Groupe Doo Wop US originaire de Los Angeles (Californie), les Flairs comprenaient Beverley Thompson, Cornell Gunter (né le 11 Novembre 1938), Thomas "Pete" Fox, Obediah "Obie" Jessie (né le 28 Decembre 1936), et Richard Berry (né le 11 Avril 1935, décédé le 23 Janvier 1997). Ils ont aussi enregistré sous les noms de "Five Hollywood Blue Jays", "Hollywood Blue Jays", "Hunters", "Whips", "Five Hearts", "Chimes" et "Rams"".
were an important West Coast doo wop group, best remembered for being the
launching pad for both Richard Berry and Cornell Gunter, who would both go on to
success in their subsequent solo careers.
The original group -- Arthur Lee Maye (tenor), Thomas "Pete" Fox (2nd tenor), Obediah "Obie" Jessie (baritone), and A.V. Odum (bass) -- formed on the campus of Los Angeles' Jefferson High in 1953 and recorded one single for John Dolphin's Recorded in Hollywood label under the name the Hollywood Blue Jays. (Another group would use the name after them). Maye and Odum then quit the group and, by 1954, were replaced by tenor Cornell Gunter, who had already been singing with the Platters for a couple of months, and bass Richard Berry, still in his teens, but already recording with the Cadets, the Chimes, the Crowns, the Five Hearts, the Hunters, the Rams, the Whips, and the Dreamers, an otherwise all-female quartet from Fremont High.
At first, the group (who were now calling themselves the Flamingos) possibly consisted of Gunter, his cousin Kenneth Byle (first tenor), Thomas Miller (baritone), and George Hollis (bass), while others give Gaynel Hodge, Cornelius Gunter, Curtiss Williams, Joe Jefferson, and Alex Hodge as members. A fifth Flairs member, Beverly Thompson (tenor), also joined the group's roster.
One day, while playing hooky from school, they auditioned for Modern Records. By 1954, Gunter was splitting from the Platters to help organize a full-time Flairs, taking their new name from labels they saw printed up for Modern's not-yet-released Flair subsidiary. They recorded several singles for Modern before Berry and Beverly Thompson left the group's lineup. Berry would have tremendous success over the years, including his uncredited lead Vocalss on Leiber & Stoller's "Riot in Cell Block #9," recorded by the Robins, later to mutate into the Coasters. Berry's replacement for The Flairs was bass man Randolph Jones, though it was for recording purposes only. Tenor Charles Jackson filled the gap left by Beverly Thompson.
Meanwhile, the new Flairs appeared around the L.A. area and West Coast and had the distinction of being on the cover of the first TV Guide ever printed in the L.A. area. They also recorded for Tampa records (using the name Jac-O-Lacs),and also recorded as the Rams and as Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns. Occasionally, Maye's brother Eugene (second tenor) and Charles Holm (bass) would fill in at appearances.
In 1956, this group appeared at the Apollo with Shirley Gunter, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and the Cadillacs, and recorded as the Ermines, first for the Loma label, and then for ABC Paramount (under Buck Ram's management). Internal conflicts among the group's personnel arose when Cornell Gunter's sister, Shirley Gunter, joined as a sixth member and the original group imploded.
Obie Jessie left to start his solo career in earnest as Young Jessie (on "Mary Lou" he was backed up by the Cadets). Pete Fox left the Flairs and joined the Hollywood Flames, replacing Prentice Moreland in that group. Randy Jones joined the Penguins, then replaced Lloyd McCraw in the Jacks/Cadets lineup. The last member of the original Flairs to have a subsequent career as a solo artist was Cornell Gunter, who left in 1958 to join the Coasters along with "Dub" Jones from the Cadets.
Meanwhile, Aaron Collins and Willie Davis left the Cadets and joined what would be the last incarnation of the Flairs (adding Thomas Miller, baritone, and George Hollis, bass) who recorded for ABC. This new lineup recorded under three different monikers: the Peppers, the Cadets, and the subtly different spelling of the Flares. They signed to the Felsted label and recorded two singles in 1960 and later released one single on Ensign in 1961. Their third single for Felsted, the energetic dance record "Foot Stomping-Part I," went to number 25 on the Pop Charts (number 20 R&B) in 1962.
