• The Apollos (1)
    Mike Azzolino

    The Apollos (1) (Newark, NJ)


    Personnel :

    Danny Studnicky (Lead)

    Joseph Bertolino

    James LaParra

    Mike Azzolino

    George Deutsch


    Discography :

    1959 - I Love You Darling / Bandstand Baby (Harvard 803)

    Biography :

    The Apollos from Newark, NJ. consisted of Joseph Bertolino, Danny Studnicky, James LaParra, Mike Azzolino, & George Deutsch (with Danny Studnicky singing the lead.) In 1959, The Apollos recorded "I Love You Darling" b/w "Bandstand Baby" released by Harvard records owned by Trade Martin and Johnny Power, the two formed Rome Records in 1960.  This was the group's only release. Legal action or the threat of legal action from Dick Clark over the word "Bandstand" in the flip side's title negatively impacted the sales of the record and caused the group to disband.

    Songs :

    I Love You Darling                                 Bandstand Baby


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  • The Cosmic Rays

    The Cosmic Rays (Chicago, IL)


    Personnel :

    Calvin Barron (Lead)

    Matt Swif

    Lonnie Tolbert



    Discography :

    Singles :
    1960 - Bye Bye Swift / Somebody's In Love (Saturn 223)
    1960 - Dreaming  / Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie (Saturn 401/402)

    Unreleased rehearsals:
    1954 - Africa**
    1955 - Daddy’s Gonna Tell You No Lie*
    1955 - Dreaming**
    1955 - Somebody’s In Love*
    1955 - Summertime**
    1955 - There’s A Small Hotel**
    1955 - The Second Stop Is Jupiter*
    1958 - Black Sky & Blue Moon**
    1958 - Bye Bye**
    1958 - Come Rain or Come Shine**
    1958 - Honey**
    1958 - Honey (diff. vers.)**

    *home rehearsal
    **studio rehearsal


    Biography :

    El Saturn Records is a Record label formed in Chicago in 1957 by Alton Abraham and Sun Ra, along with Abraham’s brother Artis, who founded El Saturn Research in 1957, which would record and distribute albums by the Arkestra as well as the vocal and R&B groups rehearsed by Sun Ra during the late 1950s. Before they were the Cosmic Rays, Calvin Barron, Matt Swif, Lonnie Tolbert and ? were a nameless vocal quartet working outdoors in Chicago’s black neighborhoods during the mid-‘50s. It was on the beach at 63rd and Jackson Park that a man named Raymond Dancer first heard them, liked them and suggested that he manage them. Like Sun Ra, Dancer was a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and he’d seen Ra lead a big band in Birmingham in what must have been a return engagement at a masonic hall sometime in the very early ‘50s. Late in ’56 or early the following year, Dancer met Sun Ra at Budland, during one of his Arkestra appearances at the club. He told Ra about the group and it was Ra’s suggestion that he bring them by and informally audition them. Saturn Records released two singles by the group. Calvin Barron would later join the Moroccos.

    Songs :

    Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lies               Somebody's In Love           

    Dreaming                                    Bye Bye Swift


    Unissued studio rehearsals:

         Summertime                        There's A Small Hotel       The Second Stop Is Jupiter

                 Honey                 Daddy's Gonna Tell You No Lie          Somebody's In Love

                Africa                          Black Sky & Blue Moon


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  • The Rhythm Masters
    Top : Willie Graham - Middle : Ira Foley & Randolph Bryant - Bottom : Donald Woods

    Donald Wood & The Vel-Aires (Los Angeles)
    aka The Bel-Aires (3)
    aka The Rhythm Masters


    Personnel :

    Donald Woods (Lead)

    Randolph Bryant (Tenor)

    Willie Graham (Second Tenor)

    Ira Foley (Bass)


    Discography :

    The Bel-Aires (3)
    1955 - This Paradise / Let's Party Awhile (Flip 303)
    1955 - White Port And Lemon Juice / This Is Goodbye (Flip 304)

    Donald Woods & The Vel-Aires
    1955 - Death Of An Angel / Man From Utopia (Flip 306)
    1955 - Stay With Me Always / My Very Own (Flip 309)
    1956 - Heaven In My Arms / Mighty Joe (Flip 312)

    The Rhythm Masters
    1956 -  Baby We Two / Patricia (Flip 314)


    Biography :

    Donald "Buster" Woods originally recorded with The Medallions, from Los Angeles, California. The Medallion's group leader was Vernon Green, but when Woods split from Green he took three of the Medallions with him to form The Bel-Aires, who were known as the Vel-Aires when they weren't backing Woods. In 1954, Flip Records, a small, Hollywood based label, that specialized in Doo-Wop, recorded two Singles by The Bel-Aires, "This is Paradise," backed with "Let's Party Awhile," (Flip #303) and "White Port & Lemon Juice," backed with "This Is Goodbye," (Flip #304).

