• The Valtairs

    The Valtairs (Long Branch, NJ)


    Personnel :

    Harry Ray (Lead)

    Gregory Henson

    Kenneth Short

    Joe Gardner


    Discography :

    1964 - Soul! / Strangers Way (Selsom 101)
    1964 - The Ko Ko Mo / Moonlight In Vermont (Selsom 106)

    Biography :

    From Doo Wop to Soul : Norman Seldin was raised in Red Bank, NJ, and began taking formal piano lessons at the age of three. While trained in Classical music, Norman soon took an interest in R&B. He started managing groups and started auditioning them.

    The Valtairs    The Valtairs
                      Gardner,  Ray,  Short and Henson                     Norman Seldin (2 from left), Jocko Henderson (3 from left) and the Valtairs

    One of the first groups Norman Seldin managed was the Valtairs, a vocal group from Long Branch, NJ. The year was 1964. The Valtairs consisted of lead, Harry Ray (later of the Moments and Ray Goodman & Brown), Gregory Henson, Kenneth Short and Joe Gardner. Their repertoire at the time contained “Dear Lord,” “Oh What A Night” and “Tears On My Pillow” – mostly doo wop standards. The Valtairs became a mainstay of Norman’s shows.

    The Valtairs   The Valtairs
                                                                                                        Joe Gardner, Harry Ray, Gregory Henson and Kenneth Short

    Having the talent and having completed rehearsals, Norman started putting together stage shows that drew 200 to 300 people – in white venues with the Valtairs, the Shells and Vito & the Salutations on the same show for three bucks. The next logical step for Norman Seldin was to start a record label to record his talent. The Selsom label name grew out of a combination of names of Seldin and an early business partner but also was a play on words – SEL(l) SOM(e).

    The Valtairs
    Gregory Henson , Joe Gardner, Harry Ray and Kenneth Short

    The first record released on Selsom was the Valtairs singing “Soul!” and "Strangers Way", a splendid Ballad. Promotion normally would have been a problem for a then 16-year- old, but Norman got help from noted radio personality, Jocko Henderson. Jocko wielded a lot of influence and liked Norman and his product. Through Jocko, Norman got airplay for his records up and down the East Coast. At the end of 1964, Norman Seldin will record the Valtairs again with the magnificent "Moonlight In Vermont " b/w "The Ko Ko Mo"
    From Echoes of the Past, No. 100 (2012).


    Songs :

    Moonlight In Vermont                        Strangers Way         

            Soul!                                     The Ko Ko Mo


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