The Franciscans (San Francisco, CA.)
Benny Stevens Jr (Lead)
J. C. Loggins
1963 - Mother Please Answer Me / Walk To The Bottom Of The Sea (Jimbo 01/02)
1963 - Ocean Of Love (Music City)
The Franciscans started about 1959 in San Francisco and were composed of Benny Stevens Jr, Leroy Johnson, J. C. Loggins, Theodis Riley and Larry Thornton. It is at the end of 62 / beginning 63 that they recorded "Mother Please Answer Me" b/w "Walk To The Bottom Of The Sea" released by Jimbo record. They were together until about 1963 when the group started to fall apart. This occurred shortly after they returned from Los Angeles. They would go to Los Angeles occasionally to do some recording. They got a new manager and that is when things began to fall apart. The manager approached Bennie Stevens who they call Steve about leaving the group and going solo. He turned the offer down because those were his friends. This was a hard decision for him because he really wanted to sing. The manager decided that since Bennie Stevens would not leave the group he would invest in another singer : the manager’s girlfriend. He took off with their money and dropped them.
Mother Please Answer Me Walk To The Bottom Of The Sea
Ocean Of Love
Top : Fred Merola & Santo "Sandy" Ratineri- Center : Kenny "Vance" Vogt - Bottom : Charlie Guanierie & Chico Gambardella
The Bachelors (3) (New Heaven, CT)
aka The Music Men (1)
Kenny "Vance" Vogt (Lead)
Santo "Sandy" Ratineri
Kenny Vance & The Bachelors (3)
1957 - Flaming Red Hair / Did Your Pen In Sunshine (Winston 8001)
The Bachelors (3)
1957 - From Your Heart / A Million Teardrops (National 104)
1958 - Today, Tomorrow, Forever / I Want A Girl (National 115)
1958 - Teenage Memory / Sometimes (MGM 12668)
1958 - I'm Sincere (MGM)
1958 - Moon (MGM)
The Music Men (1)
1959 - Blue Bird / Santa Cruz (Bigtop 3006)
1959 - An Open Fire / Via De Paradisio (Bigtop 3014)
Vocal group from New Heaven composed by Santo ”Sandy” Ratineri, Chico Gambardella , Fred Merola and Ralph Donnarummo. The Bachelors, all New Haven, Connecticut residents, first organised in 1956 under the name of the Teardrops. They worked the Connecticut and New York areas and built up quit a following for themselves under that name. Kenny Vance who is now a New Haven resident hails from Chicago, Illinois.
He came to Connecticut to live near his manager and also "to be near New York where everything is going on". He worked as a single in most of the top Connecticut nite-spots before teaming up with the the Teardrops to Replace Ralph Donnarummo. That happened one night after both acts worked a dance-job at the town House in New Haven. At the age of 23, Kenny is the oldest member of the group. When a new group called the Teardrops came out on the King label, the boys had to change their name to the Bachelors.
Bandleader Bobby Madera (Bobby Woodlen), ABC Paramount recording star was the co-composer of two tunes which he offered the boys after he heard them sing at a dance in New Haven. The tunes were suited to the style of the Bachelors and The Bachelors were suited tot he style of the tunes. A recording session was scheduled and "Flaming Red Hair" and "Did Your Pen In Sunshine" were released on the Winston Record Label. The release of the record brought a "double-first", as this is the first offering by Kenny Vance & the Bachelors and the first released by Winston.
In 1957, Charlie Guanieri join the Bachelors and the group sign a recording contract for National records. National label operated by industry veteran Joe Leahy for a short period in New York in 1957. It seems there may have been at least five totally different National labels over the years. The Group cut two singles for Joe Leahy, and "From Your Heart" became a Northeast regional hit song. Chico Gambardella abandons the group to execute his military obligationsand the quartet with Kenny Vance, Sandy Ratinieri, Fred Merola and Charlie Guanierie recorded a single for MGM in 1958 "Teenage Memory" b/w "Sometimes" . Two other titles were recorded but MGM will never release them.
But the story does not end there, at the end of 1958, the Bachelors signed a recording contract with Johnny Bienstock from BigTop records and in January 1959, Bigtop released the first of their two singles under their new name The Music Men, "Blue Bird" b/w "Santa Cruz" and four months later, a second single will be released by Bigtop : "An Open Fire" b/w "Via De Paradisio".
