• The Pipes (1)

    The Pipes (1) (Oakland, California)

    Personnel :

    Louis Candys (Lead Tenor)

    Irving Swanigan (Lead Tenor)

    Harold Foreman (Tenor)

    Huey Roundtree (Lead Baritone )

    Leevern Ball (Bass)

    Discography :

    1956 - Be Fair / Let Me Give You Money (Dootone 388)
    1956 - You Are An Angel / I Love The Life I Live (Dootone 401)
    1958 - So Long / Baby Please Don't Go  (Jacy 001/002) 

    Biography :

    Oakland, CA-based R&B combo the Pipes formed on the grounds of the city's McClymonds High School in 1953. According to Marv Goldberg's profile in the April 1979 issue of Goldmine, the original group -- lead tenor Louis Candys, tenors Irving Swanigan and Harold Foreman, baritone Huey Roundtree, bass Leevern Ball, and pianist Ed Kelly -- first performed as the Cool Tones; after Swanigan's exit, the remaining quintet traveled to Los Angeles in search of a recording deal, but were summarily dismissed due to their youth.


    After graduating in 1955, the group returned to L.A. and signed with Dootone. At that point, they dropped the Cool Tones moniker in favor of the Pipes, inspired by the "Danny Boy" lyric "The pipes, the pipes are calling." Dootone owner Dootsie Williams nevertheless hedged his bets by announcing to the trade press the signing of two new groups: the Cool Tones and the Pipes. The latter name won out by the time their debut single, "Be Fair," hit retail in early 1956.


    Though a local hit, the Pipes never traveled beyond the California circuit and the single stalled. "You Are an Angel" followed that summer. Hampered by minimal marketing effort, it quickly disappeared and when their Dootone contract expired, the Pipes opted against renewal, returning to Oakland and contenting themselves with the occasional weekend gig.

    In 1958 they founded their own label, Jacy, to release a rare single titled "So Long." A year later, the Pipes returned to Dootone to record one final session that Williams shelved. The group dissolved for good soon after. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

    Songs :

    Be Fair                             You Are An Angel

    So Long                                Let Me Give You Money

    I Love The Life I Live                   Baby Please Don't Go

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