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The Magnificents

An intriguing ’50s R&B/doo wop group, the Magnificents patterned itself following the softer, even more stylized singing of such groupings because the Hi-Lo’s and Four Lads. They started because the Tams, but had been transformed to the Magnificents by Chicago disk jockey “The Wonderful” Montague. Johnny Keyes, Thurman “Ray” Ramsey, Fred Rakestraw, and Willie Myles had been the initial lineup. Barbara Arrington afterwards emerged aboard, and L.C. Cooke, sibling of Sam Cooke, changed Ramsey. This is the lineup that produced their one great record, “Through to the Hill,” in 1956 for Vee-Jay. That they had various other wonderful singles, but non-e enjoyed similar influence.

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