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Continentals

Biography

Tempo and blues vocal group the Continentals formed in Brooklyn, NY in 1955. Lead tenor Herman Montgomery, second tenor Neville “Friend” Payne, baritone Wayne Gripper, and bass Wayne Vincent “Vinny” Cooper had been already performing because the Condors if they lured 1st tenor Danny Hicks from rival combo the Romancers — to tell apart the brand new lineup from your myriad bird-named models across Brooklyn, the Condors started searching for a fresh moniker, finally buying the Continentals honoring a then-popular tv series in regards to a notorious woman killer. After creating a dedicated local pursuing, the group authorized to Bobby Robinson’s Whirlin’ Disk label in 1956, but around that same period Payne impulsively became a member of the Sea Corps, forcing the rest of the Continentals to quickly look for a alternative — in fresh tenor John “Peanut” Jones, who previously made an appearance alongside Hicks within the Romancers; the modified lineup quickly cut “Dear Lord.” Offering Montgomery on business lead and cut with a fantastic studio room group including saxophonist Ruler Curtis, guitarist Mickey Baker, and drummer Philly Joe Jones, the solitary finally made an appearance in Oct of 1956 and was most importantly a display for the Continentals’ amazing harmonies — still, despite their regional recognition, “Dear Lord” didn’t capture on, and after just one single more program, 1957’s “Picture of Like,” their documenting career ground for an abrupt halt. Later on that 12 months Gripper became a member of the U.S. Air flow Pressure, and another erstwhile Romancer, baritone Willie Keels, required his place; the group soldiered on until early 1959, when Cooper — the Continentals’ musical movie director and a scholarship or grant student in the Julliard College of Music — experienced a massive coronary attack and passed away at age just 21. Just Hicks continuing his musical profession, later performing using the Keynoters, the Paragons as well as the Fantastics. Montgomery passed on in 1999, but on June 25, 2004 a lineup comprising Hicks, Gripper, Jones, Payne, and Payne’s more youthful sibling Ronnie reunited to performed at Howard University or college, honoring the “Doo-Wop in D.C.” event , marking the Continentals’ 1st live appearance in near a half hundred years.

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