Classic vocal group harmony from the later years of doo wop, including rare master tapes from the studios of Gary Paxton, George Motola, Kent Harris and Lew Bedell’s Doré label. Featuring previously unheard songs and extensive sleeve notes from LA vocal group expert Steve Propes.
We explore the later years of Los Angeles’ doo wop scene from sources that have never previously been digitalised from master tape. We have found master tapes of very rare and expensive doo wop recordings in the vaults of Doré, Era, Gary Paxton, Kent Harris and George Motola in particular. Most of these great tracks have only previously been heard on badly reproduced bootleg releases.
Three tracks have never been heard before. One is a Class recording by Adolph Jacobs, of which noted LA vocal group writer Steve Propes says, “The Coasters’ Billy Guy and Carl Gardner were singing with Bobby Day on Jacobs’ session for Class Records”, which makes it a historically important track, as well as a great record. Of similar interest to doo wop fans is an unheard number from Lee Maye – the greatest of all the singing sportsmen – from his 1958 ‘Pounding’ Cash session, complete with vocal group. The Pharoahs’ beautiful ‘Here Comes The Rain’ has only a basic instrumental backing, but the superb singing makes it a very worthy release. Another Gary Paxton-produced track has only been heard under the incorrect group name of the Sesames on a bootleg EP; it is actually Bobby Sheen with a group covering the Interludes’ 1962 King release.
Super-rarities include the Showcases’ magnificent 1964 Galaxy release ‘(This Love) Was Real’, the Heartbreakers’ Markay single ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, the Cezannes’ ‘Pardon Me’, the Tabs’ ‘Never Forget’ on Noble and Carlton Beck’s (of the Shields) ‘The Girl I Left Behind’ Troy offering.
Most are classic 50s ballads but there are some R&B-oriented numbers such as Kent Harris’ group the Valaquans’ ‘Jolly Green Giant’ Rayco 45, the Creators’ quirky ‘Drafted, Volunteered, Enlisted’, released on Dootone in 1961, and the scarce and imaginative Emberglows Doré single ‘Sack And Chemise Gang Fight’ – all have Coasters influences with their novelty and humour. Several of the acts would go on to record through the soul era – Dorothy Berry, Morris Chestnut (here as James Washington Lee); the Individuals’ James Leon Moore went on to be a Youngheart and, of course, Danny Stewart would lead the groundbreaking Sly & The Family Stone.
There are sleeve notes from Steve Propes and Alec Palao to further map this city’s important musical history.