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Memory Lane: The Flamingos

Dublin layabout Eblana uploaded this gem to YouTube on Wednesday featuring noted Chicago doo-wop group The Flamingos. Let's watch, and then we'll fill you in on the vitals.


"Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezekial Carey (Zeke), bass and 2nd tenor, respectively, formed the group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting cousins baritone Paul Wilson and first tenor John E. 'Johnny' Carter at a Hebrew Israelite congregation," according to the group's Wikipedia entry.

"Earl Lewis (not the Channels lead) soon joined, and after a series of name changes, (The Swallows, El Flamingos, The Five Flamingos), wound up being known as The Flamingos.

"Sollie McElroy soon replaced Lewis (who joined The Five Echoes). The Flamingos' first single (for Chance Records), 'If I Can't Have You,' was a moderate local success, as was the follow-up 'That's My Desire,' but it was Johnny Carter's composition of 'Golden Teardrops,' with its complex vocal harmonies and Carter's soaring falsetto, that cemented their reputation as a top regional act of the day.

"In early 1955, the Flamingos signed with Chess Records, to record for their Checker Records subsidiary."


"Current Flamingos member J.C. Carey, along with Terry Johnson, Tommy Hunt, and descendants of Nate Nelson and Paul Wilson, sued PepsiCo for having used 'I Only Have Eyes For You' in a 1998 television commercial, allegedly without having consulted the group. The group was awarded $250,000."


"The Flamingos received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1996 (where Terry Johnson, Jake Carey, Zeke Carey, Tommy Hunt and Johnny Carter performed) and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame in 2004.

"The group that performed at the Rock Hall ceremony included Terry Johnson on lead, Tommy Hunt and Johnny Carter.

"In 2003, The Flamingos recording of 'I Only Have Eyes For You' (co-wrote by Walle (Walter) Dillard) was inducted into the Grammy Award Hall of Fame."


From the movie Rock Rock Rock!:


Comments welcome.


Posted on March 8, 2012

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