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Four Tunes

Four Tunes

Male Vocal Jazz Quartet from United States.

The Four Tunes, like many African-American groups of the 40s and early 50s, were a pop rather than a R&B ensemble. The group had its origin in the Brown Dots, and was formed by Ivory 'Deek' Watson (18 July 1909, Mounds, Illinois, USA, d. 4 November 1969, Washington, DC, USA) after he first fell out with the rest of the Ink Spots in November 1944. The other members of the original Brown Dots line-up were Pat Best (b. William Best, 6 June 1923, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, d. 14 October 2004, Roseville, California, USA; baritone), Jimmy Gordon (bass) and Joe King (first tenor), although the latter was quickly replaced by Jimmy Nabbie (b. USA, d. September 1992). While still with the Brown Dots, Best, Gordon and Nabbie left Watson and joined with second tenor Danny Owens in 1946 to record on the Manor label as the Sentimentalists, changing their name shortly afterwards to the Four Tunes.

As the Sentimentalists they backed Savannah Churchill on her bestselling 1947 R&B chart-topper 'I Want To Be Loved (But Only By You)'. The following year, and now known as the Four Tunes, the quartet backed Churchill on the Top 20 R&B hits 'Time Out For Tears' (number 10) and 'I Want To Cry' (number 14). After a two year spell on RCA - Victor Records, during which time their former label Manor/Arco continued to release Four Tunes material, the quartet moved to the Jubilee label and enjoyed two big hits with a cover version of Irving Berlin's 'Marie' (number 2 R&B, number 13 pop) from 1953, and Pat Best's 'I Understand Just How You Feel' (number 7 R&B, number 6 pop) from 1954. The Four Tunes continued recording for Jubilee until 1957, with further releases appearing on smaller labels such as Crosby and Robin's Nest (as the Four Tunes And One). Their musical legacy was remembered in 1961 when the G-Clefs had a big pop hit with 'I Understand Just How You Feel' and in 1965 when the Bachelors had success with 'Marie'.

The original line-up of the Four Tunes sundered in 1963 when Jimmy Nabbie and Danny Owens were replaced by Billy Wells and Gaines Steele, while Frank Dawes (tenor/piano) was brought in as a utility singer in the mid-60s. This line-up, with the addition of drummer Chuck Hampton, recorded an album for the Ara label in 1969 under the Tunes moniker. The group kept going throughout subsequent decades, although Wells left in the 80s for medical reasons and was replaced by Andre Williams, who in turn made way for Rufus McKay. Pat Best and Jimmy Gordon finally wound the group up in the late 90s.

Discography

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Four Tunes : Wrapped Up In A Dream : 00  2 CDs :  : 604988 05532 0  : 553

Four Tunes : Wrapped Up In A Dream

Review: In the late 40s and early 50s the style of Black vocal groups as major hit-making groups influenced by the Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers lost ground to the more teenage oriented groups like The Orioles and The Ravens. The Four Tunes, holdovers from an earlier era, were able to score two hits that were able to cross over from the race charts to the pop charts in 1953 and 1954, "Marie" and "I Understand (Just How You Feel). These songs enjoyed cover versions and revivals in the ensuing decades, by British groups in the Beat Boom, specifically The Bachelors, The G-Clefs and Freddie and the Dreamers. "Wrapped Up In Dream" is a wonderful collection on the Jasmine label of vintage R&B, Soul and Pop in two discs, all accompanied, 28 songs on one and 29 on the other, all featuring the soulful, exciting harmonies of these four talented men. It's hard to pick favorites from so many winners, but we'll give you a handful besides the two stellar hits and the title tune: "Little Jane," "Confess," "You're Heartless," "Careless Love," "The Prisoners Song," "I Gambled With Love," "Sugar Lump," "Do Do Do It Again," "Don't Cry Darling," "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," "Brooklyn Bridge," "Three Little Chickens," "At The Steamboat River Ball," "Rock and Roll Call," "Dancing With Tears in My Eyes" and "Ballad of James Dean." Most of these tunes are new to us, and it's a kick to hear them, as if we've tuned in to a very hip radio station in the south from 60 years ago! We love this collection and bet you will too!

Songlist: Where Is Love?, Wrapped Up In A Dream, I Found My Love When I Found You, All My Dreams, Little Jane, Someday, Confess, Karen Lynn, Take My Lonely Heart, You're Heartless, Careless Love, That Lonesome Road, There Goes My Heart, Kentucky Babe, Old Fashioned Love, Carry Me Back To The Lone Prairie , May That Day Never Come, The Last Round Up, The Prisoners Song, I Married An Angel , My Buddy, I'll See You In My Dreams, Come What May, The Greatest Song I Ever Heard, Lets Give Love Another Chance, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Marie, I Gambled With Love, I Understand, Sugar Lump, and more

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6041c | 00 2 CDs | $22.95


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