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 (Detroit, MI) -- Soul singer, songwriter, record producer and record label executive Harvey Fuqua, who founded the R&B/doo-wop group the Moonglows, and discovered singer Marvin Gaye and others, died Tuesday, July 6th in a Detroit hospital at 5:15 PM EST. He was 80.
Born on July 27, 1929, in Louisville, KY,  Fuqua (the nephew of Charlie Fuqua of the Ink Spots) started a vocal group in his hometown called the Crazy Sounds. Later, they moved to Cleveland, OH, where Fuqua was the lead singer with Bobby Lester, Alexander "Pete" Graves and Prentiss Barnes, with Billy Johnson on guitar.
The group caught the eye of legendary rock & roll DJ Alan Freed, who got them to appear on his radio show and concerts. In 1952, Freed signed the group to his Champagne Records label after changing their name to the Moonglows. They later left Freed and signed to Chance Records for a short stay, then signed to Chess Records.
Their first single, "Sincerely," became an instant doo-wop classic in November, 1954. Later hits included "Most of All" (1955), "See Saw" (1956), and "Please Send Me Someone To Love" (1957).


In early 1958, the group broke up. It was then that Fuqua met a young vocal group from Washington, DC  who called themselves the Marquees. One of the group's members was Marvin Gaye, whose vocalsespecially impressed Fuqua.

Trying to keep the sound of the Moonglows alive, Fuqua joined the group together, and with Reese Palmer, James Knowland, Chester Simmons, Chuck Barksdale (on loan from the Dells) and Gaye, he continued to record. The group changed their name to Harvey and the Moonglows.
In 1958, they scored their massive signature hit, "Ten Commandments of Love."
Later that year, Fuqua left the group, while still retaining Gaye. He joined Anna Records, a small label in Detroit, MI under then fledgling producer Berry Gordy.
There he recorded Lamont Dozier and Johnny Bristol, two talents who would go on to success with Motown Records. Meanwhile, Fuqua was still working with Chess, producing sides on Etta James.
In 1961, he started his own independent labels, Tri-Phi and Harvey Records. His roster included the Spinners, Junior Walker & the All Stars and Shorty Long.
After growing tired of the rigors of running a small independent label with no distribution or edge against the major labels, Fuqua got a break when he was hired by Berry Gordy to head Motown's Artist Development department.
The move allowed Fuqua to bring Johnny Bristol, Tammi Terrell  and the Spinners to Motown Records, where he was assisted by Gwen Gordy, Anna Gordy, Maxine Powell and Cholly Atkins.
Success began to happen for Fuqua as he recorded Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's  "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (summer 1967), "Your Precious Love" (fall 1967), and "If This World Were Mine" (late 1967).
He also scored a hit with former Temptations lead singer David Ruffin's solo "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me) (early 1969).
In 1971, Fuqua left Motown Records, signing a production deal with RCA Records. Two acts that he had previously signed to his talent agency, The Nightlighters ("K-Jee") and New Birth ("It's Been A Long Time") were also signed to the label. He also discovered disco pioneer Sylvester, producing several hit singles, including "Dance (Disco Heat") and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)." Fuqua was also Smokey Robinson's road manager for a while.
The Moonglows reunited in 1972, with Fuqua, Lester, Graves, Doc Williams, and Chuck Lewis. They produced an LP, "The Return of the Moonglows," and made a remake of "Sincerely, " which went to number 43 on the R&B chart.
The summer of 1982 saw Fuqua reuniting with Marvin Gaye, collaborating on Gaye's "Midnight Love" LP which went to number seven pop in late 1982, sold two million copies, including the gold single "Sexual Healing" which stayed at number one R&B for ten weeks.
The Moonglows received the 1995 Pioneer Awards and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
In 2000, he set up his own Resurging Artist Records, and was an Advisory Board member of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation.
Fuqua was working with S.T.A.R.S., an inspirational group at the time of his transition.
Memorial services are pending.
Contact: Ron Brewington










































Founding member of
Chi-Lites dies at 67

January 22, 2010


Robert “Squirrel” Lester, a founding member of Chicago’s famed R & B group “The Chi-Lites, has died following a battle with cancer.
He was 67.

Mr. Lester once sang with The Chanteurs, a band which included Eugene Record and Clarence Johnson.


(Photo courtesy of Ken Bedford)

The three men later formed the Hi-Lites with Marshall Thompson and Creadel “Red” Jones. By the mid-'60s, Johnson left the group, and it changed its name to the Chi-Lites in a nod to its hometown.

The Chi-Lites scored lasting hits with “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl.”

Funeral arrangements were pending.

Statement from Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites

MLK 2010Marshall Thompson, leader of
The Chi-Lites, mourns the loss of his partner, Robert "Squirrel" Lester. Squirrel was an original member of The Chi-Lites. They have been sharing the stage together for the past 50 years and were about to celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

Today I am mourning the loss of my dear partner and friend, Robert "Squirrel" Lester. He and I have been performing together for the past 50 years and now I am facing the reality that my friend has left me behind. I pray for peace to his family, friends and to each of you. I also ask that you include me in your prayers as I attempt to accept his passing, knowing that after a short illness, he is no longer suffering and has made his final journey. He will remain in my heart and can never be replaced.

Additional details will follow once arrangements have been completed.

--Marshall Thompson, leader of The Chi-Lites.



The Passing of Bob Mitchell
Founder of The Mitchell Chiorboys

Tony Butala’s mentor, Bob Mitchell, who accepted Tony into the Mitchell Boys Choir in 1950, passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2009.  Mr. Mitchell was responsible for the early workings, and was the 1st piano player, for The Lettermen.