(Updated by Hans-Joachim)
The Bachelors (3)
From Your Heart A Million Teardrops Sometimes
I Want A Girl (Shame Shame On You) Teenage Memory Today, Tomorrow, Forever
The Kodaks (Newark, New Jersey)
aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's
Pearl McKinnon (Lead)
James Patrick (First Tenor)
William Franklin (Second Tenor)
Larry Davis (Baritone)
William Miller (Bass)
1957 - Teenager's Dream / Little Boy And Girl (Fury 1007)
1957 - Oh Gee, Oh Gosh / Make Believe Worlds (Fury 1015)
1958 - My Baby And Me / Kingless Castle (Fury 1019)
1958 - Guardian Angel / Run Around Baby (Fury 1020)
1960 - Don't Want No Teasing / Look Up To The Sky (J&S-1683 / 1684)
1961 - Twista Twistin' / Let's Rock (Wink 1004)
1961 - Mister Magoo / Love Wouldn't Mean A Thing (Wink 1006)
An early male R&B group with a female lead, the Kodaks' chief asset was the uncanny similarity of Pearl McKinnon's voice to that of Frankie Lymon. Pearl's first group got together in Newark, New Jersey, at Robert Trent Junior High and consisted of 15-year-old Pearl, Marian Patrick, and Jean Miller. The boys, who grew up in the Baxter Terrace housing project, included Marian's brother James (lead, tenor, and brother of Charles Patrick of The Monotones), William Franklin (second tenor), Larry Davis (baritone), and William Miller (bass). The guys met Pearl in 1957 and felt she would be the unique twist that would differentiate them from the volume of vocal acts singing throughout Newark. The group's influences included The Harptones, The Spaniels, The Heartbeats and Frankie Lymon's Teenagers.
The Kodaks (1957) William Franklin, William Miller, James Patrick and Larry Davis
Whether conscious or not, Pearl's amazing ability to sound like Frankie made the group a popular quintet around the Baxter Terrace recreation hall where they rehearsed. They called themselves the Supremes (over four years before the Detroit superstars) and when they felt confident enough headed for Harlem to audition for Fury label owner Bobby Robinson. Since Bobby had reportedly missed out on signing Frankie Lymon because he had been late for an appointment with Richard Barrett (who had then taken Lymon downtown to George Goldner's Gee label), he made up for it by grabbing the Supremes and recording "Teenager's Dream," a ballad Pearl and he collaborated on.
At this time the group decided to change their name to the Kodaks after the camera company. Both "Teenager's Dream" and its flip, the rollicking "Little Boy and Girl," were immediate New York airplay favorites, and the group's smooth yet enthusiastic harmonies gave both the songs and Pearl's lead an aura of quality not found in many of the Lymon-like groups. The group's second single, "Oh Gee Oh Gosh," written by Pearl when she was 12, became their best-known effort; it did well in the Northeast and reached number eight R&B on their hometown chart in June 1958. They performed a number of times at the Apollo, did the chitlin circuit from Philadelphia's Uptown Theatre to the Howard in Washington, and appeared on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand." Around this time Franklin and Davis left to join the Sonics ("This Broken Heart," Harvard, 1959).
They were replaced by Harold "Curly" Jenkins and Richard Dixon. The group had two more Fury singles, neither of which reached the level of the previous efforts, and within a year the Kodaks had disbanded. Pearl married and stopped performing; James Patrick joined his brother in the Monotones. Miller, along with his wife Jean, Harold Jenkins, and Renaldo Gamble (the Schoolboys, Okeh), formed a new Kodaks and recorded one single for Zell Sanders' J&S label in 1960 and two for Sol Winkler's Wink label, the best side being "Love Wouldn't Mean A Thing". In 1960 Pearl, along with Carl Williams (first tenor), James Straite (second tenor), Luther Morton (baritone), and Aaron Broadnick (bass), became Pearl and the Del tars and did another version of "Teenager's Dream" for Robinson's Fury label.
Teenager's Dream Little Boy And Girl Oh Gee, Oh Gosh
Make Believe Worlds My Baby And Me Kingless Castle
Guardian Angel Run Around Baby
Don't Want No Teasing Look Up To The Sky
Twista Twistin' / Let's Rock Mister Magoo
Love Wouldn't Mean A Thing
Top L to R: Mike Boran, John Phillips ana Scott McKenzie - Bottom : Bill Cleary
The Smoothies (New York)
1960 - Softly / Joanie (Decca 31105)
1960 - Lonely Boy And Pretty Girl / Ride,Ride,Ride (Decca 31159)
Scott McKenzie (born Philip Blondheim, January 10, 1939, Jacksonville, Florida) is an American singer. He is best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)". McKenzie grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, where he became friends with the son of one of his mother's friends, John Phillips.
