1956, Ernest Harriston, Butch Hamilton and William “Sheik” Dailey
The Bop-Chords (Harlem, New York)
Ernest Harriston (Lead)
William "Sheik" Dailey (First Tenor)
Butch Hamilton (Second Tenor)
Morris Smarr (Baritone)
Leon Ivey (Bass)
1956 - When I Woke Up This Morning / I Really Love Her So (Holiday 2603)
1956 - Castle In The Sky / My Darling To You (Holiday 2601)
1957 - So Why / Baby (Holiday 2608)
Harlem's the Bop Chords formed in 1955 in the same building where the Ladders, Channels, and Willows got their start. Lead vocalist Ernest Harriston, William Dailey, Butch Hamilton, Leon Ivey, and Morris Smarr had all sung with other neighborhood groups, and Hamilton had recorded with the Five Wings earlier in the year on a tribute to Johnny Ace that was issued by King. The Bop Chords recorded for Holiday in 1956, and the mid-tempo "Castle in the Sky" was a local and regional hit. Their second single, "When I Woke Up This Morning," also did well on the East Coast, but internal clashes over song content and wardrobe soon caused lineup defections and changes.
Dailey and Smarr left and were replaced by Skip Boyd and Peggy Jones, their first female vocalist. They recorded "Why" in 1957, then disbanded. Harriston did background vocals for Shep & the Limelites and recorded "We Need Love" for Asnes in 1962 as Ernie Johnson. A new edition of the Bop Chords resurfaced in 1971, with lead vocalist Johnson, Hamilton, Boyd, and Ivey. They never recorded, but were a popular attraction at various New York locations and oldies shows in the '70s.
When I Woke Up This Morning I Really Love Her So
Castle In The Sky My Darling To You
So Why Baby
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