Bob Mitchell was born in Los Angeles, CA. October 12, 1912.  He began piano study at four and pipe organ at the age of 10.  He accompanied silent movies beginning in 1924 (age 12) until 1928 when sound replaced live music. At 18, he was the youngest candidate to receive the degree of Fellow of the American Guild of Organists (F. A. G. O.).  He was a scholarship winner at Eastman School of Music and the New York College of Music and still found time to sing and play on his own radio show in New York City. Returning to Los Angeles he founded the Mitchell Choirboys in 1934 – which continued for nearly 70 years. They performed in some one hundred motion pictures, most notably ‘Going My Way’, ‘The Bishop’s Wife’ and ‘White Christmas’.  They toured extensively - five times abroad and once around the world, and made thousands of radio and TV appearances.  Bob served overseas in the Navy during World War II, and was ‘keyboardist’ for Meredith Willson’s Armed Forces Radio Service Orchestra.  He served as staff organist-pianist at several Los Angeles radio stations – KFI, KHJ, KECA, among others, and on TV with Art Linkletter’s House Party, the Jack LaLanne Show, and even the Mitchell Choirboys Show. Bob and the choir, were featured in the Academy-Nominated short film ‘Forty Boys and a Song’ and he was honored on Ralph Edwards’ ‘This Is Your Life’. Mitchell was organist for four years for the Dodgers and Angels at the then new stadium, the only person to ‘play’ for both the National and American leagues at the same time. He was Musical Director for many religious institutions over his 87 years as a professional musician, and most recently regularly exciting his many fans at the Silent Movie Theatre, Hollywood. Mr. Mitchell passed away on July 4, 2009 from natural causes.  A memorial mass will be celebrated at Christ the King Church, in Hollywood, California at 9:30 AM. July 10, 2009.  Interment immediately after at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 5000 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to The Mitchell Boys Choir Fund, c/o the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Columbia Theater, 82 West State Street, Sharon, PA  16146.



I am shocked beyond words. It’s like a dream - a bad dream.
This cannot be! How can Michael Jackson not be here?  

As a kid, Michael was always beyond his years.
He had a knowingness about him that was incredible. 
When I first heard him sing Smokey’s song, “Who’s Lovin’ You” at 10 years’ old,
it felt like he had lived the song for 50 years. Somehow, even at that first meeting with him, he had a hunger to learn, a hunger to be the best and was willing to work as hard and as long as it took.
I had no concern about his ability to go to the top. He was like my son. He had warmth, sensitivity and two perrsonalities. When he was not on stage, he was loving, respectful and shy.  When he WAS on stage, he was so in charge you would not believe he was the same person. 
Michael was and will remain one of the greatest entertainers that ever lived. He was exceptional, artistic and original.  He gave the world his heart and soul through his music.
I extend my sympathies to Joe, Katherine and the entire Jackson family.  My prayers
are with them.  
Berry Gordy
Founder, Motown
June 25, 2009

Motown Alumni Association:

MAA NEWS - The mother of Rosalind Ashford Holmes of The  Vandellas, passed yesterday April 2, 2009. Mary Ashford died in a Detroit hospital of health complications. 

Rosalind Ashford started the pre-Vandellas group the Delphis, with the full support of her mother while still in High School in Detroit.
There were original 5 girls in the Delphis group; the quartet eventually broke down to the trio that made up the original Motown group The Vandellas (Martha Reeves, Annette Beard, and Rosalind Ashford.
In July of 1962 Mary Ashford signed as the guardian of her under age daughters' original Motown contract, which offer a standard rate of 2% of all sales of their (The Vandellas) recordings. The Vandellas recording "Dancing In The Street" is considered the beginning of what would become known as the Motown Sound.
Details on the funeral are to be announced.
Cards and condolences can be sent to:
Rosalind Ashford Holmes
17361 Kentucky
Detroit, Michigan 48221


Subject: Estelle Bennett, member of The Ronettes, dies

NEW YORK – Estelle Bennett, one of the Ronettes, the singing trio whose 1963 hit "Be My Baby" epitomized the famed "wall of sound" technique of its producer, Phil Spector, has died at her home in Englewood, N.J. She was 67.

Bennett's brother-in-law, Jonathan Greenfield, said police found her dead in her apartment on Wednesday after relatives had been unable to contact her. The time and cause of death have not yet been determined. Greenfield is the manager and husband of Bennett's sister, Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector.

The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007; its Web site hails the group as "the premier act of the girl group era." Among their admirers were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones; their exotic hairstyles and makeup are aped by Amy Winehouse.

The Ronettes — sisters Veronica "Ronnie" and Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley — signed with Spector's Philles Records in 1963.

Their recording of "Be My Baby" hit No. 2 on Billboard magazine's pop music chart that year. Among their other hits were "Walkin' in the Rain" and "Baby I Love You."

They also did a memorable version of "Sleigh Ride" that appeared on Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You" album. Their last Philles single was "I Can Hear Music" in 1966.

The songs feature Spector's elaborate arrangements that blend many instruments into a smooth, pulsating "wall."

"They could sing all their way right through a wall of sound," Keith Richards of the Stones said as the Ronettes were inducted into the rock hall. "They didn't need anything. They touched my heart right there and then and they touch it still."

But their string of hits had tailed off by the time they split around 1967.

Ronnie Bennett had married Spector in 1968 but they divorced six years later.

Greenfield said Ronnie Spector was devastated over her sister's death.

"Estelle was Ronnie's sidekick in the Ronettes," Greenfield, of Newbury, Conn., said Thursday from New York. "She was very much into fashion and worked with Ronnie on the whole look and style of the Ronettes."

After the group's breakup, Bennett rarely made public appearances.

For nearly 15 years, the women waged a lengthy, and ultimately unsuccessful, court battle with Spector over royalties.

They sued Spector in the late 1980s, saying he had cheated them out of royalties by using their music in ways not authorized by the their recording contract. For example, "Be My Baby" was played in the opening credits of the smash 1987 movie "Dirty Dancing."

A trial was held in 1998, and in 2000, the judge ordered Spector to pay $2.6 million in past royalties and interest for the use of Ronettes songs as background music in movies, videocassette recordings, and advertising.

But New York State's highest court threw out that ruling on appeal in 2002. The judges noted that the contract did not actually mention secondary rights to the use of music, so-called "synchronization rights," which are a more modern phenomenon in the entertainment industry. But under New York state contract law, the court said, the singers did not control those rights unless their contract specifically said they did.

At the group's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2007, Ronnie Spector did not mention her ex-husband, but he sent a note that was read at the ceremony saying, "I wish them all the happiness and good fortune the world has to offer."

In recent years, Phil Spector has been battling criminal charges in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson.

