The L.A.-structured Lamplighters are most widely known because the group who later on evolved in to the Sharps, the backup group for Thurston Harris (“Small Bitty Pretty One particular,” number 2 R&B and number 6 play 1957 for Aladdin). Previous Hollywood Fire second tenor Willie Ray Rockwell, Matt Nelson, Al Frazier, and Harris produced the Lamplighters within the springtime of 1952 and started appearing in several community nightspots, including Membership Alabam on Central Ave., as well as the Barrelhouse Membership in W, a nightclub possessed by musician Johnny Otis and his partner Bardu Ali. Otis presented the group to Ralph Bass at Federal-King Information, which was in fact headquartered in Cincinnati at that time. Bass agreed upon the group to Government, and in the past due summer months of 1953, started issuing the group’s initial singles, which “BeBop Wino” b/w “Provide Me” have scored some much-needed airplay in the Western world Coast. In addition they supported blues vocalist Jimmy Witherspoon and made an appearance with Linda Hayes as well as the Flairs, and performed on the Tenth Wedding anniversary Cavalcade of R&B at Wrigley Field in LA with headliners Ruth Dark brown, Count number Basie, and Louis Jordan. Subsequent Government singles didn’t score very much airplay for the group, who have been virtually unknown beyond their home bottom in South Central LA. In mid-August 1954, the Lamplighters had been on the costs for another large R&B extravaganza on the Savoy Ballroom, hosted by DJ Hunter Hancock. Through the fall a few months, because of having less support from Government, the group’s workers was changing frequently. By year’s end, these were a completely different group: Eddie Jones, Harold Lewis, Carl Light, and Sonny Harris. In early 1955, Government released some more singles which didn’t sell and shortly finished their association using the group. Afterwards in the entire year, the Lamplighters agreed upon with Decca for only 1 single, then came back to Government, who attempted something brand-new: they made a decision to re-name them “The Tenderfoots,” expecting to start out anew and log off on the nice (sensitive) feet. Four recordings had been released from the group under this name, but had been quickly overlooked. Three more Federal government singles had been during the following sixth weeks; these originated from the band’s 1st recording sessions and they also had been credited to the initial Lamplighters name. The Lamplighters/Tenderfoots after that evolved right into a group known as the Sharps, who have been known most to be the backup group for Thurston Harris, who by 1954 was on the off-and-on relationship using the Lamplighters, sometimes appearing together like a fill-in as required. Harris’ cover edition of Bobby Day’s “Small Bitty Pretty One,” a vintage novelty number offering the Sharps performing backgrounds, offered him along with his only TOP R&B and pop strike, which managed to get to number 2 R&B and amount six play 1957 for Aladdin. He also acquired another Best 20 R&B strike, “Do EVERYTHING YOU Do,” in 1958. The Sharps documented for Vogue Information: “Lock My Center” and “Shufflin’,” that is an extremely uncommon and valuable one. They also supplied support vocals on a lot of Duane Eddy’s strike songs. A number of the Lamplighters/Tenderfoots/Sharps ultimately became a member of up with Kim Fowley and Gary Paxton and made an appearance because the Rivingtons in the first ’60s, rating with “The Bird’s the term” as well as the immortal “Papa Ooh Mow Mow” strike (both songs offered the cornerstone for the Trashmen’s wacky strike “Surfin’ Parrot”).
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