The Gladiolas (Lancaster, C.S)
Maurice Williams (Lead)
Earl Gainey (Tenor)
William Massey (Tenor/Baritone)
Willie Jones (Baritone)
Norman Wade (Bass)
1957 - Little Darlin' / Sheetheart Please Don't Go (Excello 2101)
1957 - Run Run Little Joe / Comin' Home To You (Excello 2110)
1957 - Hey Little Girl / I WantA Know (Excello 2120)
1958 - Say You' ll Be Mine / Shoop Shoop (Excello 2136)
Maurice Williams (born 26 April 1938, Lancaster, South Carolina) had his first experience with music in the church, where his mother and sister both performed. By the time he was six, Williams was performing regularly there. With his childhood friend Earl Gainey, Williams formed the gospel group 'The Junior Harmonizers', but as rock and roll and doo-wop became their primary interest, the Junior Harmonizers changed their name to 'The Royal Charms'.
In addition to Williams and Gainey, The Royal Charms were made up of Willie Jones (baritone), William Massey (tenor, baritone, trumpet), and Norman Wade (bass). In the winter of 1956, while still in high school, Williams and his band traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to record for the Excello record label. At the time they were going by the name 'The Royal Charms,' but the founder of Excello Records, Ernie Young, convinced them to change their name to 'The Gladiolas.' At the time, there were at least two other bands using the same name.
The song "Little Darlin'" was a #11 hit on the R&B chart in 1957, but did not break the Billboard Hot 100's Top 40. However, when the song was covered by the Canadian group The Diamonds, it moved up to #2.
Williams finished high school and while on the road with the band (after their station wagon broke down in Bluefield, West Virginia), the band came across a small car known as "The Zodiac" and the band changed their name. Shortly thereafter, Henry Gatson replaced Earl Gainey.
Little Darlin' Say You' ll Be Mine
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