• 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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  • The Avalons (2)
    Jimmy Colwell, Chuck & Mike Packevicz , Phil Tutino

    The Avalons (2) (New Heaven, CT.)



    Chuck Packevicz

    Dave Kendricks

    Jim Colwell

    Ed Hayden

    Larry Meeker


    Discography :

    1974 - Cheaters  / Stuttering   (Wallis 100)


    Biography :

    Vocal group from from New Heaven,CT, originally know as the The Pastels in 1957, they changed their name when "Been So Long" by the Air Force Pastels reached # 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and # 24 on the pop chart. They changed their name by the Avalons from the box of the deck cards (The Avalon Deck). The Avalons is composed between 1957 and 1958 of various singers like Ed Hayden, Larry Meeker, Chuck Packevicz, Dave Kendricks or Jim Colwell.

    The Avalons (2)     The Avalons (2)                                        Marty Kugell

    In 1957, they recorded two songs for Marty Kugell’s Klik Records: "Cheaters" and "Stuttering". Klik was a short-lived New Haven’s label that never really had much in the way of hits but nonetheless cranked out a small batch of absolutely great doo wop sides before the payola scandal of 1959 closed its doors. Kugell, like most of his contemporaries in the record business did not keep detailed files on every group he recorded in the fifties. Many are unfortunately just names on a tape or demo, never tobe fully identified. Finally in the 70s, Wallis Records released the Klik Demos on a singles.

    Songs :

    Stuttering                                    Cheaters

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  • The Five Chances
    Reggie Smith, Ronald Johnson, Johnny Jones, Jesse Stafford and Howard Pitman 

    The Five Chances (Chicago)
    ref : The Maples


Personnel :

    Darnell Austell (Lead)

    Eddie Stillwell (Lead)

    Reggie Smith (Tenor)

    Harold Jones (Baritone/Tenor)

    Howard Pitman (Baritone)

    John Austell (Bass)


    Discography :

    The Five Chances
    Singles :
    1954 - I May Be Small / Nagasaki (Chance 1157)
    1955 - All I Want / Shake A Link (Blue Lake 115)
    1956 - Gloria / Sugar Lips (States 156)
    1957 - My Days Are Blue / Tell Me Why (Federal 12303)
    1960 - Need Your Love / Land Of Love (Corina 2002)
    1960 - Need Your Love / Is This Love (PS 1510)
    Unreleased :
    1954 - Make Love To Me (Chance)
    1954 - California (Chance)
    1956 - Bashful Boy (States)

    Tiny Topsy bb The Five Chances
    1957 - Aw! Shucks Baby / Miss You So (not them)((Federal 12302)

    The Maples
    1955 - I Must Forget You / 99 Guys (Inst.) (Blue Lake 111)


    Biography :

    One of the pioneer Rhythm & Blues vocal groups in the wake of the breakthrough by The Orioles was a group from Chicago who were known originally as The El Travadors. They formed during the year of 1950 and the members of the group were Howard Pittman, Reggie Smith, Harold Jones, and the Austell brothers Darnell and John. They began singing together in high school and tried their hand at neighborhood appearances and local talent shows and amateur nights. It was one of these shows held at Chicago's famous night spot, the Crown Propeller, that they made contact with some people with the knowledge of the music scene that could help them. Before long they had a chance to audition for Chance Records, then a top independent label in Chicago. The top talent and A & R man at the label Ewart Abner (who in later years would be a key factor in the success of Vee-Jay and his own Abner labels) liked what he heard and almost immediately changed the name of the group from the El Travadors to blend with the label and so The Five Chances were born.