Gunter later started his own Coasters act in 1963 too, although the members of his Coasters were mostly former Penguins (Randolph Jones, Dexter Tisby, and Teddy Harper). Along with Cornell's sister Shirley Gunter (of the Flairs), they recorded for Challenge under the name Cornell Gunter in 1964. His group shifted from a quartet to a trio over the next 25 years. Gunter's Coasters were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. On February 27, 1990, Gunter was shot and killed while sitting in his car in north Las Vegas. Richard Berry passed away of a heart attack on January 23, 1997, in South Central, Los Angeles, CA.
Talents : Beverley Thompson : Lead - Cornell Gunter : Lead - Thomas "Pete" Fox : Tenor - Obediah "Obie" Jessie : Baritone - Richard Berry : Bass
Style musical : Doo Wop
Hollywood Blue Jays)
I HAD A LOVE (1952) (Hollywood Blue Jays)
Down At Hayden's (1953) (Hunters)
She Done Me Wrong (1954) (Whips)
YOU SHOULD CARE FOR ME (1954) (Flairs)
PLEASE PLEASE BABY (1954) (Five Hearts)
My Heart's Crying For You (1954) (Chimes)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Chill Me (1955) (Flairs)
Rock Bottom (1955) (Rams)
Ipsy Opsie Ooh (1955) (Shirley Gunter & The Flairs)
She Loves To Rock (1956) (Cornel Gunter & The Flairs)
Rock 'n' Roll Drive-In (1956) ("Fatso" Theus & The Flairs)
Years in activity :
78 t., Singles & EP
|1951||78 t. HOLLYWOOD 185 (US)||.||FIVE HOLLYWOOD BLUE JAYS - Cloudy and raining / So worried|
|1952||78 t. HOLLYWOOD 396 (US)||.||HOLLYWOOD BLUE JAYS - I had a love / Tell me you're gone|
|1953||78 t. FLAIR 1012 (US)||.||I Had A Love / She Wants To Rock|
|1953||SP FLAIR 45X1012 (US)||.||I Had A Love / She Wants To Rock|
|1953||78 t. FLAIR 1017 (US)||.||HUNTERS - Down At Hayden's / Rabbit On A Log|
|1953||SP FLAIR 45X1017 (US)||.||HUNTERS - Down At Hayden's / Rabbit On A Log|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1019 (US)||.||You Should Care For Me / Tell Me You Love Me|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1019 (US)||.||You Should Care For Me / Tell Me You Love Me|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1025 (US)||.||WHIPS - Pleadin' Heart / She Done Me Wrong|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1025 (US)||.||WHIPS - Pleadin' Heart / She Done Me Wrong|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1026 (US)||.||FIVE HEARTS - The Fine One / Please Please Baby|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1026 (US)||.||FIVE HEARTS - The Fine One / Please Please Baby|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1028 (US)||.||Love Me Girl / Gettin' High|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1028 (US)||.||Love Me Girl / Gettin' High|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1041 (US)||.||Baby Wants / You Were Untrue|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1041 (US)||.||Baby Wants / You Were Untrue|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1044 (US)||.||This Is The Night For Love / Let's Make It With Some Love|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1044 (US)||.||This Is The Night For Love / Let's Make It With Some Love|