Bennett was born in 1941, her sister in 1943 and Talley in 1945, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Website.

According to the book "He's a Rebel," a biography of Phil Spector by Mark Ribowsky, the Ronettes first began performing as the Darling Sisters and later worked as dancers at New York's Peppermint Lounge, the epicenter of the early 1960s dance craze, the Twist.

Their first recording contract, with Colpix, went nowhere, but then they were signed by Spector.

In addition to her sister, Bennett is survived by a daughter, Toyin Hunter of Santa Monica, Calif., and three grandsons.

The Ronettes were Inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2004.

The Ronettes





Vincent Naccarato, of Capris, 2008 inductee to the Hall of Fame
died of pancreatic cancer on December 26, 2008 at the age of 66. The Capris


Hello Friends,

I wanted to let you know that Dennis passed this morning, Dec. 7, 2008 at 2:30 a.m. 
I wanted you to hear it from me first.  Although it was unexpected and sudden, he is peaceful, and I know singing in heaven, and making everyone laugh with his silly jokes.  Please try to remember something good and fun about him.  You know Dennis, "There's no crying in music!"  He would want everyone to celebrate his life. 
And an overdue, heartfelt thank you, especially to all who worked so hard for the benefit.
No plans have been made, yet, but updates will be on The Classics IV web site.
 Dennis Yost
Linda Yost and family

Philadelphia, PA – Ira Tucker, Sr., lead singer of music’s longest-surviving group, The Dixie Hummingbirds, died Tuesday, June 24, 2008, from heart failure, in Philadelphia, PA.

Ira Tucker

Dixie Hummingbirds

 PressReleaseContact: Ira Tucker JR                                   E-mail:              

Mr. Tucker was a living legacy!  The Dixie Hummingbirds began their remarkable musical journey in 1928, in Greenville, SC, organized by the late, great James B. Davis.  Tucker joined the gospel group in 1938, at age 13; and over the next seventy years, was in the forefront as the Birds soared to world acclaim.

Tucker’s unique sound mixture of gospel and blues added versatility to the Birds’ style –establishing them as the leading black Southern quartet.  They performed across the landscapes of America and throughout Europe; toured the circuit of black churches and gospel extravaganzas; brought audiences to their feet at Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater; introduced gospel music to integrated listeners at New York’s Café Society; were a hit at the Newport Folk Festival; appeared with Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon on the David Letterman Show; were featured on Ted Koppel’s Nightline; and honored worldwide.

Tucker was inspired and inspiring.  Musicologist Horace Boyer writes, “Not only did he put his voice and vocal technique to use, he became the model for the ‘activity’ singer.  He ran up and down aisles, jumped from the stage, and spun around without sacrificing one iota of the pure music sound that he first brought to the quartet…he  served as the model for many R&B and soul singers.”

Throughout Tucker’s career, he wrote and recorded one masterpiece after another.  Among his many accomplishments: 1973 - Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance.Love Me Like A Rock’; 2000 - Induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame; 2007 - Nomination for Best Traditional Gospel Album, ‘Still Keeping It Real’; 2008 – Feature-length documentary/concert film ‘The Dixie Hummingbirds: Eighty Years Young’.

Ira Tucker and The Dixie Hummingbirds were deemed a national treasure by the National Endowment For The Arts/2000 DC. His hometown of Philadelphia has solidified this phenomenon with the creation of a powerful mural and street renaming at 15th & Dixie Hummingbirds Way.

Ira Tucker was a wonderful man – not just as a performer, but as a human being – always friendly and approachable, always with that twinkle in his eye.

Quoting his father, Ira Tucker, Jr. reminisced, “All this from a little kid from Spartanburg, SC.”

Tucker is survived by Louise, his devoted wife of (65) years; son Ira Jr.; two daughters Sundray Tucker and Lynda Laurance; (5) grandchildren, (6) great grandchildren.

Services will be held in Philadelphia on Wed. July 2 @The Met, Broad & Dixie Hummingbirds Way (Poplar Street). Viewing begins at 9:00am; funeral at 11:00am.

Interment will follow at Ivy Hill Cemetery. 

Levi Stubbs Former Lead Vocalist of the Four Tops Dead at 72

Levi Stubbs

The Four Tops

Levi Stubbs the most profound lead vocalist in American history died this morning at his Detroit home sources have confirmed. Stubbs who suffered a series of strokes and other illnesses had been sick for a number of years prior to today's news. It was most visible during the televised "50 year anniversary Celebration of the Four Tops" broadcast a few years ago.

During the 80s and 90s the Tops were one of 3 Motown groups that still had all of their original members performing. The only other groups were the Velvelettes and Martha and the Vandellas.
The Four Tops started their career in the mid 50s, and were already professional recording artists and performers by the time they got to Motown.

They recorded for several labels before signing to Motown in 1963. "Baby, I Need Your Loving" (July 1964), written and produced by the team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, was their first substantial hit,

setting the pattern for a series of songs showcasing Stubbs's emotive wail set against the Benson-Payton-Fakir harmony line. Need and longing would be the hallmarks of Stubbs's singing on such songs as "Ask the Lonely" (January 1965), which launched a string of R&B Top Ten/pop Top 40 hits over the next two years.

Its follow-up, "I Can't Help Myself" (April 1965), hit number one and was itself followed by "It's the Same Old Song" (July 1965), "Something About You" (October 1965), "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)" (February 1966), "Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever" (May 1966). A second no1, "Reach Out, I'll Be There" (August 1966), "Standing in the Shadows of Love" (November 1966), "Bernadette" (February 1967), "7 Rooms of Gloom" (May 1967), and "You Keep Running Away" (August 1967).

Holland-Dozier-Holland who wrote a ton of the Four Tops hits left Motown (1967). With fortitude and conviction Stubbs and the gang still cranked out hits such as "If I were You Carpenter",

"It's All in the Game," "Still Water (Love)," a duet with the Supremes on "River Deep Mountain High," and "Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)," all of which made the R&B Top Ten and the pop Top 40.

