The Golden Bells
The Golden Bells (Highland Park, NJ)
Robert Chauncey “Bobby” Brown (Lead)
Willie Brown (Tenor)
Joyce Stateman Walker (Alto)
Billy Walker (Baritone)
Richard Laws (Bass)
1957 - Bells Are Ringing / Pretty Girl (Sure 1001/1002)
Joyce Stateman was born in Highland Park, NJ, across the river from New Brunswick. One of five children, Joyce was taught harmony by her mother. Joyce Stateman had left high school at the age of 16 and married William “Billy” Walker of South River, NJ. Joyce and Billy Walker would sing together on occasion but not professionally.
(L to R) Richard Laws, Robert Brown, Joyce Walker, William Walker, Willie Brown.
They were approached by an aspiring talent scout, Wallace Howard, who wanted to put together a group, and he already had Bobby Brown, Richard Laws and Willy Brown who were all still students at New Brunswick High School. The group was the Golden Bells consisting of Robert Chauncey “Bobby” Brown (lead), Willie Brown (tenor), Joyce Stateman Walker (alto), Billy Walker (baritone) and Richard Laws (bass). Bobby and Willie Brown were cousins.
(L to R) Joyce Walker, Bobby Brown, William Walker, Richard Laws, Willie Brown
Before long, Wallace Howard had secured a recording opportunity for the Golden Bells at Sure Records in Linden, NJ. Bobby Brown had written two songs that were recorded and released as a single by Sure Records. Bobby sang lead on “Bells are Ringing” while “Pretty Girl” featured Willie Brown on lead. Both sides were published by Howard Music, presumably by Wallace Howard. In 1967, Joyce Walker sang with the Contessas who cut one single in 1968 for the WGW label.
Bells Are Ringing Pretty Girl
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