• The Del Rios (1) aka The Del-Rios

     The Del Rios (1)  

    The Del Rios (1)  (Memphis)
    aka The Del-Rios


    Personnel :

    William Bell (Lead)

    Louis Williams

    Norman West

    James Taylor


    Discography :

    The Del Rios (1)
    1956 - Alone On A Rainy Night / Lizzie (Meteor 5038)
    1962 - Dangerous Lover / Heavenly Angel (Bet..T 7001)

    The Del-Rios
    1962 - Just Across The Street / There's A Love (Stax 125)

    Jimmy Hurt & The Del Rios (1)
    1960 - You Know, Darling (I'm In Love With You) / Oh What A Feeling (Do-Ra-Me 1401)
    1960 - Are You Old Enough (Do-Ra-Mi)
    1960 - I Love You Dearly (Do-Ra-Mi)



    Biography :

    The Del Rios, one of Memphis, TN's pioneering vocal groups, started in the '50s. They became very popular in and around Memphis and all of the college circuit. They performed on shows with Phineas Newborn, a Memphis jazz legend, and found regular employment in clubs. The first line-up of the group was William Bell, Harrison Austin, Louis Williams, David Brown and Roy Webb.  It was a couple of years that they had the original group.  David got drafted first.  He was the oldest.  He was like twenty-three.  Melvin Jones came in to take David’s place.  They both sang bass.  Then Roy that was older got drafted, so they had to re-group and get new members.They came to the attention of Lester Bihari after winning the Mid-South Talent Contest.  They made their first recording for his Meteor label. They recorded a song Bell had written called "Alone on a Rainy Nite" and "Lizzie" on the b-side. The single was credited to “the Del Rios with The Bear Cats” and it was released on Meteor 5038 in late 1956, and it made some noise but only locally.

     The Del Rios (1)    The Del Rios (1)

    William’s Del Rios cut three singles altogether and backup Jimmy Hurt on another, so all the other recordings (on Big H, Earth, Amazon, Neptune, Warwick etc.) under the name of the Del Rios are by other groups.  A ballad called "Heavenly Angel" with an uptempo track titled "Dangerous Lover" formed the second single three years later on Bet…T 7001.  Betty Berger was during that time a night club owner.  She and her husband owned the Plantation Inn in West Memphis, right across the Mississippi river in Arkansas.  The Del Rios would do two gigs on the weekend.  They would play for the college kids at the Plantation Inn, which was like a high energy dance club, and then they had a later set at the Flamingo Room.  They recorded that single for her.

     The Del Rios (1)     The Del Rios (1)

    In 1960 The Del Rios did the back-up for Carla Thomas on her single “Gee Whiz,” ( Gee Whiz was recorded two times, one at Stax and one at Hi, the latter being the one finally issued) and met producer, writer, engineer and musician for early Satellite/Stax, Chips Moman who led to William’s first solo single. In December 1961, Stax released "You Don't Miss Your Water" b/w "Formula Of Love" . In 1962 the Del-Rios released their third and final single with William in the line-up, "Just across the Street" b/w "There’s a Love" (Stax 125).  William wrote both songs and leads on the perky and strongly doowop-slanted There’s a Love, while Louis Williams leads on a sweet and tender ballad on the flip. 

     The Del Rios (1)
    The Ovations

    Besides William and Louis, the other Del-Rios boys at that time were Harrison Austin and Robert Huntley, and soon Norman West was to join the group.  After "You Don’t Miss Your Water" had become popular in the spring of 1962, William left the group replaced by  Nathan Lewis. Before breaking up for good, the latter members of the Del-Rios still included James Taylor (replaced Louis Williams), Johnny Jackson (replaced Harrison Austin) and Prentiss Anderson.  Louis and Nathan went on to become the Four Canes first and then the Ovations, and Norman West went solo and in 1968 became a member of the Soul Children .


    Songs :

    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    The Del Rios (1) aka Del-Rios

    Alone On A Rainy Night                Lizzie                           There's A Love

    Dangerous Lover                 Just Across The Street             Heavenly Angel


    Jimmy Hurt & The Del Rios (1)

    You Know Darling                     Oh What a Feeling

    Are You Old Enough                       I Love You Dearly





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