• The Kodaks aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's

    The Kodaks  (Newark, New Jersey)
    aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's


    Personnel :

    Pearl McKinnon (Lead)

    James Patrick (First Tenor)

    William Franklin (Second Tenor)

    Larry Davis (Baritone)

    William Miller (Bass)

     

    Discography :

    The Kodaks
    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)

    The Kadak's
    1960 - Don't Want No Teasing / Look Up To The Sky (J&S-1683 / 1684)

    The Kodoks
    1961 - Twista Twistin' / Let's Rock (Wink 1004)
    1961 - Mister Magoo / Love Wouldn't Mean A Thing (Wink 1006)

     

    Biography :

    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 aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's
    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.

    The Kodaks aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's    The Kodaks aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's
                                                                                                                      Pearl McKinnon

    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).

    The Kodaks aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's    The Kodaks aka The Kodoks aka The Kadak's

    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.

     

    Songs :

    The Kodaks

         
    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

     

    The Kadak's

      
    Don't Want No Teasing               Look Up To The Sky  

     

    The Kodoks

      
    Twista Twistin' / Let's Rock               Mister Magoo      


    Love Wouldn't Mean A Thing


    ...


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  • The Smoothies
    Top L to R: Mike Boran, John Phillips ana Scott McKenzie - Bottom : Bill Cleary

    The Smoothies (New York)

     

    Personnel :

    John Phillips

    Scott Mckenzie

    Bill Cleary

    Michael Rand

     

    Discography :

    1960 - Softly / Joanie (Decca 31105)
    1960 - Lonely Boy And Pretty Girl / Ride,Ride,Ride (Decca 31159)

     

    Biography :

    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 Smoothies
    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.

    The Smoothies
    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.

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim)

      
                  Softly                               Lonely Boy And Pretty Girl

      
    Ride, Ride, Ride                                     Joanie          

    ...


    1 comment
  • The Pretenders (2) - ref : The Dell-Mates 

    The Pretenders (2) (New York)
    ref The Dell-Mates

     

    Personnel :

    Johnny Hanrahan (Lead)

    Billy Thompson (Second Tenor/Baritone)

    Freddy Comas (First Tenor)

    Ralph Sabatino (Bass)

     

    Discography :

    The Pretenders (2)
    Singles :
    1961 - Smile / I'm So Happy (Power-Martin 1001)
    1976 - Could This Be Magic / A Very Precious Love (Power-Martin 1006/1007)

    Unreleased :
    1961 - The Seven Teens (Rome)
    1961 - Guardian Angel (Rome)
    1961 - She's Gone (Rome)
    1961 - Teenager's Dream (Rome)

    The Dell-Mates
    1962 - Angela / Cross My Heart And Hope To Die (Fontana 1934)


    Biography :

    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 (2) - ref : The Dell-Mates
    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.

    The Pretenders (2) - ref : The Dell-Mates    The Pretenders (2) - ref : The Dell-Mates
                                                                                                                                    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".



    Songs :

    The Pretenders (2)

      
         Smile                                           I'm So Happy

      
    Could This Be Magic                        A Very Precious Love

      
    The Seven Teens                            Guardian Angel

    The Dell-Mates

      
                     Angela                          Cross My Heart And Hope To Die

    ...


    1 comment
  • The Debonaires (3)

    The Debonaires (3) (Brooklyn,  N.Y.)

     

    Personnel :

    Robert Adino

    Mike DiBenedetto

    Edwin Lamboy

    Joe Reina

     

    Discography :

    Singles :
    1956 - Won’t You Tell Me / I’m Gone (Gee 1008)
    1959 - We'll Wait / Make Believe Lover (Gee 1054)
    Unreleased :
    1956 - Best Love (Gee)
    1956 - I’d Climb The Highest Mountain (Gee)


    Biography :

    Vocal group from "Red Hook Brooklyn" composed by Robert Adino, Mike DiBenedetto, Edwin Lamboy and Joe Reina.  Before becoming the Debonaires, Robert Adino and Mike DiBenedetto backed Lucille Val as the Echos, they recorded a disc that seems to have been released. The group began with several personnel combinations in 1956. Eventually, Adino and DiBenedetto were introduced to Lamboy and Reina. The group members all attended Boys High School. Between the school and their neighborhood came the Mystics, the Passions, Little Anthony and the Imperials, the Velours, and so on.

