The Del-Chords (1) (Bunkie, Louisiana)
Arthur Lee Searcy
1960 - Help Me / Say That You Love Me (Jin 126)
This group from Bunkie, Louisiana consisted of Frankie Simmons, James Jackson, Arthur Sterling, Marshall Hawkins and Arthur Lee Searcy. When Floyd Soileau (the owner of the Jin Records) first heard The Del-Chords, he had high hopes . So, Floyd took The Del-Chords into the studio. They recorded "Help Me", which became their debut single. It was released on Jin Records in 1960. Floyd also sent copies of "Help me" to the major labels.
Floyd Soileau (Owner of the Jin Records)
He thought they would find it hard to resist the combination of a needy vocal and tight harmonies. He was wrong. None of the majors expressed an interest in The Del-Chords. To make matters worse, the single flopped. Even veteran music men get it wrong once in a while. Thus, despite the high-quality harmonies, the group were never called back for a follow up.
Help Me Say That You Love Me
Clockwise from bottom, David Campanella, George Kafcos, Kenny Hamilton and Joey Vertucci.
David Campanella & The DellChords (Brooklyn, NY)
David Campanella (Lead / Second Tenor)
George Kafcos (Lead / Baritone)
Kenny Hamilton (Bass)
Joey Vertucci (First Tenor)
1959 - Everything's That Way / Over The Rainbow (Kane 25593)
George Kafcos (Kafcopoulos) and best friend Kenny Hamilton from Flushing had a ramshackle group with no name. Kenny Hamilton attended Queens Day School in Sunny Side Queens with David Campanella. George Kafcos attended Bayside H.S. and Kenny brought David around to their neighborhood and introduced george to him.
Early Dellchords : Larry Marshal, George Kafcos, Algie Hough, Georgia Kafcos (Manager), Kenny Hamilton & David Campanella
David Campanella was living in Glen Cove NY at the time, he was son of Roy Campanella, nicknamed "Campy", an American baseball player, primarily as a catcher. Their three part harmony blew away anything they had heard with their group and that at that moment was the beginning of the group. The DellChords were born. They needed more voices and they take in their adventures Algie Hough and Larry Marshall from Queens Day School as well.
Early Dellchords, with Roy Campanella (Larry Marshall, Kenny Hamilton, Algie Hough, George Kafcos and David Campanella)
This group configuration now was three black guys and two white guys (Kenny Hamilton and George Kafcos). Algie and Larry sang with the group very briefly and they will be replaced by Joey Vertucci , a First Tenor from Corona NY. Now, the future recording group was one black guy (David) and three white guys (Kenny, George & Joey).
David Campanella, George Kafcos, Joey Vertucci and Kenny Hamilton
They signing a recording contract with Richard Oats, head of Kane Records in 1959. The Dell Chords cut two songs for Kane, The classic "Over The Rainbow" and "Everything's That Way". George Kafcos wrote the words and music to "Everything's That Way" for his girlfriend at the time, a really cute blond nicknamed "Chickey".
David Campanella, Joey Vertucci, George Kafcos and Kenny Hamilton Auditioning for Alvin Wilks (Bottom)
David Campanella wrote the riff at the fade out end of the song and that is his voice doing the riff. Incidentally, they never received a dime. Long story as to why they didn't pursue them? They were 15 years old. For several years David Campanella was in trouble with the law. He was a member of the street gang the Chaplains, and he was convicted for disorderly conduct and burglary. He died age 41 drug related dead.
Over The Rainbow Everything's That Way
The Inspirations (3) (Harlem, NY.)
1956 - Maggie / Raindrops (The Crying Song) (Apollo 494)
1956 - Pretty Mama (Apollo)
"Raindrops" by the Inspirations is an old favorite of R&B collectors recorded on February 25, 1956 at Beltone studios in New York. "Raindrop","Maggie" and "Pretty Mama" were all recorde one afternoon in a memorable session that also spotlighted the Keynotes and Vocaltones.Apollo usually rejected the teenage street corner vocal group in favor of more polished older singer, but by the winter of 1956, they needed younger local groups to compete with strong NYC labels like Rama and Old Town.
The Inspirations Crying lead can't quite reach the heights of Jackie & the Starlites later "Valarie", but his pipes got quite a workout that day on "Teardrops" ("The Crying Song") . "Maggie" was the flip, released as apollo #494 to good NY airplay in March 1956. Members of the group were William Perkins, Burnett Lengester, Willie Wiggins, Joe Warren, Felix Hunt and Harry Dixon.
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
Raindrops (The Crying Song) Maggie
The Victorians / Four Fellows - Top : Bobby Thompson, Charlie Moore & Roy Battle - Bottom : Tommy Haynes & Bill Carey
The Victorians (1) (Brooklyn, New-York)
aka The Four Fellows (2)
Donnie Sehested (Lead)
Bobby Thompson (Lead Tenor)
Roy Battle (Baritone)
Bill Carey (Baritone / Bass)
Charlie Moore (Guitar)
The Four Fellows (2)
1953 - Stop Crying / Break My Bones (Tri-Boro 101)
The Victorians (1)
1956 - Heartbreaking Moon / I'm Rollin' (Saxony 103)
1956 - Wedding Bells / Please Say You Do (Selma 1002)
This Four Fellows formed sometime before 1952 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Originally called the Dreamers, they finally settled on the "4 Fellows." Members were: Charlie Witherspoon (tenor lead), Caswell "Cas" Bridges (tenor), Roy Battle (baritone), Bill Carey (baritone/bass) and Charlie Moore (guitarist). The Four Fellows playing the Baby Grand, the 802 Club, the Gay Hearts Ballroom, Town Hill, and a lot of little clubs with forgettable names in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. There was the New York Amsterdam News Benefit show, held at the Apollo Theater and some appearances on a radio show on WWRL.
The Four Felows
They even did a package tour with the Miller Sisters and the Hearts. After only a couple of months, Charlie Witherspoon left, to be replaced by tenor John Kelly. In the spring of 1953, the 4 Fellows met up with Larry Smith, owner of Tri-Boro Records who issued the four Fellows' "Stop Crying" b/w "Break My Bones." Nothing much happened with the record and the guys went back to their occasional appearances. Then, in late 1953, John Kelly left replaced by tenor Bobby Thompson. In late 1954, Caswell "Cas" Bridges left the group and started The Clefftones who recorded for Old Town . Cas had been replaced by tenor Tommy Haynes. because of the other Four Fellows group, they called themselves the Victorians.
Caswell "Cas" Bridges
Tommy Haynes had left and Donnie Sehested joined full time. The Victorians were now Donnie Sehested, Bobby Thompson, Roy Battle, Bill Carey, and Charlie Moore. In January 1956, the Victorians' "Heartbreaking Moon"/"I'm Rollin'" were released on Saxony. Then they hooked up with Neil Sedaka, who gave them a tune he'd written, "Wedding Bells." On May 15, 1956, they recorded "Wedding Bells" and "Please Say You Do". These were issued on Selma, another of Morty Craft's labels. After that, the 4 Fellows/Victorians fell apart.
The Victorians (1)
Heartbreaking Moon I'm Rollin'
Wedding Bells Please Say You Do
The Four Fellows (2)
Stop Crying Break My Bones