They scored one more R&B Top Ten on Motown, with "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It". They then moved to Dunhill, (later acquired by ABC, then by MCA) Records, where they enjoyed another string of hits. This included "Keeper of the Castle" (October 1972), the gold-selling "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)" (January 1973), "Are You Man Enough" (June 1973), "Sweet Understanding Love" (September 1973), "One Chain Don't Make No Prison" (April 1974), and "Midnight Flower" (July 1974). They returned to the R&B Top Ten with "Catfish" (August 1976), and moved to Casablanca (since acquired by PolyGram) for the R&B number one "When She Was My Girl" (September 1981).

 Tragedy struck the group when Laurence Payton died in 1997, Obie Benson died in 2005, and now Levi Stubbs October 17, 2008 at the age of 72.

Funeral arrangements will be provided at a later date.

The following statement is from Berry Gordy about the death of Levi Stubbs. LEVI STUBBS

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of my friend, Levi Stubbs.  It is not only a tremendous personal loss for me, but for the Motown family, and people all over the world who were touched by his rare voice and remarkable spirit. 

Levi was the greatest interpreter of songs I’ve ever heard.  He was lead singer of the greatest and most loving group, The Four Tops.  I remember when we heard their first Motown release, “Baby I Need Your Loving.   Levi’s voice exploded in the room and went straight for our hearts.  We all knew it was a hit, hands down.

He could easily have made it as a solo star, but his love and loyalty for Obie, Lawrence and Duke kept them together longer than any group I know.  His integrity and character were impeccable.  I have never seen a more dedicated person—to his wife, his group, his friends. 

He was my first choice for the romantic lead in “Lady Sings the Blues.”  Levi had the looks, the stature and the street smarts of a Louis MacKay.  He was on the road with The Four Tops when I contacted him.  But he refused the role because he thought it would interfere with the group’s future success. 

I loved his hit songs for Motown, like "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)," "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," "Standing in the Shadows of Love," “MacArthur Park” and  "Bernadette," But also outside of Motown, his rendition  of “I Believe in You and Me”  was incredible.  I’ve heard no one better.

I want to express my heartfelt sympathy to his wife, Clineice and children, to Duke and other family members and friends.

He will be really missed.

Berry Gordy

LONE SURVIVING 'FOUR TOP' MOURNS STUBBS: Abdul 'Duke' Fakir said he was performing in Nevada when the bad news broke.
Abdul "Duke" Fakir, the only remaining original member of the Four Tops, says he was performing in Nevada Friday when he heard that original band member Levi Stubbs had died.

Calling his former bandmate and godfather to his eldest son "a great man," Fakir says he's suffering "a big hurt." He tells "It (show in Nevada) was a fun engagement, but I didn't really want to be there. I was hurting the whole time. I really wanted to just come back home, but we do not disappoint the fans. That was one of the hard weekends for me.     

"I saw him about a week ago and he looked healthier. His face was fatter and he was smiling and he was in good spirits. I really thought he'd pull through longer than he did." 

Paying tribute to his late friend's vocal ability, Fakir says, "He had such power. He had a baritone voice and a tenor range. He could do anything with his voice. He could take you anywhere with it. He could take you to a love scene. He could take you dancing. He could take a great old standard and make you feel like you're right there in that song. Just an amazing voice, an amazing interpreter, an amazing man."

We've Lost Nick

Nick at an early concert.

We have lost one of the finest singers and entertainers the world has ever known. Nick Reynolds passed away Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 10:05 p.m. A dear friend, a wonderful man, father, husband...there will never be another like Nick.

Nick had been in the hospital in the ICU for several weeks, and tonight the family made the decison to take him off life support.

Bob Shane says that from the day he met Nick in college in 1954, they were brothers, and Nick will be with him for the rest of his life.

Our heartfelt feelings go out to all of Nick's family and many friends and fans.

Nick's Obituary, lovingly written by Bill Bush:

Nick Reynolds 1933-2008

Nick Reynolds, one of the founders of The Kingston Trio and one its most beloved members, passed away in San Diego on October 1, 2008. He was 75 years old.

At the height of their popularity, The Kingston Trio (comprised of Reynolds, Bob Shane, Dave Guard, and later John Stewart) was arguably the number one vocal group in the world, single-handedly ushering in the folk music boom of the late 50s and early 60s that spawned the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary and many others. Their release of “Tom Dooley” in the fall of 1958 changed popular music forever, inspiring legions of young people to pick up guitars and banjos and sing folk music. “We got America up and singing,” Reynolds once modestly reflected.

Known affectionately within group as the “Budgie” and “The Runt Of The Litter,” Nick Reynolds embodied the best of the Trio’s wide and diverse talents. “He was clearly the best entertainer in the Trio,” said John Stewart, “and one of the best natural musicians I have ever worked with.” Bob Shane added, “Nobody could nail a harmony part like Nick. He could hit it immediately, exactly where it needed to be, absolutely note perfect – all on the natch. Pure genius.” Reynolds was also a gifted lead singer whose smooth tenor voice was featured on many Trio tunes.

Nicholas Wells Reynolds was born in San Diego and raised in nearby Coronado, the son of Navy Captain Stewart Shirley Reynolds and Jane Keck Reynolds. He was the youngest of three children. His training for the Kingston Trio, he said, came from learning complex harmony arrangements in family singalongs with his sisters Barbara and Jane, led by Captain Reynolds who was an accomplished guitarist and singer in his own right.

Upon graduation from Coronado High School in 1951, Nick attended the University of Arizona, and later San Diego State. He graduated from Menlo Business College in Palo Alto, California in 1956. While at Menlo he met Bob Shane who introduced him to Dave Guard, a graduate student at nearby Stanford. The group was later discovered by San Francisco publicist Frank Werber and signed to Capitol Records.

Nick would remain in the Trio until the original group disbanded in 1967. After a brief time building and racing cars, Nick and his family moved to Port Orford, Oregon where he lived for the next 17 years as a rancher, antique dealer and owner of the Star Theatre, Port Orford’s only movie theatre.

In 1983, he rejoined former Trio member John Stewart for one album, Revenge of The Budgie; in 1988, he rejoined Bob Shane in The Kingston Trio and remained with the group until retiring in 1999. In recent years, Nick and John Stewart hosted an annual “Trio Fantasy Camp” in Scottsdale, Arizona.