    The Bel-Aires (3)  aka The Vel-Aires aka The Rhythm Masters    The Bel-Aires (3)  aka The Vel-Aires aka The Rhythm Masters
                                                                                                                            Darryl Perault (Jivers & Rhythm Masters)

    In June, Flip issued the group's third record, but by then their name had been changed to the "Vel-Aires." It's probable that this was due to the existence of another West Coast Bel-Aires, this one a black and white duo that had covered Marvin & Johnny's "Tick Tock" on Crown in 1954.  Flip Records recorded two other Singles by Donald Wood & The Vel-Aires. In 1955, Donald Woods had left to try a solo career. Willie, Randolph, and Ira got a replacement tenor: Darryl Perault (who would go on to sing with the Jivers) and, on December 10, 1955, they recorded "Baby We Two" and "Patricia" for Flip as the "Rhythm Masters".

    Songs :

    The Bel-Aires (3)

    This Paradise                                Let's Party Awhile

    White Port And Lemon Juice                        This Is Goodbye         


    Donald Woods & The Vel-Aires

    Heaven In My Arms                         Stay With Me Always

    Death Of An Angel                            Man From Utopia

    Mighty Joe                                    My Very Own


    The Rhythm Masters

    Baby We Two                                       Patricia


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  • The Keynotes (2)
    L to R : Billy Ables, John Fisk, Ray Flannery and Douglas Taylor

    The Keynotes (2) (Nashville, Tennessee)


    Personnel :

    Ray Flannery (First Tenor)

    Billy Ables (Second Tenor)

    Douglas Taylor (Baritone)

    John Fisk (Bass)


    Discography :

    1954 - Who / They Say (Dot 15225)


    Biography :

    In 1953, they were four David Lipscomb college students who decided to organize a quartet. Their names were Billy Ables, 19, second tenor; Douglas Taylor, 20, baritone; John Fisk, 19, bass; Ray Flannery, 19, first tenor. They decided to call themselves "The Keynotes." They entered the talent show sponsored by THE NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN and the East High School Men's club. They won first prize. An unending series of invitations to make singing appearances began to flood them. Soon they were singing before all sorts of audiences. Randy Wood of Dot Records in Gallatin, Tenn., invited them in for an audition and  liked what he heard. The Keynotes signed a recording contract and recorded " Who" b/w "They Say" released by Dot.

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    Who / The Say


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  • The Lonely Guys

    The Lonely Guys (Oakland, CA)


    Personnel :

    Jame Ellington (Lead)

    Bob Selva (Baritone)

    Tony Cardinale (Tenor)

    Ted Bell (Bass)


    Discography :

    1961 - The Way You Look Tonight / Moon Flight (inst.) (Caddy 117)


    Biography :

    Dick Hugg, known to his listeners as "Huggy Boy", was instrumental in the promotion of rock and roll in the 1950s. He was the first white disc jockey to broadcast (on station KRKD) from the front window of John Dolphin's popular all-night record store, Dolphin's of Hollywood, at the corner of Central and Vernon Avenues. He was one of the first, if not the first disc jockey's to play the Penguin's "Earth Angel". In 1955, Hugg would start his own record label, Caddy Records.

    The Lonely Guys

    In 1960, he Managed a young black vocal group named the Lonely Guys from Oakland composed by Jame Ellington (Lead), Bob Selva (Baritone), Tony Cardinale (Tenor) and Ted Bell (Bass). According to Bob Selva, It's in 1961 (Not 1957) that the Lonely Guys recorded "The Way You Look Tonight" coupled with an instrumental "Moon Flight" released on Caddy #117. The Lonely Guys stayed together for over 10 years, played a lot of gigs, around the states .

    Songs :

    The Way You Look Tonight


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