    The Debonaires (3)    The Debonaires (3)

    They played at local clubs, fairs, and various nightspots and were soon spotted by Bert Keyes of Gee Records. Bert Keyes organizes a recording session for them where they recorded six songs. For quite some time it was rumored that this group , due to their sound, was black. However, this is simply not correct. Gee released only one single en 1956 - "Won’t You Tell Me" b/w "I’m Gone" (Gee # 1008) . Too little promotion of "Gee" and soon after the group split. However, three years later, gee releases two new titles (Gee # 1054) including the splendid "We'll Wait". Encyclopedia of Rhythm and Blues and Doo Wop Vocal Groups

     

    Songs :

      
    Won’t You Tell Me                                   I’m Gone          

      
             We'll Wait                                   Make Believe Lover


    ...


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  • The Dovers (1)
    L-R: Miriam Grate, Frank Edwards, Wyndham Porter, Eddie Quinones & James Sneed

    The Dovers (1) (New York)
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

     

    Personnel :

    Miriam Grate (Lead)

    Bobby Johnson (Lead) (replaced with Frank Edwards (Tenor) in 1959

    Eddie Quinones (Tenor)

    Wyndham Porter (Baritone)

    James Sneed (Bass)

     

    Discography :

    Miriam Grate & The Dovers (1) / Bob Johnson & The Dovers (1)
    1955 - My Angel / Please Squeeze (Apollo 472)

    Lou Bartel (bb The Dovers) (uncredited)
    1955 - I Pray / (Zoom) Give Me Your Love Tonight (Apollo 473)

    The Dovers (1) (fb Miriam Grate)
    Singles :
    1959 - Sweet As A Flower / Boy In My Life (Davis 465)
    1961 - The Sentence / Devil You May Be (New Horizon 501) (recorded in 1959)
    Unreleased :
    1955 - My Love (acappella) (Apollo)*
    1955 - My Love (acappella) (with piano) (Apollo)**
    1955 - Only Heaven Knows  (acappella)*
    1955 -  Sweet As A Flower (acappella)*
    1955 - The Sentence (acappella)*
    1955 - Your Love (acappella)*

    *Released in 1988 on Relic 5075
    **Released in 1988 on Relic 5078

     

    Biography :

    The cozy, popular genre of doo-wop is no doubt considered to be great by the many listeners who cherish it. To explain how the actual name of Grate figures into this musical wonderland would require one of the few followers of '50s vocal groups who are not intimidated by endless detail. In a genre where dozens of groups use the same name, crossing over family lines as well as generations, it could even be considered comforting to single out Grate as one of the few surnames in the music business that simultaneously evokes excellence as well as details of sewer construction. To cut to the chase, or rather the grate, Miriam Grate is the female portion of a brother and sister that were active in the genre, although not together.

    The Dovers (1)
    Top: Eddie Quinones, Charlie Richardson, Wyndham Porter, Roland Martinez and James Sneed -
    Bottom : Unknown, Buddy Bowser and Sara Lou Harris
     

    Her brother Tommy Grate performed and recorded with The Five Wings, The Marvels and The Dubs, a progression that indicates a penchant for shorter and shorter band names. Miriam Grate is associated with only two groups, beginning in the mid '50s with The Dovers. The ensemble cut "My Angel" for the Apollo label in 1955, initially seemed primed for several thick coats of hit record paint but were instead left to peel in the shadow of the competition, of which there was plenty.

    The Dovers (1)
    L-R: Miriam Grate, Eddie Quinones, Frank Edwards, Wyndham Porter and James Sneed

    Grate got something out of it, anyway, as in a husband and a new last name, although neither of the sort considered particularly desirable in the music business. Now legally Miriam Sneed after her marraige to James Sneed of The Dovers, the singer never had much choice about which surname to use in connection with four tracks also cut for the Apollo label in 1956.   


    L-R: James Sneed, Miriam Grate, Guitar player ? and Wyndham Porter

    Performances with backing from the fine Mello-Tones--such as the aromatic "Sweet As A Flower" and a pair of possesive romantic variations, "Your Love" and "My Love"-- were simply never released, ending the label's efforts to send Grate back into the fray with a new group behind her. Historic doo wop compilations on labels such as Relic have brought such material to light. While some listeners feel Grate was a neglected, undiscovered Martha Reeves in Sneed clothing, others have dismissed her as sounding like an adolescent boy on her recordings with The Dovers.
    Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide

    http://www.uncamarvy.com/DoversVocaltones/doversvocaltones.html
    https://www.allmusic.com/artist/miriam-grate-mn0001882918



    Songs :

    Miriam Grate & The Dovers (1) / Bob Johnson & The Dovers (1)


    My Angel / Please Squeeze

    Lou Bartel (bb The Dovers) (uncredited)


    I Pray / (Zoom) Give Me Your Love Tonight

    The Dovers (1) (fb Miriam Grate) 

      
            My Love                                   My Love (with piano)

      
    Only Heaven Knows                        Sweet As A Flower

      
                          Your Love                     Sweet As A Flower / Boy In My Life

      
    The Sentence                                       Devil You May Be


    ...


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