While music was always an important part of Nick Reynolds life, he
was also an avid photographer, skeet shooter, tennis player, passionate Formula B race car builder and driver, antique collector, restauranteur (he co-owned The Trident in Sausalito, California), astute businessman, dedicated community volunteer, and, above all, a deeply loving father, husband, brother and friend.

To those who knew Nick personally, he will be remembered as a
gentle, incredibly perceptive individual with a wry wit and a generous heart.

His greatest accomplishment, he felt, was inspiring so many people to pick up the guitar. His greatest hope was for world peace.

Nick is survived by his wife, Leslie; sons, Joshua Stewart Reynolds, Portland, Oregon and John Pike Reynolds, Coronado; daughters, Annie Clancy Reynolds Moore and Jennifer Kristie Reynolds, Oregon; and sisters, Jane Reynolds Meade and Barbara Reynolds Haines, Coronado.

In lieu of flowers, Nick’s family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Natural Resources Defense Council:

In Loving Memory

Opal Courtney Jr. an original member of the Spaniels passed away on September 18, 2008, at his home in Gary, Indiana from an apparent heart attack. He was 71 years old. He was wwith the group when they recorded their first hits " Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight" and "Baby It's You" He also spent some time singing with the Dells, recording "If It Ain't One Thing, It's Another" and other songs. Opal also sang back up on "Baby I'm Yours" and "Hello Stranger" with Barbara Lewis. In 1987, the Original group reformed to receive the Smithsonian Pioneer Award and they were inducted into the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame in 2005. With the Spaniels, Opal was performing "Oldie Shows" until his death. Funeral services will be Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 11:00 am at Christ Baptist Church 4700 E. 7th Avenue, Gary, Indiana.


In Loving Memory

Joe Verscharen, a good friend and one of the original members of The Skyliners, sang baritone during the 50's & 60's, passed away this evening, in Atlanta, at 9:25 PM, November 3, 2007.  Joe had fought a long battle with cancer and his family was with him at the end.  Joe appeared on and helped create all The Skyliner's hit records.  Funeral arrangements are not available at this time.


In Loving Memory
Bill Pinkney

The last surviving member of the legendary music group
"The Original Drifters"
has passed away.

Maxine Porter, President
      Original Drifters, Inc.

 Official Statement in Tribute to

 “Like fine art, great music stays with us through the years to enjoy and to share.”

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Legend and Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer and
Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductee.

DR. BILL PINKNEY of The Original Drifters has joined the celestial choir. 
He was one of only a handful of Artists with a legitimate claim of helping to  invent the Rock and Roll
music genre. From his work on seminal Atlantic sides starting in 1953 with “Money Honey”,
to his groundbreaking work as an advocate for Artists’ rights and fair business practices,
BILL PINKNEY has blazed one of  the deepest and most unique trails in music history.

Generations recognize his basso profundo on the 1954 version of “White Christmas”used
in “Home Alone”.  With PINKNEY on lead, it is the all time best selling Drifters’song.  

Music’s Drifters represent more than the story of a single group’s success.
PINKNEY, honoring his promise to The Drifters' organizer Clyde McPhatter, kept alive with dignity
the sounds of the 1950s for 54 rewarding years.

We also honor entertainment industry Living Legend PINKNEY as an American Treasure for his World War II service to our country, garnering him a Presidential Citation with five Bronze Stars,
and as a Negro Baseball League sandlot pitcher.

As chronicled in “Drifters 1:
Bill Pinkney”, his truly was a full and blessed life, well-lived.

 We shall continue his great legacy with pride and respect.  “It is well!”

Maxine Porter

July 9, 2007

There will be a viewing on Sunday, July 8, 2007 from 3-8:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home located at 
821 North Main Street, Sumter,
South Carolina 29150.
Funeral service will be held on Monday, July 9 at 1:00 p.m. at the Sumter County Exposition Center located at 700 W. Liberty Street in Sumter, South Carolina 29150
A candlelight vigil will be held at Pinkney's home, 316 Pine St., Sumter, at 7 p.m. Friday.
The vigil is open to the public.



In Loving Memory
Hank Medress
(Original Member of The Tokens)

Song Writer, Music Producer
Record Company Executive
Artist Advisory Board Member
A Friend to Music

Nov 19, 1938 - June 18, 2007

Hank Medress, who began a 52-year career in the record business as a singer and songwriter,
and soon afterwards emerged as a talent scout, producer, song-plugger and record company
executive with an unerring ear for talent, died of lung cancer in New York City June 18. He was 68.

          Medress jumped into music in 1955, when as a student a Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School,
he formed the Linc-Tones, along with classmates Neil Sedaka, Eddie Rabkin and Cynthia Zolitin.
Eddie Rabkin left & Jay Siegel took his place in the Linc-Tones . Their first doo-wop  records for
the Melba label didn’t make waves, and they disbanded. Medress then formed The Tokens in 1960,
with Phil and Mitch Margo and Jay Siegel filling out the quartet. They signed with the Warwick label,
and climbed the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #15 in 1961 with “Tonight I Fell in Love” which they also wrote.
          The group hit the big time with the now-classic “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”. Through his hustling, Medress finally placed the song with RCA Records producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore,
who released it in late 1961.

          With record buyers’ interest in folk music growing, the timing of the release was perfect. The song, based on the infectious South African Zulu chant, “Wimoweh,” soared to Number #1 on the Billboard
Hot 100 chart for three weeks and continued to chart for 13 weeks into 1962. It also reached #7 on the
R&B chart & was a # 1 record in 36 countries around the world.

          The success of the song resulted in the production deal with Medress and The Tokens at Capitol Records. The move served as a beginning for Medress’s subsequent career “on the other side of the glass.” At Capitol, he helped launch the career of The Chiffons, who had a string of hits from 1963 to 1966.
Three cracked the Top 10 -- “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” (#10),
“One Fine Day” (#5), and the classic “He’s So Fine,”
which held the #1 spot in 1963 for four weeks. With the success of He’s So Fine,
Medress & The Tokens  achieved the distinction of being the first vocal group to
produce a million selling record for another.

