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The Five Chances

In 1950, within the southern side of Chicago, several eighth graders from Felsenthal Quality School joined collectively and began singing on street corners for another couple of years. These initial five — Darnell Austell (business lead), his sibling John Austell (bass), Howard Pitman (baritone), Harold Jones (baritone and second tenor), and Reggie Smith (first and second tenor) — ultimately began phoning themselves Un Travadors. The Austell brothers had been nephews from the longtime record business owner Leo Austell, who later on founded the Renee label (house to Betty Everett, Cicero Blake, Eddie Sullivan, as well as others). In 1954, they received a talent display in the Crown Propeller Lounge and captured the attention of musician Levi McKay, who wanted to “college” them in the requirements and became their supervisor. This ultimately resulted in an audition for the opportunity label, a little label helmed by Edwart Abner Jr., an archive exec. THE OPPORTUNITY label was on the famous “Record Row” on Cottage Grove Ave (house to Ruler, Vee Jay, Chess, Bird, and several vendors). Abner enjoyed what he noticed and agreed upon the group (your day each of them graduated from DuSable Great), but he renamed them the Five Possibilities. McKay continued tinkering with several lineups, drawing brand-new members from various other groups he maintained, attracting Eddie Stillwell in the Fasinoles and Clyde Williams in the Daffodils. (Stillwell seems in the Five Possibilities’ recordings, however, not Williams.) The group documented several edges for Abner’s Possibility, but ultimately just ” “I MIGHT Be Little” b/w a cover from the 1928 strike “Nagasaki,” compiled by Mort Dixon and Harry Warren, had been issued as an individual. (Two unreleased edges surfaced in 1964 on the Constellation album, Groupings Three). In August 1954, they documented “My Dream Is certainly Yours,” a fox-trot extracted from a 1949 Doris Time film, that they reconfigured right into a great R&B jump melody. By enough time Possibility closed its doorways by the end of 1954, Abner acquired joined up with Jimmy Bracken and Vivian Carter, a husband-wife group, at Vee Jay, the biggest black-owned label at that time. The Five Possibilities found a fresh house with Al Benson’s Bird label, but split a couple days after Howard Pitman still left to create his very own label, Concord Information. Benson later continued to sponsor his own skill shows in the Regal Theater.

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