path as the most likely way of securing airplay in a crowded market. Thus "Comic Book Crazy" by Ezra & the Ivies, "Melvin" by Bobbi & The Beaus with singer Barbara Robert and "‘A Tribute To Donna" by the Kittens - both probably recorded at the same session under Lewis’ supervision, appeared in March 1959, the latter being a tribute to Ritchie Valens, issued within weeks of his death in the plane accident that also claimed Buddy Holly’s life. None of these early efforts were particularly distinguished or hitworthy, but they enabled Feldman and Goldstein to establish a toehold in the business as part-timers.

     Bob & Jerry aka Ezra & The Ivies (2) aka The Kittens (1) aka Bobbi & The Beaus (2)    Bob & Jerry aka Ezra & The Ivies (2) aka The Kittens (1) aka Bobbi & The Beaus (2)

    The two pals would grab a sandwich andhustle music publishers in their lunch breaks. Young, enthusiastic and markedly persuasive, they began to get some bites, mainly as a novelty turn, twice riding on the coat-tails of existing hits with ‘We’re The Guys’ (an answer record to Barry Mann’s ‘Who Put The Bomp’) as Bob & Jerry on Columbia Records and ‘Chubby Isn’t Chubby Anymore’ (a daft nod to the King of The Twist) on the Musicor label. Another of their songs, ‘Charm Bracelet’, was recorded by teenage pop vocalist Bernadette Peters. Though they were making inroads, it wasn’t until Feldman and Goldstein met Richard Gottehrer in a music publisher’s waiting room in the spring of 1962, that they tasted their first chart success.They formed the Strangeloves consisted of Bob, Jerry and Richard Gottehrer. Although they left their mark under the name Strangeloves with only four singles and one album, their fascinating story extends both before and beyond the group’s brief tenure.

     

    Songs:

    Ezra & The Ivies (2)

      
    Rockin Shoes (Baca Laca Ling Dong)               Comick Book Crazy               

    The Kittens (1)

      
    A Letter To Donna                                It's All Over Now

    Bobbi & The Beaus (2)

      
    Losing Game                                               Melvin

    Bob & Jerry & Their Friends


    We're The Guys (Who Drive Your Baby Wild)

    Bob & Jerry

      
            Dreamy Eyes                                     Nursery Rhyme Folk

    ...


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  • The Vels (1)

    The Vels (1) (Vicksburh, MS.)

     

    Personnel :

    Sidney Caldwell

    Terry Lee Evans

    Charles Marion "Sug" Knight Sr.

    Alvin Sanders

     

    Discography :

    1961 - Please Be Mine / Mysterious Teenage (Trebco 702)

     

    Biography :

    They were originally  "The 5 Knights" from Vicksburg, Mississippi and If Sidney Caldwell, Terry Lee Evans, Marion Knight, and Al Sanders lived in New York or Philly in 1961, they would undoubtedly have hit the big time as one of the best doo-wop groups ever. Instead, there were few recording opportunities for The Vels in Jackson, Mississippi. Their sole record came about when 17- year-old Tim Whitsett convinced a local jeweler /  label owner to let him take The Vels into the studio. Backed by Whitsett’s band, The Vels cut two originals for Trebco Records, “Mysterious Teenage” and “Please Be Mine”. Recorded in a single-car garage with a single track tape recorder, the record has become a doo-wop favorite over the past 50 years.

     

    Songs :


    Please Be Mine


    ...


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  • The Salems

    The Salems (Brooklyn, New York)

     

    Personnel :

    Jimmy Vinson (Lead)

    Billy Vinson

    John G.

     

    Discography :

    1961 - My Precious Love / I'll Still Go On Loving You (Mercury 71754)
    1961 - Maria / O'l Man River (Epic 9480)

     

    Biography :

    Vocal group from Brooklyn composed by Jimmy Vinson, Billy Vinson and friend John G.... Jimmy Vinson and Billy Vinson wrote "My Precious Love" and Jimmy wrote "I'll Still Go On Loving You". The group known as the Salems recorded the two songs backed by two girls - Brenda Smith & Betty Jean Smith. The single released in January 1961 by Mercury Records will have a small success locally. This recognition will allow them to release a new single on Epic by taking up "Maria", one of the West Side Story's best songs.

     

    Songs :


    My Precious Love

    ...