          Medress and the Tokens formed their own label, B.T. Puppy in 1964. He helped labelmates
The Happenings score two #3 hits, “See You In September” in 1966 and “I Got Rhythm” in 1967.
They also produced the national hit “Denise” by Randy & The Rainbows. The Tokens only had middling success, with “I Hear Trumpets Blow” making it to #30 for a five-week run in 1966. The Tokens had one more charting hit, “Portrait of My Love” in 1967, on Warner Brothers, which made it to #36. In 1975 he
co-produced with the Tokens under the name Cross Country “In The Midnight Hour”
on Atco records which made it to #18 on the national charts.

          In 1969, Medress found a song he knew was a hit but needed the right voice.
He approached former teen idol singer, Tony Orlando, who was now working in the publishing business,
but Tony turned him down saying he was no longer an artist. Months later Medress approached Orlando again and promised if he sang the song, “Candida” that no one would know except the lawyers and Medress. Orlando recorded the song as an “after-working-hours demo”.” When it was released on Bell,
the artist was listed as “Dawn”, the name of one of The Tokens daughters.

          The tune soared to #3 in August of 1970, and Orlando agreed to lend his voice to the follow-up,
the classic “Knock Three Times,” with its Latin-tinged arrangement. “Knock Three Times”
captured the #1 spot on the charts for three weeks later that year and Orlando seeing a number of
groups touring as “Dawn” decided it was time to re-launch his career as an artist, and the artist was renamed Tony Orlando and Dawn. Once again Medress was in the center of the action.

          In the ‘80s, Medress once again showed his range by working with an unlikely character,
David Johansen, lead singer of the proto-punk New York Dolls, who were definitely not Old School pop music mavens. However, after The Dolls broke up in 1975, Johansen wanted to throw the pubic a curve ball, and began to create a charismatic pompadoured persona by the name of Buster Poindexter, part white soul man, part lounge swinger, part carnie hipster. He asked Medress to produce the record. The result, the eponymous “Buster Poindexter” on RCA was the rage of New York and an underground hit album in 1987, aided by the club hit “Hot, Hot, Hot” originally a Soca tune from Trinidad and Tobago.

          Hank’s producing career was quite unique in the breadth and scope of artists he worked with including Melissa Manchester, Richard Simmons, Johansen, Jon Pousette Dart, Rick Springfield,
Frankie Valli, The Chiffons and many others.

All Music Guide’s Steve Kurutz says Medress accumulated 30 Top 40 hits in his career.
          Medress moved to Canada to run EMI Music Publishing’s office for a few years, but returned to his New York stomping grounds to co-partner Bottom Line Records, a label formed to release historic live performances at the iconic Bottom Line nightclub in the mid 90’s.

          Even as he fought cancer, Medress also used his extensive record business connections to help locate legacy recording artists who have digital radio performance royalties waiting for them at SoundExchange, the non-profit collection group and also worked as an Artist Advisory Board
Member of with the Vocal Group Hall of Fame to shine a spotlight on legacy performers.

Hank was the "steam engine" that pushed The Tokens to their limits.
He left an impression on everyone he came in contact with.. Everybody knew Hank..
He was a great producer & knew his way around the recording studio in every aspect..
I don't think anyone will ever forget him & his contribution to music. Jay Siegel - The Tokens

          Medress is survived by four children & two grandchildren
         More Information Coming!


The family of the singer Zola Taylor of the Platters
announces the Funeral Arrangements for the Hall of
Fame recording Artist.

Arrangements have been set for Monday, May 14, 2007 at
10:00 am @ Angelus Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers,
the family is asking that donations be sent to Blanche
McConnell, Funeral Director. Angelus Funeral Home 3875
South Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. 90008. The
telephone number is (800)348-3939.

The burial will take place, immediatel following the
services, at Forest Lawn Park & Cemetary, 6300 Forest
Lawn Dr., Hollywood Hills,CA 90068

For further information, please contact Bishop Althea
Robinson (Zola's nephew) at (323) 679-3880 or Cherisse
Dillard Taylor (Zola's great niece) at 714-213-3886.

It is my unfortunate duty to inform you

Zola Taylor passed this morning. She recently was taken into the hospital and had to undergo emergency surgery. After surgery she seemed to have been recovering. Her nephew, Alfie Robinson, received a call from the doctor this morning informing him that her heart had stopped and that they were not able to revive her.
No further information is available at this time

Gail Stewart

Herb Reed & The Platters

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly 

Statement of Herb Reed Regarding the Death of Zola Taylor

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Herb Reed, the founder and naming member of the legendary Platters, expressed his profound sadness today on the passing of fellow original Platter Zola Taylor.

?I am saddened by the death of Ms. Taylor whom I have known for a great many years. She was a significant part of the Platters legend. I will always remember her as a true performer and inspiration and will be forever grateful for her contribution to the music industry as an African American woman and a truly talented vocal artist. We travelled the world spreading the joy of song now I leave you with these words that are very familiar to you: When the twilight is gone and no songbirds are singing. When the twilight is gone you come into my heart. And here in my heart you will stay while I pray.?

Reed is now the only original member of The Platters alive and still performing around the world today.

For further information, please contact Fred Balboni at 978-535-5079
Fred Balboni for Herb Reed.


The family of singer Zola Taylor announces the sad passing of the Hall
of Fame recording artist. Ms Taylor was the original female member of
the Los Angeles based group the Platters. With the group she recorded
She passed Monday morning, April 30, at Parkview Community Hospital in
Riverside, California. Ms. Taylor had been ill and had not performed for
some years.

Funeral services are pending and donations in lieu of flowers are asked
to be sent to  Blanche McConnell at Angeles Funeral Home, 3875 South
Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90008. The telephone number is (800)

Other Biography info. as follows: Zola Taylor was born on March 18, 1938 in Los Angeles, CA.  She was the
youngest of 7 children born to George & Phedora Taylor. 

Zola was
educated in Los Angeles & graduated from Centenniel High School located
in the City of Compton, CA.  Zola began sanging at the tender age of 13.  She initially began her
career with the all female group called the Queens. 

While sanging with
the Queens, she was spotted by Herb Reed who acknowledged her talent and
signed her as the female artist with the group called the Platters. The Platters was signed with the Mercury record label. Zola was 14 years

The Platters went on the record such hits as Only You, Twilight
Time, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Harbor Lights, You Never Know, Magic
Touch and The Great Pretender, to name a few.

