Groupe US originaire de Washington (D.C.), les Rainbows se composaient de Marvin Gaye, Billy Stewart, Don Covay, John Berry et Chester Simmons. Ils ont débuté en 1955 sur le label de Bobby Robinson: Red Robin Records. Puis ils passent ensuite chez Pelgrim et Rama où il se séparent en 1957. Marvin Gaye, Don Covay et Billy Stewart continueront une brillante carrière solo dans le Rhythm 'n' Blues pendant les années soixante. Marvin Gaye est mort, tué par son père en 1984.

One of Washington, D.C.'s pioneering vocal groups, the Rainbows recorded three singles titled after women's names: "Mary Lee," "Shirley," and "Minnie." "Mary Lee" was released on Morgan "Bobby" Robinson's Red Robin label in 1955; the Rainbows on that record consisted of lead singer Ronald "Posie" Miles, John Berry, and other unknown members who left after the release ran its course. Red Robin leased "Mary Lee" to Pilgrim Records, who promoted it into a small regional hit. For its follow-up, "Shirley" (1956), Berry recruited Chester Simmons and Don Covay to form the lineup most associated with the group. Copies of "Shirley" can be found on three different labels -- Pilgrim, Argyle, and Red Robin -- but none did it any justice. D.C. disc jockey Jay Ferry played the Rainbows locally, but DJs in other cities weren't as loving. "Minnie" on Rama Records in 1957 became their swan song, and despite popularity in Washington, the sales were disappointing and the group disbanded. At least four tracks -- "Baraboo," "Honey Hush," "Jelly Bean," and "The Bug" -- are still rotting in Red Robin's vaults. Covay became a solo act and scored with "Have Mercy" and "See Saw"; he was more successful as a writer and supplied material to many artists. John Berry also took to songwriting, cranking out more than 125 titles registered with BMI; his most successful, "Pony Time," became a hit for Chubby Checker. Simmons and fill-ins Marvin Gaye, James Nolan, and Reese Palmer formed the Marquees.

Style musical : Doo Wop, Rhythm 'n' Blues

MARY LEE (1955)

SHIRLEY (1956)

Stay (1956)

THEY SAY (1956)

Minnie (1956)

Years in activity :

1910 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2000 10 20


78 t. & Singles

06/1955 78 t. RED ROBIN 134 (US) Evening / Mary Lee 
06/1955 SP RED ROBIN 134-X45 (US)

Evening / Mary Lee 

06/1955 78 t. & SP PILGRIM 703 (US) Mary Lee  / Evening
1956 SP PILGRIM 711 (US) Shirley / Stay
1956 SP RAMA 209 (US) They Say Minnie
1960 SP FIRE 1012 (US) Mary Lee  / Evening
1962 SP ARGYLE 1012 (US) The RAINBOWS (with Don COVAY) - Shirley / Stay
1973 SP BARON B-100 (US)

It's Terrific (RAINBOWS) / Undertaker (Sonny Walker)

1974 SP FIREFLY FI-313 (US)

If You See Mary Lee (Rainbows) / Ooh My Soul (Don COVAY of The Rainbows


Mary Lee  / Evening

19?? SP LOST-NITE LN 340 (US) Mary Lee  / Evening


19?? LP 12" PILGRIM 801 (US) MARY LEE - Mary Lee / You Broke My Heart / Hold My Hand / Minnie / Evening / Shirley / It's Terrific / They Say / Shake That Thing / Ohy Boy / Stay / Can't You See I Love You So / The Telephone Is Ringing / If You See Mary Lee

© Rocky Productions 24/06/2017