The Swans (3) (Toledo, OH.)
Paul Lewis (The Mighty Swamba) & The Swans (3)
1954 - Wedding Bells Oh Wedding Bells / Little Senorita (Fortune 813)
The Swans (3)
1955 - Mister Cool Breeze / I'll Forever Love You (Fortune 822)
Fortune Records was formed by composer-lyricist Devora Brown and her husband Jack in 1946 in Detroit. Jack and Devora decided to establish their own record company with the main purpose to record Devora's songs. In the beginning, they operated out of their home, then they rented a place on Linwood Avenue in Detroit. Their first record was "Jane" by Russ Titus. It was a hit in Detroit. The elusive national hit record was "Jealous Love" by The Davis Sisters in 1952. Two years later "Adios My Desert Love" and "The Wind" by Nolan Strong & The Diablos was a triumph in Black vocal group harmony.
The Swans with disc jockey Lady B (Fran Belcher) (L to R) Earl Fontain, Tommy Jones, Lady B, Byron Thomas and Henry Goodwin
Fortune released records by Rhythm & Blues artists Blues Legend John Lee Hooker, Nolan Strong & The Diablos, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer and many others. In addition, the label featured product by Rockabilly, Country and Gospel artists. Fortune's Biggest National Hit was "Village Of Love" by Nathaniel Mayer. Released in May, 1962, the record reached #22 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
In November 1954, a group of Four Fellows From Toledo named the Swans and constituted by Tommy Jones, Byron Thomas, Earl Fontain and Henry Goodwin signed a recording contract with Fortune Records. The Swans were managed by Paul lewis, a reverend prophet from Toledo. Lead singer Tommy Jones wrote two songs "Wedding Bells Oh Wedding Bells " and "Little Senorita ". Paul lewis recorded the two songs backed by the group. The single was released in December 1954 by Paul Lewis (The Mighty Swamba) & The Swans. Finally, early 1955, the Swans recorded their single "Mister Cool Breeze" b/w "I'll Forever Love You", both wrote by Tommy Jones.
The Swans (3)
Mister Cool Breeze I'll Forever Love You
Paul Lewis (The Mighty Swamba) & The Swans (3)
Little Senorita Wedding Bells Oh Wedding Bells
Richard Pegue (with the glasses) & Toya Perry (Girl)
The Norvells (Chicago, IL,)
Richard Slaughter (Lead)
Billy Smith (Tenor)
Richard Pegue (Baritone)
Claude “Dee-Dee” Wyatt (Tenor)
Victor Trice (Bass)
1963 - (Why don’t You Try That) Greasy Kid Stuff / As I Walk Alone (Checker 1037)
1968 - Without You / Whv Do You Want To Make Me Sad (Penny 107/Janis 6366)
Richard Pegue was born on July 29, 1943, in Chicago to a beautician and a policeman. His father died in the line of duty when he was only two years old. Pegue would go on to develop a strong career in radio. This career began at age eleven, when Pegue's grandmother gave him a reel-to-reel tape recorder for his birthday. By sixteen, he was using his recorder to D.J. at dances at South Side schools. Richard Pegue With Billy Smith, formed a vocal group named the Belvederes at Hirsch High School. They recruited replacements from the Hirsch cafeteria. They brought in first tenor Claude "Dee-Dee" Wyatt, bass singer Victor Trice, and primary lead/second tenor Richard Slaughter, who had transferred in from Parker High. Gary, Indiana's Spaniels were the foundation from which the Belvederes built their sound.
Richard Pegue (with the glasses)
Slaughter's voiced gave the group an edge over other kids at Hirsch who didn't sound like the biggest stars of local radio. Keen marketers, the Beleveders created a special Yuletide program for the school hallways. These flashes of creativity sold them at the newly integrated Hirsch, where they were a bit of an anomaly. In 1963, the Belvederes changed their name to the less-square Norvells, a brainchild all Pegue's. The Novells cut two songs for Checker at the end of 1962 "Greasy Kid Stuff" b/w "As I Walk Alone". In 1965, Pegue wrote and produced “I’m Not Ready to Settle Down.” Performed by the Cheers, the song still enjoys radio airplay today. In 1968, he became the music director at WVON Radio. In 1968, Penny Records will release another Norvells single "Without You" b/w "Whv Do You Want To Make Me Sad". When WVON was sold in 1975, Pegue found work at various radio stations in Chicago and Northwest Indiana, including WOPA and WGCI, where he worked as a program director and fill-in disc jockey.
As I Walk Alone (Why don’t You Try That) Greasy Kid Stuff
Whv Do You Want To Make Me Sad Without You
Robert Wahlsteen (Bob Chance)
The Raiders (1) (Brooklyn, New York)
Willie Bobbitt (Lead)
Al Hardy (Lead and Bass)
Robert Wahlsteen (First Tenor)
Leroy Haskins (Second Tenor)
Jessy Payton (Baritone)
1958 - Raiders From Outer Space / The Castle Of Love (Atco 6125)
1958 - Walking Through The Jungle / My Steady Girl (Brunswick) 55090
Well Baby (Atco)
School Me In The Art Of Love (Atco)
At the tender age of 10, Robert Wahlsteen (Bob Chance) won his first talent contest, and at 12, appeared on the TV show "Opportunity Knocks". In early 1957 , in the Bedford, Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, The Romans a local vocal group lost their first tenor and Robert Wahlsteen joined the group as new tenor. The Romans are an interracial group consisted of Willie Bobbitt (Lead), Leroy Haskins (Second Tenor),Jessy Payton (Baritone), Al Hardy (Lead and Bass) and Robert Wahlsteen (first Tenor), 5 kids, ranging in age from 14 -18 years old.
