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Lee Andrews

Among the finest R&B vocal sets of the ’50s, the Philadelphia-based Lee Andrews & the Hearts specialized in even ballads and were influenced by similar vocal serves just like the Moonglows, the Orioles, the Drifters, the 5 Royales, the Five Tips, the Midnighters, as well as the Ravens, even though business lead vocalist Lee Andrews’ affects were mostly single artists want Bing Crosby, Frankie Laine, Frank Sinatra, and especially Nat Ruler Cole. Both of these key affects — a harmonizing four-part vocal bottom with a solid but sensitive tenor voice at the forefront — was the building blocks from the Hearts’ hard-to-beat audio. The group have scored three charting strikes in the period of an individual season (1957-1958). Their “Longer Lonely Evenings” (documented for the small Mainline label) were able to hardly beat the previous Drifter Clyde McPhatter’s edition by way of a few graph factors (quantity 45 to Clyde’s quantity 49). It obtained even higher within the R&B graphs (quantity 11). At its maximum, the group’s following solitary for Mainline, “Teardrops,” was found for wider distribution by Chess. It had been their biggest strike, rendering it to at quantity 20 within the pop graphs (on November 25, 1957), and by January 1958, it experienced jumped to the R&B graphs, where it finished up list at number 4. A third strike, “Try the Difficult” for the United Performers label, charted at amount 33 in the pop graphs (June 22, 1958). Lee Andrews (b. Arthur Lee Andrew Thompson) grew up by way of a musical family members in Goldsboro, NC. His dad, Beechie Thompson, sang using the Dixie Hummingbirds. The Thompson family members soon transferred to Philadelphia, PA, when small Arthur Thompson was two. By enough time he was students at Bertram SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL in 1952, Thompson acquired begun performing with four close friends: Royalston “Roy” Calhoun (initial tenor), Thomas “Butch” Curry (second tenor), Adam “Jimmy” McCalister (baritone), and John Teen (bass). The quintet — from a nearby of 49th and Woodland in South Philly — initial began contacting themselves the Dreams and afterwards, the Dreamers. Between 1952 and 1954, the Dreamers rehearsed after college (frequently tutored on spirituals by Curry’s aunt) and shortly started incorporating R&B stylings in to the combine. In early 1954, they been to the neighborhood WHAT radio place and danced within the studio room next to the DJ booth, where on-air character Kae Williams kept court. Using one particular evening, Williams asked several teens dancing within the next space about what regional acts they loved and was informed he should pay attention to the Dreamers. They later on auditioned two TOP charters from earlier years and Williams was therefore awed by this original assemblage that he wanted to manage them at that moment. In the springtime of that yr, Williams squired the Dreamers into Reco Arts Studio room and slice two edges. The group after that journeyed with Williams to NEW YORK also to the offices of Eddie Heller and Bobby Heller’s Rainbow Information, a label therefore small it distributed space using a Hell’s Kitchen storefront referred to as Sonny’s Deli. Both also went a membership in North Philly and acquired previously connected with Williams. It had been here they learned there is already an action contacting themselves the Dreamers and it had been Jimmy McCalister who developed the Hearts after spying a little plastic heart on the secretary’s table — in fact Heller’s wife. Since Thompson was to end up being featured on because the group’s head, he started shuffling his brands around to create something he sensed would audio better — and browse better on labels — than Arthur Thompson as well as the Hearts. He finally resolved on contacting himself by his two middle brands and therefore the name Lee Andrews & the Hearts was finally blessed. The Hearts’ initial one was a edition from the Orioles’ then-charting “Probably YOU WILL BE There” (followed just by piano). It had been released in mid-May 1954 and received airplay in Philadelphia, but couldn’t contend with the refined and founded Orioles’ edition and sank just like a rock. “The White colored Cliffs of Dover,” their second solitary, was an improved overall group efficiency but saw actually much less airplay activity. Another solitary from Oct 1954, “The Bells of St. Mary’s,” battled for the graphs having a better-produced edition of the same music from the Drifters. Williams certainly thought three attempts was more than enough for Rainbow and taken his group in the label. By 1955, McCalister was Navy destined and soon changed by Ted Weems, another neighbor from South Philly. Because they had been now senior high school grads that they had to think about full-time work. Lee Andrews and Roy Calhoun visited just work at Gotham Record Vendors, expecting to also have scored an opportunity to audition for owner Ivan Ballen’s Gotham record label. Once the group found that their agreement with Williams wasn’t valid because these were all minors if they authorized it, they apparently asked Ballen to audition them. Nevertheless, Ballen’s main curiosity was gospel music and he held putting the teenagers off before extremely end of 1955 when he finally relented and offered them a pay attention. Liking what he noticed, he authorized Lee Andrews as well as the Hearts to Gotham on January 3, 1956. Quickly they were documenting in the label’s studio room, located at 626 Federal government Street. Their 1st solitary, the Davies-Heyman regular “Bluebird of Joy,” premiered in-may, but didn’t become a strike. Their next one, the Andrews-penned “Unhappy Area,” was practically a note-for-note duplicate from the Larks’ 1952 Apollo one “IN MY OWN Lonely Area,” but were able to collect airplay throughout Pa, Delaware, and NJ. The group’s last Gotham one, which detailed Andrews as its songwriter — though it was apparently penned by one Rita Sherwood — was released toward the finish of 1956. “Simply Imagine” also didn’t graph. The Hearts grew discouraged when they recognized that lots of of their finest attempts for the label hadn’t actually been released. In early 1957, they auditioned at Weems’ house for Philadelphia (WDAS) and NY (WWOV) jock Jocko Henderson, who — alongside partner Barry Golder — possessed Mainline Record Marketers as well as the Hearts appeared as if the perfect automobile to start out up their longer prepared Mainline label. Before they can