The Von Gayles 1959 - Loneliness / The Twirl (USA 1221) 1960 - The Twirl / Crazy Dance (Dore 544)
The Cascades (1) 1964 - Pains In My Heart / Only One I Can Spare (Mc Cormick 105/Renee 105)
The Von Gayles got their start around 1956. The members of the group were lead singer Joe Brackenridge, Stacy Steele Jr., Jimmy Washington, Willie C. Robinson and Charles Johnson. The Von Gayles eventually made contact with Woodtate Anderson, a go-getter in the music business, and he brought the group under the management of the Impressions'manager, Eddie Thomas. Anderson and Thomas were instrumental in getting the group on record, having them sign with the USA label. The label was owned by a Milwaukee pop deejay, Lee Rothman.
The Cascades: Charles Johnson,Henry Brackenridge, Willie C. Robinson,Stacy Steel. Front Joe Brackenridge.
Following the pattern of most groups of the era, the Von Gayles recorded four sides during their first session, held at Universal Recording. But as it turned out, the Von Gayles who performed on the records were more of an ad hoc group. Charles Johnson was temporarily separated from the group due to a spat and Jimmy Washington was working on the day of the session. So Joe Brackenridge and Stacy Steele were joined by second tenor Willie Dial (Willie Wright), baritone Willie Daniels, and bass James " Doolaby" Wright. The three ad hoc members had actually been a part of an earlier group from the near North Side, the Serenades. USA put out only two sides, "Loneliness" and " The Twirl" around 1959.
The Von Gayles : Stacy Steel Jr., Jimmy Washington and Joe Brackenridge
In 1960 Dore Records, owned by Lou Bedell and headquartered in Hollywood, California, picked up two Von Gayles sides, "The Twirl" and "Crazy Dance," but achieved no better luck. The group played a few gigs in Chicago and even appeared on a television show in Milwaukee — via the Rothman connection — but their fame, such as it was, was fleeting. Joe Brackenridge and company cooled their heels for a while before appearing again on record. In 1964 the group, now calling themselves the Cascades cut "Pains In My Heart" b/w "Only One I Can Spare". The group now consisted of Joe Brackenridge, Stacy Steel Jr., Willie C. Robinson, Henry Brackernridge and Charles Johnson. THE CHICAGO SCENE by Robert Pruter