The Romans moved to New York’s famous brill building and contacted with Roy Hamilton who send the group to Gale Records. The group recorded several demos : "Castle Of Love", "Well Baby" , "School Me In The Art Of Love", "Mr.Conductor", "The Night She Were Pink". Roy Hamilton present the demos to Al Lewis and Don Kirshner who liked the songs and signed as their managers. Al and Don change the group name to The Dovers and send this to Atco Records where with the help of Bobby Darin recorded in 1957 the sides "Raiders From Outer Space"b/w "Castle Of Love". Under the group name of The Raiders.
Without success and with the Atco label dedicated to the Darin’s recordings the group led out, also in this time Willie Bobbitt and Leroy Haskins left the group. Frank Feliciano joined as new member, now The Raiders have two white and two black members. Robert’s brother Herb Wahlsteen signed as their new manager and moved the group to Decca’s Brunswick label who recorded the guys in 1958 "Walkin Through The Jungle7"b/w "My Steady Girl". Again without any success the group members disgusted broke up soon. Robert put a new group in New Jersey, The Enchanters signed with ABC Records where recorded some demos but none were released as a single. In 1959 he joined the marines, in 1966 back and in the late 60’s and the 70’s recorded under the name of Bob Chance.
The Castle Of Love Raiders From Outer Space
My Steady Girl Walking Through The Jungle
(front) Bob Younis, Myrna Lamson (Top) Judee Czerwinski, Victor Vernon III, Kris Van Keuren, Bill Allen
The Echoes (3) (Baldwinsville, New York)
Bob Younis (Lead)
Victor Vernon III
Kris Van Keuren
1958 - Without You / Heartbeat (Edco 100 / 500)
1958 - Heartbeat / Teenage Love (Edco 510)
Vocal Group from Baldwinsville, New York, The group consisted of Bob Younis, Myrna Lamson, Judee Czerwinski, Victor Vernon III, Kris Van Keuren and Bill Allen. With their instrumental group composed by Rick Laporte (Drums), Al Cook (Guitar), Edward Klein (Piano), Ken chapel (Tenor Sax) & Keith Barber (Alto Sax), the Echoes recorded "Without You" b/w "Heartbeat" Released on the tiny Edco Label in New York..
The Echoes with their instrumental group
"Without You" is an original composition by Ed Klein. The Echoes have been doing the song at giant record hops sponsored by WNDR, where they appeared with such national stars as Eileen Rodgers and Bobo Hathaway."Without You" rates as the Number 18 song in the central New York area in July 1958, according to the Wolf Sandman Serenade Chart. The record first appeared on the chart July 6 as number 47. Probably the same year, Edco released another single again with "Heartbeat" coupled with "Teenage Love".
Without You Heartbeat
The Toledos (Toledo, Ohio)
aka The Highlighters
Frank Williams (Lead)
1958 - Flang Dang Do / The Bull (New Song 115/116)
1962 - Las Vegas Drive / Well (New Song 133/134)
Chuck Dockery bb The Highlighters
1958 - Baby Let's Dance / I Just Love You (New Song 117/118)
1961 - This Is Our Night / John Smith's Body (Down 2003/End 1094)
Frank Williams, James Sutton, Howard Bell and Jay Hooker were so proud to be from Toledo in the Nord of Ohio that they called themselves The Toledos. The group signed for the blues label New Song, label founded by Porter Roberts in the late 1940s. New Song was based in Toledo, Ohio, about ninety miles south of Detroit. Renamed the Highlighters By Porter, the group recorded a couple of single that passed without pain or glory : "Flang Dang Do" b/w "The Bull" in 1958 and "Well" b/w "Las Vegas Drive" in 1962. By the way, they were instrumentally accompanied by Fred Harris' Red Top Trio composed by Fred Harris (Organ), Big Joe Burrell (sax) and Louis "Swing " Lee (drums). Both disks came out under two different names, The Highlighters with Fred Harris' Red Tops Organ Trio and Fred Harris' Red Tops Organ Trio vocal by Highlighters.
After their first single on New Song, The Highlighters backed Chuck Dockery on "Baby Let's Dance" and "I Just Love You" (New Song 117/118). Chuck Dockery is native of northern Ohio his real name was Charle. Dockery was employed as an insurance salesman and as a bassist for some country artists. Dockery began a solo career when he was presented with the opportunity to record on the New Song blues label of his countryman Porter Roberts. He turned New Song into a rocker label thanks to songs like "Baby let's dance" (1958) or "Rock while we ride" (1960), but with no success he left the music almost totally.
New Song would not last much longer in the business, and after some good album, among which we can highlight the high school "Darling" (1961) by Beverly Bea, would close its doors. The Highlighters's story does not stop there, the group records two tracks, "This Is Our Night" and "John Smith's Body". The single will be released by the Down label, a subsidiary of Gone records, a label founded by George Goldner. It will be published in 1961 under their original name, The Toledos.
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
Flang Dang Do The Bull
Well Las Vegas Drive
This Is Our Night John Smith's Body
Chuck Dockery bb The Highlighters
Baby Let's Dance