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The Five Echoes

Biography

The Five Echoes are notable for having been the group that both Earl Lewis (Stations, Flamingos) and Johnnie Taylor both passed through at once or another. The initial Chicago-based group — Regular “Count number” Sims (baritone), Herbert Lewis (baritone), Jimmy Marshall (bass), and Tommy Hunt (second tenor) — originally known as themselves the Flames simply because they hung out on the Morocco Resort, home to some well-known nightspot, the Fire. The Flames didn’t actually obtain goin’ until around 1952, if they included an ex-Flamingos business lead vocalist, Earl Lewis (initial tenor), in to the group. Another, much less “standard” member was Freddie Matthews, who sometimes sang using the group and offered as their chauffeur. The group transformed the name towards the Five Echoes once they uncovered Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy group who got exactly the same name for a short while in the first ’50s (and who afterwards became the Five Discs). The group ultimately fulfilled up with musician/supervisor/songwriter/hustler Walter Spriggs, who helped have them their initial booking for the membership circuit. Through the initial weekend, they journeyed as much as Kenosha, WI, and performed in a membership called the proper Place, where they do so well, actually, that these were asked to remain, and do, for a whole year, performing addresses with the Orioles, the Dominoes, among others. Upon their go back to the Chicago region, they eventually captured the hearing of Edwart Abner Jr. of Possibility Records, who agreed upon the act. Quickly thereafter, Abner was out at Possibility (leaving to greatly help operate Vee Jay and rather they were left with Artwork Sheridan, who was simply working his Sabre label on Chicago’s south aspect. Their initial record, “Unhappy Mood,” have scored airplay in a number of U.S. metropolitan areas, but didn’t graph nationally. Hunt shortly found that he previously been drafted, departing the Five Echoes brief one member. The rest of the performers recruited Johnnie Taylor, a Kansas Town native who was simply bumming around Chicago at that time, singing in an area gospel group, the Highway QC’s. (This is exactly the same Taylor who became a hit-making trend from the 1960s and 1970s; at that time, Taylor was an extremely religious, gospel-based vocalist.) By early 1954, with Taylor up to speed, the Five Echoes became regulars within the Chicago golf club circuit, ultimately touring the Midwestern U.S. The Five Echoes documented yet another Sabre program. Hunt, while AWOL from your service, joined up with the group, but was quickly lost towards the group once again following the FBI swept up with him and directed him towards the stockade. Opportunity was evidently winding down at that time, because it shut its doors prior to the 12 months 1954 was out. The group disbanded soon thereafter.

Quick Facts


Full Name Five Echoes
Music Songs Fool's Prayer, Tastee Freeze, Baby Come Back to Me, If You Don't Love Me, Tell Me Baby, Why Oh Why, A Lonely Mood, I Really Do, So Lonesome, Evil Woman, Broke, The Hunt, That's My Baby

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