The group was the first Black group to cross the charts during this
time. (While the singles hit the charts & starting climbing. Notarity
increased...It was not known that the group was black until their first
album was released). The group was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the
year of 1990.

Ms. Taylor was married to the singer Frankie Lymon as a young adult.
Later in life she was married again. She was widowed in 1981 by the
passing of her late husband Bob Franklin. 

Ms. Taylor had no children.  Ms. Taylor had been ill for quite sometime and had not performed since
approximately 1996.  She was a classy woman and will be deeply missed. ----------------------------------------
Bob Davis



Contact: Rev. Joe Williams of the Dixie Hummingbirds, +1-215-848-9754

PHILADELPHIA, April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mr. James B. Davis, founding member and patriarch of the world-famous gospel group, the Dixie Hummingbirds, died in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2007. Born June 6, 1916 in Greenville, South Carolina, Mr. Davis was the Hummingbirds leader from their inception in 1928 through his retirement in 1984.

With a fluctuating lineup, the 'Birds spent their first decade doing what Mr. Davis called "wildcatting," performing along the eastern seaboard, establishing their reputation in each small town before moving on to the next. Mr. Davis took pleasure in explaining that he chose the name "Hummingbirds" because it was the only bird that flew both backwards and forwards and that's how their career seemed to be going at the time.

The 'Birds began to fly high in 1939 with their first records on the Decca label. In 1942, Davis relocated the group to Philadelphia for a daily radio show over station WCAU. The broadcasts led to a long-running stand at New York City's Cafe Society where, as the Jericho Quintet with Lester Young backing, they broke down racial barriers performing to integrated audiences alongside Billie Holiday, the Golden Gate Quartet, Paul Robeson, and others.

Mr. Davis guided the Hummingbirds to stardom in the 1950s with a "super group" consisting of leads Ira Tucker and James Walker, bass William Bobo, harmonist Beachey Thompson, and guitarist Howard Carroll. Their post-war recordings influenced singers as disparate as Jackie Wilson, Bobby Bland, the Temptations, and Stevie Wonder, and helped lay the foundation for doo-wop, soul, and Motown. The 'Birds were among the first to bring gospel performance to secular venues like the Apollo, Carnegie Hall, and the Newport Jazz Festival.

In 1973, Mr. Davis and the Hummingbirds collaborated with pop singer Paul Simon on "Loves Me (Like a Rock)," propelling the group to broader fame and winning them a Grammy for their own rendition.

Mr. Davis received numerous honors in his retiring years, including induction into both the Gospel and Vocal Group Halls of Fame and, in 2000, a National Heritage Fellowship. He last appeared publicly in October, 2005 when the city of Philadelphia unveiled a mural and named a street in honor of his beloved Dixie Hummingbirds.

A funeral for Mr. Davis will be held in Philadelphia on Friday, April 27, at the Second Pilgrim Baptist Church at 15th and Ogden with a viewing starting at 9:00 A.M. and a service at 11:00.

SOURCE Dixie Hummingbirds

Denny Doherty
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (AP) — Denny Doherty, one-quarter of the 1960s folk-rock group the Mamas and the Papas, known for their soaring harmony on hits like California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday, died Friday at 66.

His sister Frances Arnold said the singer-songwriter died at his home in Mississauga, a city just west of Toronto, after a short illness. He had suffered kidney problems following surgery last month and had been put on dialysis, Arnold said.

The group burst on the national scene in 1966 with the top 10 smash California Dreamin'. The Mamas and the Papas broke new ground by having women and men in one group at a time when most singing groups were unisex. John Phillips, the group's chief songwriter; his wife, Michelle; and another female vocalist, Cass Elliot, teamed with Doherty.

Monday, Monday hit No. 1 on the charts and won the band a Grammy for best contemporary group performance. Among the group's other songs were I Saw Her Again, Go Where You Wanna Go, Dancing Bear, and versions of I Call Your Name and Dedicated to the One I Love.

"What made the group special was their haunting and sumptuous harmony singing," according to The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll.

"Everybody used to think that John Phillips, who wrote the songs, was also the main voice of the group, but it wasn't — it was the angelic voice of Denny Doherty," said Larry Leblanc, Canadian editor of Billboard Magazine. "He was often overlooked but it was really his voice that carried the group."

In 1998, the Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The group's catchy sound was a blend of '60s upbeat pop and the folk music that had surged in popularity early in the decade. The song Creeque Alley told the story of their formation amid the musical ferment of the folk scene; among the other stars-to-be mentioned in its lyrics were members of the Lovin' Spoonful and the Byrds.

Folk superstars Peter, Paul and Mary paid their own tribute to the Mamas and the Papas with their humorous 1967 hit I Dig Rock and Roll Music.

But the group's heyday was brief and it disbanded in 1968 following John and Michelle Phillips' divorce. The members re-formed in 1971 for the album "People Like Us," but all hope for a reunion ended in 1974 when the 32-year-old Elliot suffered a fatal heart attack in London.

John Phillips briefly re-formed the group in 1982 with Doherty, Phillips' actress daughter, Mackenzie, and Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane. The foursome toured playing oldies and new Phillips originals.

In 2003, Doherty was co-author and performer in an off-Broadway show called Dream a Little Dream: The Mamas and the Papas Musical. It traced the band's early years, its dizzying fame and breakup amid drugs and alcohol and an affair between Doherty and Michelle Phillips.

"There's a part of this thing that if I'm not careful, I'd be just a blob on the stage crying my guts out," Doherty told the Associated Press at the time. "Everybody knows about death and dying and sadness, so it's an exercise in staying in the moment and not getting maudlin about your friends dying."

John Phillips died in 2001 at 65.

The Halifax-born Doherty started his music career in Montreal in 1960 as the co-founder of the Colonials, which later became the Halifax Three.

Doherty made a solo album in 1974 and achieved a bit of immortality by both playing the Harbormaster and voicing all the characters for the children's TV series "Theodore Tugboat."

