•  The Stereos (2) aka The Buckeyes

    The Stereos (2) (Steubenville, Ohio)
    Ref The Buckeyes

Personnel :

    Bruce Robinson (Lead)

    Leroy Swearingen (Tenor)

    Nathaniel Hicks (Tenor)

    Ronnie Collins (Bass)

    Sam Profit (Second Tenor)

    George Otis (Baritone)

Discography :

    The Buckeyes
    1957 - Since I Fell For You / By Only You (Deluxe 6110)
    1957 - Dottie Baby / Begging You Please (Deluxe 6126)

    The Stereos (2)
    1959 - A Love For Only You / Sweetpea's In Love (Gibraltar 105)
    1961 - I Really Love You / Please Come Back To Me (Cub 9095/Astra 1032)
    1961 - The Big Knock / Sweet Water (Cub 9103)
    1962 - Unless You Mean It / Do You Love Me (Cub 9106)
    1962 - Echo In My Heart / Tick Tack Toe (Columbia 4-42626 )
    1963 - Good News / Mumbling Word (World Artists 1012)
    1965 - Sweet Pea's In Love / Life (Ideal 1110)
    1965 - Don't Let It Happen To You / The Best Thing To Be Is A Person (Val 2)
    1967 - Stereo Freeze, Part 1 / Part 2 (Hyde 101/Cadet 5577)
    1968 - I Can't Stop These Tears / I Feel Soul A'Coming (Cadet 5626)
    Unreleased :
    1959 - Dragstrip (Gibraltar)
    1962 - A Long Time From Never (Cub)
    1962 - Walkin' Along (Cub)

Biography :

    This R&B vocal group can trace its roots to Steubenville, Ohio, circa 1954. The harmony group began as the Montereys, but soon found out about another group from New York that was using the name and recording for the Teenage Records label. They then scored a contract with Atlantic  Records as the Hi-Fis, but nothing ever came of this relationship, and another name change was in order. They were from Ohio (the Buckeye State); thus they became the Buckeyes and drove several hundred miles to New York to meet with the New York offices of King/Federal/Deluxe Records. They auditioned and were quickly signed to the Deluxe imprint and released two singles in 1957—“Since I Fell for You” backed with “By Only You” (Deluxe #6110) and “Dottie Baby” backed with "Begging You Please" (Deluxe #6126) with Howard Alsbrooks supplying the lead vocals. He also composed “Begging You Please.” Neither single garnered much attention, and Alsbrooks was soon gone from the group.  It took until 1959 for the group to get another shot—this time from composer/producer Otis Blackwell for the tiny Gibraltar label. Once again, they experienced a name change (not by choice), and the Stereos were born. The Stereos first recorded in 1959 with Leroy Swearingen (first tenor and ex-Buckeyes) joining Robinson, Collins, Sam Profit and George Otis  for their Gibraltar debut.

     The Stereos (2) aka The Buckeyes    The Stereos (2) aka The Buckeyes
    Bruce Robinson, Ronnie Collins, Nathaniel Hicks, Sam Profit & George Otis                                                                                       

    Their release on Gibraltar (#105)—“A Love for Only You” backed with “Sweetpea's in Love”—scored well in some pockets of the country, especially  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, although it didn't chart nationally. Its failure caused Swearingen to leave and be replaced by Nathaniel Hicks. There would likely have been a follow-up single on Gibraltar, but the label went out of business and Otis Blackwell jumped to Cub Records—an MGM imprint. He took the Stereos with him, and a song written by group member Leroy Swearingen, “I Really Love You” (Cub #9095), became their first release in 1961, and their all-time biggest hit. Ronnie Collins performed the lead vocals on this very catchy tune with a walking bass singer throughout.  It became a Top Twenty R&B hit and a Top Thirty pop hit (but much bigger in the major urban radio markets). The song was remade years later by George Harrison on his Gone Troppo album (Dark Horse #23734). Fame, however, was fleeting for the Stereos and they never again penetrated the Pop or R&B charts. They even made a recording for Columbia Records, very much in the Shep and the Limelites vein (“Echo in My Heart” backed with “Tic-Tac-Toe”—Columbia # 42626) in 1962, but less than 100 copies were pressed up and the project was quickly abandoned. Needless to say, the record is quite a collector's treasure today. Other quality releases for the Cadet, Hyde, Ideal, Val, and World Artists labels failed to sell well , and by 1968, the Stereos called it a career and went their separate ways.



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