|1954||78 t. FLAIR 1051 (US)||.||CHIMES - My Heart's Crying For You / Love Me, Love Me, Love Me|
|1954||SP FLAIR 45X1051 (US)||.||CHIMES - My Heart's Crying For You / Love Me, Love Me, Love Me|
|1955||78 t. FLAIR 1056 (US)||.||I'll Never Let You Go / Hold Me, Thrill Me, Chill Me|
|1955||SP FLAIR 45X1056 (US)||.||I'll Never Let You Go / Hold Me, Thrill Me, Chill Me|
|1955||78 t. FLAIR 1066 (US)||.||RAMS - Rock Bottom / Sweet Thing|
|1955||SP FLAIR 45X1066 (US)||.||RAMS - Rock Bottom / Sweet Thing|
|1955||78 t. FLAIR 1067 (US)||.||She Loves To Dance / My Darling, My Sweet|
|1955||SP FLAIR 45X1067 (US)||.||She Loves To Dance / My Darling, My Sweet|
|1955||78 t. FLAIR 1076 (US)||.||Shirley GUNTER & The FLAIRS - Ipsy Opsie Ooh / How Can I Tell You|
|1955||SP FLAIR 45X1076 (US)||.||Shirley GUNTER & The FLAIRS - Ipsy Opsie Ooh / How Can I Tell You|
|04/1956||SP ABC-PARAMOUNT 9698 (US)||.||Cornel GUNTER & The FLAIRS - In Self Defense / She Loves To Rock|
|1956||SP ABC-PARAMOUNT 9740 (US)||.||Steppin' Out / Aladdin's Lamp|
|1956||SP ALADDIN 3324 (US)||.||"Fatso" THEUS & The FLAIRS - Be Cool My Heart / Rock 'n' Roll Drive-In|
|1956||SP MODERN 989 (US)||.||Shirley GUNTER & The FLAIRS - Headin' Home / I Want You|
|1956||SP MODERN 1001 (US)||.||Shirley GUNTER & The FLAIRS - I Just Got Rid Of A Heartache / Fortune In Love|
|1957||SP ANTLER 4005 (US)||.||I'd Climb The Hills And Mountains / Swing Pretty Mama|
|1959||EP BARCLAY 70255 (F)||THE FLAIRS CHANTENT SWEET SIXTEEN - Sweet Sixteen / Honey Bun / Never No More / Hey You, Shoo Bee Oo Bee|
|1963||LP 12" CROWN CLP 5356 (mono) / CST 356 (stereo) (US)||THE FLAIRS FEAT. CORNEL GUNTER, RICHARD BERRY & YOUNG JESSIE - ROCK'N'ROLL HITS OF THE 50'S - Tell Me You're Mine / Hold Me / You Should Care For Me / She Wants to Rock / Lonesome Desert / My Heart's Crying For You / I Love You / Rock Bottom / I Want You To Be Mine / When I Was Young|
|196?||LP 12" FLAIR 1000 (US)||THE BEST OF THE FLAIRS - High / Love Me Girl / I Had A Love / I Want You To Be Mine / She Loves To Dance / You Were Untrue/ ...|
|197?||LP 12" UNITED 7800 (US)||ROCK 'N' ROLL HITS OF THE 50'S - THE FLAIRS - Tell Me You’re Mine / Hold Me / You Should Care For Me / She Wants To Rock / Lonesome Desert / My Heart’s Crying For You / I Love You / Rock Bottom / I Want You To Be Mine / When I Was Young /|
|09/2004||CD ACE 1023 (UK)||THE ULTIMATE FLAIRS - I Had A Love / She Wants To Rock / Down Tt Hayden's (The HUNTERS) / Rabbit On A Log (The HUNTERS) / Tell Me You Love Me / You Should Care For Me / She Done Me Wrong (The WHIPS) / Pleadin' Heart (The WHIPS) / Fine One (The FIVE HEARTS) / Please Please Baby (The FIVE HEARTS) / Gettin' High / Love Me Girl / Baby Wants / You Were Untrue / This Is The Night For Love / Let's Make With Some Love / My Heart's Crying For You / Love Me, Love Me, Love Me / I'll Never Let You Go / Hold Me, Thrill Me, Chill Me / Rock Bottom / Sweet Thing / My Darling, My Sweet / She Loves To Dance / Real Good Lovin' Man / Lonesome Desert (Young JESSIE) / I Want You To Be Mine / Tell Me You're Mine / (Why Do) I Love You|
© Rocky Productions 1/10/2013