Doherty, who was married twice, is survived by three children, John, Emberly and Jessica; three sisters; and a brother. Both of his wives predeceased him

Pookie Hudson
January 17, 2007
Pookie Hudson, lead singer of the Spaniels doo-wop group best known for its 1954 hit “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” died Tuesday at his home in Capitol Heights, Md., from complications related to mestastic lung cancer. He is survived by his wife, Delores, and several children.

“The cancer was in remission and then, it came back,” said his manager, Wellington “Bay” Robinson. “Around Christmas time, Pookie decided that he didn’t want to do the chemotherapy anymore.”

Born Thornton James Hudson on June 11, 1934 in Des Moines, Pookie earned his nickname from an aunt who used to change his diapers. "She used to say, `All you do is pookie pookie,' " he once joked.

Most of his early years were spent in Gary, Ind., where he began singing in church choirs at the age of 11. He first sang in a high school group called the Three Bees, but later met up with two classmates, Gerald Gregory and Willis C. Jackson, who asked him to join them on a Christmas talent show. They enjoyed working together so much that they formed a group under the name Pookie Hudson & the Hudsonaires. They later changed their name after Gerald's wife made a wisecrack about their singing. They asked her what she thought of the group and Pookie recalled her saying "that we sounded like a bunch of dogs. So, that's how we ended up becoming the Spaniels."

The Spaniels were one of the first — if not the first group — to coin the term 'doo-wop.' "We were the first to put that doo doo doo and all of those kinds of sounds in our music," Hudson once said. They formed at Roosevelt High School in Gary and hung out at Vivian Bracken’s record shop. After Bracken formed Vee-Jay Records in Chicago, the Spaniels became her first signing. Hudson’s romantic tenor was the perfect counterpoint to Gerald Gregory's heavy bass notes. Ernest Warren, Willis C. Jackson and Opal Courtney rounded out the harmonies. From 1953 to 1960, they cut radio hits such as "Baby, It's You," "You Painted Pictures," "Peace of Mind," “I Know” and "Everybody's Laughing."

However, their signature song was 1954’s million-selling Top 5 R&B hit, “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight.” Hudson wrote the song: "I was going with this girl and I used to walk home from her house and as I walked, I put `Goodnight, Sweetheart' together because her mother was always telling me, 'Well, it's 3 in the morning and it's time for you to go.'" The McGuire Sisters then rushed out a version of the song that reached No. 7 on the pop chart and sold even more copies than the Spaniels' version. Sha Na Na, Ben E. King, Paul Anka and George Clinton have also recorded the tune. The song has appeared in a variety of films "American Graffiti," "Three Men and a Baby" and "Diner."

In Memory Of Pete Graves.

Pete Graves
The Moonglows 1999 Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductees

Alexander "Pete" Graves, the original first tenor in the Moonglows whose soaring voice and unique artistry contributed to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group's 1950s hits, died Sunday, October 15 in New York City.  He was 76.

Born in Bessemer, Alabama on April 17, 1930, Graves, Harvey Fuqua, Bobby Lester (1930-1980), Prentiss Barnes (1925-2006), and guitarist Billy Johnson, formed the original group in Cleveland in 1952 where they were known as the Crazy Sounds.  "Sincerely", a #1 hit in early 1955, "Most Of All", "We Go Together", "See Saw", "When I'm With You", "In My Diary", and "Please Send Me Someone To Love" all benefited from Mr. Graves' powerful tenor.

In 1964, Graves re-formed the group with new members, re-recording many of their classic hits for several small labels.  He also rejoined originals Fuqua and Lester for the group's 1972 comback album that produced the chart hit, "Sincerely '72".

In later years, Pete Graves lived out his retirement in New York City, but would occasionally appear at awards events honoring the original group, including the 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Awards ceremony, where he performed with Fuqua, Barnes, and members of Lester's touring Moonglows group.  Graves' passing comes two weeks following the death of the group's bass singer, Prentiss Barnes, who succumbed to injures suffered in an automobile accident in Mississippi on October 1.  Funeral services will be held Friday, October 20 at noon at Griffin Peters Funeral Home, 2284 7th Avenue, New York, NY, phone  212-926-5314.

Todd Baptista
Thanks to Maxine Porter and Harvey Fuqua

Prentice Barnes

Prentiss Barnes 1925 - 2006
The Moonglows 1999 Vocal Group Hall of Fame Inductees

It is with great sadness that I tell you that my dear friend and great singer companion Prentiss Barnes of The Moonglows died this Sunday morning October 1st following a single car accident the day before. He was driving himself to choir practice to his home town church in Magnolia, MS. Perhaps he had a heart attack and ran off the road. At this point we do not know for sure. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time but is known that it will be this Saturday Oct. 7th at Rose Hill Baptist Church in Magnolia, MS.

Prentiss was 81 years old (born on April 12, 1925 in Chattewa, MS). He was a member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inducted into The Vocal Grouop Hall of Fame along with The Moonglows in 1999 and many other prestigious awards and chose to reside in his home state of Mississippi. Prentiss had as good of a bass voice as anyone who ever performed as a doo wop base singer. There are other greats who might even go lower but he had the broadest and most mellow of all of the bass voices I have heard. Listen to any of the songs that The Moonglows made famous and you will appreciate the prominent roll he had in all of their music.

I was given the priviledge of being his good friend who shared a love for the incomprable music that The Moonglows created. I was even given the joy of being able to sing with them at some of their performances on a few occasions. Prentiss represented a great capacity in the depths of my heart. I cannot explain, because there are not adequate words in the English language that would truly tell of the fullness of our friendship and journey together. Everytime I hear a song of the doo wop genre my heart would think of Prentiss. He was a big part of how I became involved with Bill Pinkney and The Original Drifters with their first two gospel CD's. It is all a part of an evolving story of the people of this generation who gave us music and memories that are permanent and primary in the growing up years of those of us from the 50's and early 60's.

There are very few of these people left who gave us this priceless treasure. There is a pain in my heart right now---a void that will surely never be filled. I can however give praise and thanks to almighty God for his love and for giving me this gift of friendship with one of my heroes---Prentiss Barnes. 

I will sign off with one of the songs that he helped to create. Sincerely, oh yes sincerely, cause I love you so dearly, please say you'll be mine.

Bill Morris


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