The Valadiers (Detroit)
Stuart Avig (Lead)
Martin Coleman (Lead, Bass, Baritone)
Art Glasser (Second Tenor)
Jerry Light (Bass, Baritone)
1961 - Greetings (This Is Uncle Sam) / Take A Chance (Miracle 6)
1962 - While I'm Away / Because I Love Her (Gordy 7003)
1963 - I Found A Girl / You'll Be Sorry Someday (Gordy 7013)
1961 - Nothing Is Going to Change It (Miracle)
1961 - Somebody Help Me Find My Baby (Miracle)
The Valadiers became Motown's first white group in a company that was known for featuring black artists. Members of the group were Stuart Avig, Art Glasser, Gary Frenkel, Jerry Light and Marty Coleman. Light, Glasser and Coleman met at a party in 1957 and liked the way they could harmonize while singing along with a record. They had fun with their impromptu group and started meeting together to try their voices with other songs. As they performed together, with other singers joining and leaving, they became more serious about their sound and dreamed about bigger opportunities. They called themselves the Valadiers (brave soldiers or strong men), a word Glasser liked from his Latin class.
Clockwise from top left, Gary Frenkel, Marty Coleman, Art Glasser, Stuart Avig and Jerry Light.
At one point, Light and Coleman connected with two black singers, and the four auditioned before Motown legend Berry Gordy Jr., who told them that mixed groups don't become popular. The next audition featured the group that would make the recording of "Greetings": Light and Frenkel from Mumford High School, and Avig, Coleman and Glasser from Oak Park High School. Although group members were white and Jewish, their sound was black, and they became pioneers of blue-eyed soul. The Valadiers experienced an unexpected turn as they were about to sign their contract.
Because they were only teenagers, they had to get parent approval and were shocked that Frenkel was pulled out of the group by his father, who wanted his son to devote his attention to school. "Greetings," which reached 61 on the national recording charts and sold close to 300,000 copies, topped the charts in Baltimore, Cleveland and Washington, D.C..The group wrote the song based on a headline about President Kennedy drafting large numbers of young men.
Besides singing a cappella at small parties, the Valadiers went on to perform on a small tour circuit. They played the Jewish resorts in South Haven for room and board. The early Valadiers did a lot of personal promoting to get their recordings played on radio stations. Without the follow-up success they
Take A Chance Greetings (This is Uncle Sam)
You'll Be Sorry Someday While I'm Away
You'll Be Sorry Someday I Found A Girl
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