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Four Shades of Rhythm

Generally considered the first R&B group to emerge from your fertile Cleveland area, the Four Shades of Rhythm formed in 1939 — according to Marv Goldberg’s profile in the May 1998 problem of Discoveries, singer/drummer Oscar Lindsay, guitarist Willie Lewis, pianist Sims London and bassist Macon Sims were almost all neighborhood friends who gigged about the region throughout World War II, creating a large repertoire of standards and jazz tunes. Following a war the initial Four Tones break up, although Lindsay maintained the name for a fresh lineup composed of guitarist Oscar Pennington, bassist June Cobb and pianist Eddie “Bone fragments” McAfee. Cobb balked when the group got a protracted residency at a Chicago nightclub, nevertheless, and in 1946 bassist Eddie Meyers authorized on as his alternative. The Four Tones of Rhythm came back to Chicago to slice their first program for the Vitacoustic label, issuing “A HUNDRED Years from Today” in 1947 — they backed the solitary with golf club stints as much varying as Des Moines, IA and Rochester, MN, and in early 1949 slice a follow-up, “My Blue Walk,” for the Aged Swing-Master imprint. “I COULD Desire” and “Last night” made an appearance in quick succession at mid-year, so when none of these offered, Pennington resigned, the 1st in some lineup adjustments. By enough time the Four Tones of Tempo re-recorded “Last night” for the opportunity label in past due 1952, the roster once again retained just Lindsay from earlier incarnations — guitarist Adam Lambert, pianist Ernie Harper and bassist Booker Collins right now finished the lineup, which didn’t resurface on record before fall of 1957 using the Mad label launch “Ghost of the Opportunity.” After one last solitary — a 1960 remake of “A HUNDRED Years from Today” documented for the Apex imprint — the Four Tones of Rhythm break up for good.

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