    The Five Chances
     (Top) Reggie Smith, (Middle) Harold Jones, Johnny Jones, Howard Pitman, (Bottom) Kenneth Childers    

    In August of 1954 Chance Records released "Nagasaki" and "I May Be Small" on # 1137 by the group. This ended up being a short relationship between the group and the label, as president Art Sheridan soon folded the Chance label, and so The Five Chances had to look elsewhere in their search for success.  On the Al Benson's Blue Lake label, a subsidiary of Parrot Records, The Maples were a one-time ad hoc gathering of vocal group singers who came together in November 1954. The Five Chances started working with singer Kenneth Childers, who was paying for his own sessions to get on record.The Maples were a one-time ad hoc gathering of vocal group singers who came together in November 1954. The Five Chances started working with singer Kenneth Childers, who was paying for his own sessions to get on record. Reggie Smith and Howard Pitman recalled the Five Chances (using the name Maples) making a recording with Childers. But it never got that far according to Johnny "Chubby" Jones (who was the lead singer for the Five Chances at the time). Rather, Jones arranged to back Childers at the recording session with an ad hoc group consisting of himself, Albert Hunter (from the Clouds), and Andrew Smith (from the Fasinoles).

    The Five Chances    The Five Chances

     The record was "I Must Forget You" b/w "99 Guys" and the group was dubbed the Maples. Like many Benson-produced jump sides, "99 Guys" gets a superb instrumental break courtesy of Von Freeman on one of the tenor. At this time Johnny "Chubby" Jones had replaced John Austell in the group. Blue Lake released "All I Want" and "Shake-A-Link" with Darnell Austell on lead. Except for a brief flurry of airplay in their native Chicago, the record did not receive much in the way of sales nationally.  Once again the Five Chances were looking for another record label, and they went once again to a Chicago independent, this time the States label. "Gloria" and "Sugar Lips" were released in May of 1956 on States # 156. The group tried to get the word out about their effort with appearances like the one they did in June of the year at Chicago's Trianon Ballroom called "Blues-O-Rama" that also starred Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, The Kool Gents, and others.

    The Five Chances
    Ronald Johnson, Howard Pitman, Jesse Stafford, Reggie Smith and  Johnny Jones

     Unfortunately it was more of the same for the group. By the following year they found themselves on still another label. This time it was the Federal label based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the group was going through a number of personnel changes. In July of 1957 Federal released "My Days Are Blue" and "Tell Me Why" on # 12303. In September the group appears at a big R & B midnight show at the Senate Theater presented by Sam Evans. Also on the bill are Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo, Sonny Boy Williamson, and others. The Five Chances also appear at a R & B show in Joliet, Illinois Coliseum with Magic Sam, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, and others. By the end of the year the Five Chances had all but called it a day as a recording entity.


    Songs :

    The Five Chances

     I May Be Small / Nagasaki               All I Want / Shake A Link

    Gloria / Sugar Lips                  My Days Are Blue                   Tell Me Why        

    Need Your Love / Land Of Love                      Is This Love                  

    Make Love To Me                      California                             Bashful Boy      

    Tiny Topsy bb The Five Chances

    Aw! Shucks Baby

    The Maples

     I Must Forget You                                    99 Guys         

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  • The Franciscans 

    The Franciscans (San Francisco, CA.)


    Personnel :

    Benny Stevens Jr (Lead)

    Leroy Johnson

    J. C. Loggins

    Theodis Riley

    Larry Thornton


    Discography :

    Single :
    1963 - Mother Please Answer Me / Walk To The Bottom Of The Sea (Jimbo 01/02)
    Unreleased :
    1963 - Ocean Of Love (Music City)


    Biography :

    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.

    Songs :

         Mother Please Answer Me             Walk To The Bottom Of The Sea

    Ocean Of Love


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  • The Bachelors (3) 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)


    Personnel :

    Kenny "Vance" Vogt (Lead)

    Santo "Sandy" Ratineri

    Chico Gambardella

    Fred Merola

    Discography :

    Kenny Vance & The Bachelors (3)
    1957 - Flaming Red Hair / Did Your Pen In Sunshine (Winston 8001)

    The Bachelors (3)
    Singles :
    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)
    Unreleased :
    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)

    Biography :

    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.

       The Bachelors (3)  

    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.

    The Bachelors (3) aka The Music Men (1)   The Bachelors (3) aka The Music Men (1)  
                                                                                                                             Kenny Vance

    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.

    The Bachelors (3) aka The Music Men (1)    The Bachelors (3) aka The Music Men (1)

    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". 


    Songs :
     (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


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