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  •  The Valadiers

    The Valadiers (Detroit)

     

    Personnel :

    Stuart Avig (Lead)

    Martin Coleman (Lead, Bass, Baritone)

    Art Glasser (Second Tenor)

    Jerry Light (Bass, Baritone)

     

    Discography :

    Singles:
    1961 - Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) / Take A Chance (Miracle 6)
    1962 - While I'm Away / Because I Love Her (Gordy 7003)
    1963 - I Found A Girl / You'll Be Sorry Someday (Gordy 7013)

    Unreleased:
    1961 - Nothing Is Going to Change It  (Miracle)
    1961 - Somebody Help Me Find My Baby (Miracle)

     

    Biography :

    The Valadiers became Motown's first white group in a company that was known for featuring black artists. Members of the group were Stuart Avig, Art Glasser, Gary Frenkel, Jerry Light and Marty Coleman. Light, Glasser and Coleman met at a party in 1957 and liked the way they could harmonize while singing along with a record. They had fun with their impromptu group and started meeting together to try their voices with other songs. As they performed together, with other singers joining and leaving, they became more serious about their sound and dreamed about bigger opportunities. They called themselves the Valadiers (brave soldiers or strong men), a word Glasser liked from his Latin class.

    The Valadiers    The Valadiers
                                                                Clockwise from top left, Gary Frenkel, Marty Coleman, Art Glasser, Stuart Avig and Jerry Light.

    At one point, Light and Coleman connected with two black singers, and the four auditioned before Motown legend Berry Gordy Jr., who told them that mixed groups don't become popular. The next audition featured the group that would make the recording of "Greetings": Light and Frenkel from Mumford High School, and Avig, Coleman and Glasser from Oak Park High School. Although group members were white and Jewish, their sound was black, and they became pioneers of blue-eyed soul. The Valadiers experienced an unexpected turn as they were about to sign their contract.

       The Valadiers
    Berry Gordy                                                                                                      

    Because they were only teenagers, they had to get parent approval and were shocked that Frenkel was pulled out of the group by his father, who wanted his son to devote his attention to school. "Greetings," which reached 61 on the national recording charts and sold close to 300,000 copies, topped the charts in Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington, D.C..The group wrote the song based on a headline about President Kennedy drafting large numbers of young men.

    The Valadiers

    Besides singing a cappella at small parties, the Valadiers went on to perform on a small tour circuit. They played the Jewish resorts in South Haven for room and board. The early Valadiers did a lot of personal promoting to get their recordings played on radio stations. Without the follow-up success they

     

    Songs :

          
           Take A Chance                          Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)  

     
        
    You'll Be Sorry Someday                            While I'm Away   

      
    You'll Be Sorry Someday                           I Found A Girl       

     

    ....


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  • The Chessmen (1)  aka The Chessman aka The Preludes (4) aka The Preludes Five 

    The Preludes Five (Brooklyn, New York)
    aka The Preludes (4)
    aka The Chessman
    aka The Chessmen (1)

     

    Personnel :

    Floyd Lark (lead)

     

    Discography :

    The Chessman (ft Bobby)
    1958 – The Keeper Of My Love / Why (Safari 1011)

    The Chessmen (1)
    1958 - Du-Whop / I Live For You (MiraSonic 1002 & MiraSonic 1868)

    The Preludes (4)
    1961 - Don’t You Know Love / Starlight (Pik 230/231)

    The Preludes Five
    1961 - Don’t You Know Love / Starlight (Pik 230/231)

     

    Biography :

    Whoever Leroy R. Bates was he was on a roll in 1961, for not only was he writer of the Preludes Five's hit "Starlight", he was also the writer of the Crystals "There's No Other (like My Baby)" with hit the charts soon after. In those days the only people making money were the writers and publishers : those who 'merely' recorded their work rarely, if ever, saw anything from a record's sale.The Preludes Fives, if they were still together, would ge nothing which is probably what they got in 1961. Surprisingly for a hit record, both the group and their record label are clouded in obscurity.

    The Chessmen (1)  aka The Chessman aka The Preludes (4) aka The Preludes Five    The Chessmen (1)  aka The Chessman aka The Preludes (4) aka The Preludes Five

    Pik Records may have been based on the east coast, an assumption based on the record (Pik 230 "Don’t You Know Love" was the flip) breaking out in New York area June 1961. August 20 it had entered the Billboard hot 100 at 96, subsequently rising to 89 and 86. September 10th and 17th it was No80 and then it disappeared. The first pressing of the record was billed as by the Preludes, subsequent pressings adding the Five, presumably out of the group's concern that at least one other group with the same name could steal their bookings.Remarkably there was no follow-up and it seems the group immediatly disbanded. The quintet were lead by Floyd Lark and were the same group as the Chessman who recorded for Safari in 1958 and the Chessmen on Mirasonic the same year.

     

    Songs :

    The Chessman

      
              Why                                    The Keeper Of My Love

    The Chessmen (1)

      
    Du-Whop                                     I Live For You

    The Preludes (4) / The Preludes Five

      
    Don’t You Know Love                               Starlight          


    ...


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