record, nevertheless, bass vocalist John Youthful left the work (shifting to NY) as well as the group continuing to fill up the low-register placement with some substitutes, including their piano participant Gerald Thompson, Tom Hackett, and, finally, Roy’s sibling Wendell Calhoun, aka “Air flow.” By mid-year, nevertheless, the group was very happy to find that their tune “Long Lonely Evenings” had captured on and discovered a new target audience. The small Mainline label responded by issuing a fresh recording from the Hearts performing the track; meanwhile, Atlantic Information experienced their ace Clyde McPhatter record the track, and to additional complicate things, an organization phoning themselves “the Kings” cover the track as well for his or her Baton label. Since it proved, the Kings had been in fact the popular action the Ravens, who have been then agreed upon to Chess Information’ affiliate marketer label Argo. With many of these variations of the same tune contending for airplay, from the wonder the fact that competition was a close one in any way and while there is no question the Hearts documenting might have strike the very best Ten pop graphs without the brutal competition, it were able to hardly beat the previous Drifters’ edition by way of a few factors (amount 45 to Clyde’s amount 49). It have scored even higher in the R&B graphs: amount 11. (The Hearts’ could be consoled in the actual fact that their edition is just about the selection of oldies r / c, while McPhatter’s is currently known just by hardcore enthusiasts). In November 1957, the Hearts’ following solitary, “Teardrops,” was found by Chess nationally, however in Philadelphia, it had been released within the Argo affiliate marketer within a distribution offer between Chess and Mainline. The track was an instantaneous classic, ultimately charted at its maximum at quantity 20 within the pop graphs (on November 25, 1957), but by January 6, 1958, it experienced jumped to the R&B graphs, and strike number 4. After two strikes and obtaining shorted on royalties from Chess, Lee Andrews & the Hearts transferred to United Performers, where in fact the group charted going back amount of time in 1958 using the typically refined “Try the Difficult.” Jocko Henderson — handling the group at this time — finagled a offer within the Philadelphia region with the one, which finished up released on his locally distributed Internet casino label (that was co-owned by Mickey Golder (Barry’s sibling). It charted at quantity 33 within the pop graphs (June 22, 1958). The group by no means again charted within the R&B graphs. The group spent all of those other yr touring, which required its greatest toll, breaking aside the music group. Weems became a member of the military and Lee Andrews remaining the Hearts behind to visit solo. He ultimately surfaced on Swan Information for three singles using a then-uncredited group (afterwards defined as the Neons. The ones that continued to be began contacting themselves the Five Hearts, an organization comprising Tommy Light (business lead), Roy and Wendel Calhoun and Butch Curry from the Hearts; and Eddi Custus (who documented among the Superiors for Mainline). In 1959, the Five Hearts documented “It’s Incredible” for Arcade. The group’s third disk jockey/supervisor, Hy Lit, got them agreed upon to Chancellor Information, where just one more edition of the group, today a quartet comprised of Calhoun, Curry, Custus, and Sonny Gordon, in fact re-recorded “It’s Amazing” once again. In Feb 1962, the group reunited briefly for “Jointly Once again” (Gowen Information) using a lineup comprising Lee Andrews, Curry, the Calhoun brothers, and Custus. Lee after that soloed once again (when you can contact an archive with backgrounds with the Dreamlovers, Rick as well as the Masters, and different Hearts a single) on “I AM SORRY Cushion” in Dec 1962, on Parkway. In the meantime, the four performing Hearts documented “Aisle of Like” for Guyden Information, in November 1962. Once the one flopped, they split. By 1963, the Hearts got ceased ticking and their recordings became extremely collectable, therefore Grand Information struck a cope with Gotham and released a number of the group’s outdated sides. Enthusiasts’ demand for even more recordings prompted Lee to create a fresh Hearts group in the summertime of 1966 with several familiar names combined up with several new types: Booker, Mason, alongside fresh Hearts Robert Howard and Victoria McCalister. They documented “You’re Going for a Long Time RETURNING” that was released on solitary by RCA. The group authorized the dotted collection with Crimson Information, and eventually finished up two singles down the road Crimson’s parent organization, Lost Night, documenting three initial singles (a unique move because of this all-oldies reissue organization) that have been released in 1968. By enough time they do a live LP for Shed Night — documented in a membership in Fairless Hillsides, PA — the Hearts had been Lee Andrews, Richard Howard, Richard Booker, and Tommy Light. Eventually, Andrews proceeded to go into semi-retirement and opened up a successful outfit shop. Within a 1971 interview he mentioned that he shaped a fresh group called Initial Born plus they had been along the way of documenting for Columbia, though no such record discharge ever occurred. Andrews afterwards re-emerged in the urging of maker friend Billy Jackson (the Tymes), who understood Lee’s interests had been now leaning inside a 5th Dimension-style path. Together, they created Congress Alley with Booker, Jackie Andrews (Lees wife), and Karen Brisco. This group handled two singles and an LP for Avco Embassy, however the produces weren’t effective. In 1981, Collectible Information unearthed the initial first studio room program tapes from Gotham and released three singles, including just one more edition of “Longer Lonely Evenings” that was lyrically not the same as the strike track, with only a piano accompaniment and crystal-clear harmonies. The oldies circuit revival from the ’70s offered momentum for Lee to create yet another Hearts, that one a family group affair with Lee, his wife Jackie, child Ahmir, and child Dawn. Roy Calhoun passed away in an house open fire in 1979, Butch Curry became sick with multiple sclerosis, Wendell Calhoun still lives in Philadelphia, and Ted Weems became a member of the Pheasants (“From the Mist,” Throne) in 1963 and later on had an organization known as Tribute, but got no other strikes.

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