• Charles Moffett, John Pearson, Donald Haywoode, Jerome Ramos & John Cheatdom (Bottom) Calvin McClean


    The Velours (Brooklyn, New York)

    Personnel :

    Jerome "Romeo" Ramos (Lead)

    John Cheatdom (First Tenor)

    Donald Haywoode (Second Tenor)

    John Pearson (Baritone)

    Pete Winston (Bass)

    Calvin McClean (Piano)



    Singles :
    1956 - My Love Come Back / Honey Drop (Onyx 501)
    1957 - Romeo  / What You Do To Me (Onyx 508)
    1957 - Can I Come Over Tonight / Where There's A Will (There's A Way) (Onyx 512/Gone 5092)
    1957 - This Could Be The Night / Hands Across The Table (Onyx 515)
    1958 - Remember / Can I Walk You Home (Onyx 520)
    1958 - Crazy Love / I'll Never Smile Again (Cub K9014)
    1959 - Blue Velvet / Tired Of Your Rock & Rolling (Cub K9029)
    1959 - I Promise / Little Sweetheart (Studio 9902)
    1960 - Daddy Warbucks / Sweet Sixteen (Goldisc 3012)
    1961 - Lover Come Back / The Lonely One (End 1090)
    1967 - I'm Gonna Change/Don't Pity Me (MGM K13780)

    Unreleased :
    1959 - I Hadn't Anyone Till You (Cub)
    1959 - Please Don't Kiss Me Goodbye (Cub)

    Biography :

    The Velours were an American R&B vocal group who had two minor pop hits in the US in the late 1950s, "Can I Come Over Tonight" and "Remember". They relocated to England in the late 1960s, changed their name to The Fantastics, and had a top ten hit in the UK in 1971 with "Something Old, Something New", followed by a minor US hit with "(Love Me) Love the Life I Lead".

    The Velours     The Velours 

    The group originally formed as The Troubadours in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn in 1953. The original members were Jerome "Romeo" Ramos, John Cheatdom, Marvin Holland and Sammy Gardner. In 1955, Gardner left to join the army and was replaced by Cheatdom's cousin, Kenneth Walker. The doo-wop group performed locally, but with little success until in 1956 they added a fifth singer, tenor Donald Haywoode, and changed their name to The Velours. They made their first recordings for the Onyx label, before Holland and Walker left and were replaced by John Pearson and Charles Moffett. They also added a pianist, Calvin McClean.

    The Velours
    John Cheatdom, John Pearson, Jerome Ramos & Donald Haywoode at the Apollo

    Over the next two years they made some of their best-remembered records for Onyx, including "Can I Come Over Tonight", written by Haywoode, which reached number 83 on the Billboard pop chart in 1957. They had further chart success the following year with "Remember", with Ramos as lead vocalist, which again reached number 83. They regularly performed at the Apollo Theater, and shared stages with such stars as Roy Brown, Fats Domino, Larry Williams and Bo Diddley.

    The Velours    The Velours

    After adding a sixth singer, Troy Keyes, they recorded for several small New York labels through the late 1950s and early 1960s, including George Goldner's Gone, but with little success, and the original group disbanded in 1961. In 1966, Ramos, Cheatdom and Haywoode decided to reform the Velours, adding tenor Richard Pitts. In 1967, they released the single "I'm Gonna Change" on MGM Records, and agreed to undertake a tour in England.

    The Velours
    Jerome Ramos, Richard Pitts, John Cheatdom & Donald Haywoode

    When they arrived in Britain, they discovered that they were to be billed as The Fabulous Temptations, and were expected to perform Motown songs. However, they toured successfully and were invited to return, in 1968, by Sheffield club owner Peter Stringfellow, this time under another new name, The Fantastics.They decided to remain in Britain, and recorded several singles released on MGM and then on the Deram label in England.


    My Love Come Back                 Honey Drop                               Romeo

    Can I Come Over Tonight / Where There's A Will      This Could Be The Night       Hands Across The Table

    Remember                Can I Walk You Home                Crazy Love

    I'll Never Smile Again            Blue Velvet            Tired Of Your Rock & Rolling

    I Promise                 Little Sweetheart              Daddy Warbucks

    Sweet Sixteen          Lover Come Back / The Lonely One       I'm Gonna Change

    Don't Pity Me




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