The Abstracts became The Smoothies
In the mid 1950s, he sang briefly with Tim Rose in a high school group called The Singing Strings, and later with Phillips, Mike Boran and Bill Cleary formed a doo wop band, The Abstracts. In New York, The Abstracts became The Smoothies and recorded two singles with Decca Records, produced by Milt Gabler. They had a minor hit, "Softly," in the late '50s with the Smoothies. Phillips had arranged his songs with Four Freshmen style harmonies.
Bottom L to R: Bill Cleary, Scott McKenzie - Top L to R: Mike Boran, John Phillips
In 1961 Phillips and McKenzie met Dick Weissman and formed The Journeymen, which recorded three albums for Capitol Records. They disbanded The Journeymen in 1964, as McKenzie wanted to perform on his own. So Phillips formed the group The Mamas & the Papas with Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips, his second wife. The group soon moved to California. Two years later, McKenzie followed from New York and signed with Lou Adler's Ode Records.
(updated by Hans-Joachim)
Softly Lonely Boy And Pretty Girl
Ride, Ride, Ride Joanie
The Pretenders (2) (New York)
ref The Dell-Mates
Johnny Hanrahan (Lead)
Billy Thompson (Second Tenor/Baritone)
Freddy Comas (First Tenor)
Ralph Sabatino (Bass)
The Pretenders (2)
1961 - Smile / I'm So Happy (Power-Martin 1001)
1976 - Could This Be Magic / A Very Precious Love (Power-Martin 1006/1007)
1961 - The Seven Teens (Rome)
1961 - Guardian Angel (Rome)
1961 - She's Gone (Rome)
1961 - Teenager's Dream (Rome)
1962 - Angela / Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (Fontana 1934)
In the late 1950s and early 1960s Johnny Hanrahan & his friends spent most of his time working on perfecting their vocal harmonies. To achieve richness in their harmonies, Street Corner Harmony practice was accomplished in the Saint Columba church vestibule, the Chelsea NYC Housing project hallways, in brownstone hallways on 25th street between 10th and 8th avenues, the hallways of Charles Evans Hughes H.S. and under the 25th street elevated train tracks between 10th and 11th avenues (the elevated tracks are now part of The Hi-line). Neighborhood groups practicing nightly helped Johnny and the other Pretenders become good at the craft, and one Saint Columba 8th grade student, Michael Anthony Orlando Cassavitis (Tony Orlando), who was two grades ahead of John, was a role model and inspired Johnny even further.
The Pretenders (1976 ) L to R Freddy Comas, Billy Thompson, Johnny Hanrahan, Ralph Sabatino.
The Pretenders consisted of Johnny Hanrahan (Lead Vocalist), Billy Thompson (2nd Tenor/baritone), Freddy Comas (1st Tenor) and Mike Skoran (Bass). Mike left the group early on and was replaced by Ralph Sabatino. At fifteen Johnny Hanrahan and the Pretenders recorded "Smile" b/w "I'm So Happy" released by Power-Martin, a Rome Records' subsidiary owned by Trade Martin and Johnny Power. The Pretenders had won a Murray the K radio station week-night contest, and then on the Saturday ending the week, The Pretenders won the run-off contest against all the previous daily winners of the past week. “Smile” took the neighborhood by storm and it climbed the charts until another established artist bumped them off the airways but soon thereafter Timmy Yuro released her version of the song and she got all the airplay.
Dennis Genovese (Dell-Mates)
In 1962, John Hanrahan and Ralph Sabatino teamed with Daniel Marsicovetere (from the Youngtones) & Dennis Genovese. They are called The Dell-Mates and are produced by Artie Ripp. They recorded “Angela” and “Cross My Heart” released by Fontana Records in early 1964. In 1976, In 1976, the original group of Pretenders reformed and recorded "Could This Be Magic" b/w "A Very Precious Love".
The Pretenders (2)
Smile I'm So Happy
Could This Be Magic A Very Precious Love
The Seven Teens Guardian Angel
Angela Cross My Heart And Hope To Die