The Dovers (1)
The Dovers (1) (New-York)
Miriam Grate (Lead)
Bobby Johnson (Lead)
Eddie Quinones (Tenor)
Wyndham Porter (Baritonea)
James Sneed (Bass)
Miriam Grate & The Dovers (1)
1955 - My angel / Please Squeeze (Apollo 472)
1988 - My love (Relic LP 5075/5078)
The Dovers (1)
1959 - Sweet as a flower / Boy in my life (Davis 465)
1961 - The Sentence / Devil you may be (New Horizon 501)
1988 - Your Love (Acapella) (Relic LP 5075)
1988 - Only Heaven knows (Acapella) (Relic LP 5075)
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.
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.
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.
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
Devil You May Be My Love
Sweet As A Flower My Angel
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