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Male Doo-wop Quintet from United States.

Collectors have made the Swallows one of the most beloved of R&B groups. Their haunting ballads and risque up-tempo novelties are perennial favorites. The origin of The Swallows goes back to 1946, when a bunch of 13-year-olds from Baltimore formed a group called the "Oakaleers." The members were: Lawrence Coxson (lead tenor), Irving Turner (tenor and baritone), Earl Hurley (first and second tenor and bongos), Norris "Bunky" Mack (bass, piano, guitar, and drums), and another tenor named Gavin. They were thus a self-contained unit in terms of vocals and instrumental accompaniment.

The Oakaleers practiced on street corners for a couple of years. Then, around 1948, they ran into a couple of guys who also sang on the corner: Eddie Rich (first tenor) and Frederick "Money Guitar" Johnson (baritone and guitar). (Rich and Johnson were childhood friends and eventual brothers-in-law.) Interestingly, Johnson, a lefty, taught himself to play a right-handed guitar held upside down. Eddie and Money became friendly with Earl, and ultimately ended up joining the Oakaleers in place of Gavin and Coxson (although Coxson was occasionally used as a fill-in at personal appearances over the years). Now the Oakaleers were Eddie Rich, Bunky Mack, Money Johnson, Earl Hurley, and Irving Turner.Then, one day, Eddie mentioned to Earl that he had a friend that sometimes sang with them and who also wrote songs: second tenor and baritone Herman "Junior" Denby. Earl asked Eddie to bring Junior around and that meeting led to Junior being hired the same day.

Says Junior, "We went out on the street and sang to make money." While Junior would eventually be the group's bassist also, in the beginning "I just had a barrel with a single string." Then Earl's brother-in-law, a bass player, began loaning Junior his instrument "as long as you take care of it, you can practice on it." What was it like dragging a full-size bass around to gigs? "It was hell," says Junior. However, the group was now a sextet, which was a bit unwieldy. Irving Turner thus stopped singing with the group, but Earl promised him that he'd always be a part of the group; Irving was kept on as valet (and occasional fill-in). We'll meet him again later.


Displaying 1-2 of 2 items.

Swallows : Swallows Acappella Album : 1 CD :  : 505

Swallows : Swallows Acappella Album

Review: Philadelphia's sweet-singing Doo-Wop quintet perform 23 original, authentic hits, "Oh Lonesome Me," "Hey, Senorita," "Little Darlin'," "Let Me Come Back," "What'Cha Gonna Do," "Have Mercy Baby," "Louise," "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" "Ride Eddie Ride" and slightly racy tunes like "Sixty Minute Man" and "It Ain't The Meat." With voices like these, The Swallows could sing the phone book and get us boogying!

Songlist: Will You Be Mine, Oh Lonesome Me, Dearest, Ride Eddie Ride, Beside You, A Lover's Question, Love Bells, Hey Seniorita, Would I Be Crying, Let Me Come Back, What'Cha Gonna Do, When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano, Little Darlin', Mother, Have Mercy Baby, I'll Be Waiting, Louise, At Night, Sit and Hold My Hand, Sincerely, It Ain't The Meat, Sixty Minute Man, Your Way

8284c | 1 CD | $14.98 Black Vocal Groups

Swallows : Very Best of

Review: Well researched and compiled selection of classics tracks by one of the most successful of the early 50's R&B groups. Featuring their years on the King label this recording is a treat for fans of the clear, clean, sweet sound of the early R&B vocal groups. 25 tracks

Songlist: Will You Be Mine, Dearest, Wishing for You, Since You've Been Away, Eternally, You Left Me, It Ain't the Meat, Roll, Roll Pretty Baby, Tell Me Why, Beside You, I Only Have Eyes for You, You Walked In, Our Love Is Dying, Where Do I Go from Here?, Nobody's Lovin' Me, Please, Baby, Please, Laugh (Though You Want to Cry), Trust Me, Pleading Blues, I'll Be Waiting, Bicycle Tillie, It Feels So Good, We Want to Rock, Itchy Twitchy Feeling, Who Knows, Do You?

8299c | 1 CD | $14.98 | Accompanied

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