The Solitaires US 45 Discography

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The Solitaires US 45 Discography

Post by rooster » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:32 am

The Solitaires formed sometime in 1953, in Harlem NY. Their original lead singer, Eddie Jones left the group before they recorded due to a US Military commitment. He would later record with The Demens (who would change their name to The Emersons) from 1957-1961 on several labels. Jones was replaced by the former tenor/baritone of The Mello-Moods, Bobby Baylor. The Solitaires break came through their second tenor Winston Willis who knew WLIB DJ, Hal Jackson. Jackson introduced the group to Old Town label owner, Hy Weiss. Weiss gave them an audition and agreed to record them.

About the same time, two more members dropped out of the group and were replaced by two former tenors from the Mello-Moods, Monte Owens (who also played guitar) and Bobby Williams (who also played piano). In addition, the first tenor of The Vocaleers, Herman Curtis joined the group. The group line up at the start of their recording career was:

Herman Curtis (of the Vocaleers) - lead singer
Winston Willis - tenor
Bobby Baylor (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/baritone
Monte Owens (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/guitar
Bobby Williams (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/piano
Pat Gaston - bass

The group went through several managers before winding up with Teddy Reig, owner of the Royal Roost label.

Old Town 1000
Wonder Why/Blue Valentine; 1954
The Solitaires
(The first release was well received in NYC, but didn't break out)

Old Town 1001
You're Laughing Cause I'm Crying/Ursula's Blues; 1954
Ursula Reed
(The Solitaires are the uncredited backup group on the "A" side. There is NO Solitaires involvement on the "B" side)

Old Town 1006
Please Remember My Heart/South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way); 1954
The Solitaires
(Another well done record that received airplay in NYC but failed to break out nationally)

Old Town 1008
Chances I've Taken/Lonely; 1954
The Solitaires

Old Town 1010
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance/Girl Of Mine; 1954
The Solitaires

Old Town 1012
What Did She Say/My Dear; 1955
The Solitaires
(Between the last release and this one lead singer, Herman Curtis was drafted into the US Military)

Old Town 1014
The Wedding/Don't Fall In Love; 1955
The Solitaires
(When Herman Curtis was drafted, The Solitaires picked up the lead tenor of The Concords, Milton Love to replace him. The Wedding was a hit in NYC)

Old Town 1015
Magic Rose/Later For You Baby; 1955
The Solitaires

Old Town 1019
The Honeymoon/Fine Little Girl; 1956
The Solitaires
(Due to the popularity of "The Wedding", The Solitaires record the follow up, "The Honeymoon". The song did well in NYC)

Old Town 1026
You've Sinned/You're Back With Me; 1956
The Solitaires
(First pressings of this record have the "B" side titled "You're Back With Me". On all repressing of this record the " B" side is retitled, "The Angels Sang")

Old Town 1032
Give Me One More Chance/Nothing Like A Little Love; 1956
The Solitaires
(After the previous single, original bass singer Pat Gaston left the group to join the US Air Force. He was replaced by Freddy Barksdale, former bass of the third incarnation Dean Barlow's Crickets and the New Yorkers 5. Also, about this time, Bobby Williams left to join Jazz great Charles Mingus' band)

(Just to keep this straight since so many singers from so many groups have come and gone, the lineup now consists of:

Milton Love ( of the Concords) - lead tenor
Bobby Baylor (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/baritone
Winston Willis - second tenor
Monte Owens (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/guitar
Freddy Barksdale (of Dean Barlow's Crickets and The New Yorkers 5) - bass

The group could almost be said to be All-Stars at this point)

Old Town 1034
Walking Along/Please Kiss This Letter; 1957
The Solitaires
("Walking Along" was very popular in NYC and the surrounding area. It did so well, in fact, that the masters were leased to the Chess label who re-released the record on it's Argo subsidiary as Argo 5316 in the fall of 1958. "Walking Along" has become The Solitaires best known song)

Old Town 1044
I Really Love You So/Thrill Of Love; 1957
The Solitaires
(By this time, Herman Curtis had been discharged from the US Military and he rejoined the group)

Old Town 1049
Walkin' And Talkin'/No More Sorrows; 1958
The Solitaires
(Wally Roker, the bass of the Heartbeats filled in for Freddy Barksdale on "Walkin' And Talkin'")

Old Town 1057
Big Mary's House/Please Remember My Heart; 1958
The Solitaires
(The " B" side is a re-recording of the Solitaires 1954 song. Herman Curtis again left the group. This time to rejoin his original group, The Vocaleers, who had reformed)

Old Town 1066
Embraceable You/Round Goes My Heart; 1958
The Solitaires
(This record was released in December 1958. In early 1959, both Bobby Baylor and Winston Willis were drafted into the US Army. They were replaced by two tenor/baritone singers, Reggie Barnes and Cecil Holmes, who had been members of The Fi-Tones. Holmes and Barnes were friends of Solitaires member Monte Owens. )

(The new lineup was:
Milton Love (of the Concords) - lead tenor
Monte Owens (of the Mello-Moods) - tenor/guitar
Reggie Barnes (of the Fi-Tones) - tenor/baritone
Cecil Holmes(of the Fi- Tones) - tenor/baritone
Freddy Barksdale (of Dean Barlow's Crickets/The New Yorkers 5) - bass)

Old Town 1071
Helpless/Light A Candle In The Chapel; 1959
The Solitaires
(The Solitaires were largely inactive for the next year or so, not recording again until the fall of 1960)

Old Town 1096
Lonesome Lover/Pretty Thing; 1960
The Solitaires
(The group again goes inactive while lead tenor, Milton Love is inducted into the US Army. The Solitaires don't release any new records until 1963)

Old Town 1139
The Time Is Here/Honey Babe; 1963
The Solitaires
(This release combines an unreleased 1959 recording on the "A" side and a re-release of "I Really Love You So" from 1957, retitled as "Honey Babe" on the "B" side. This is the last original release on the Old Town label)

MGM 13221
Fair Weather Lover/Fool That I Am; 1964
The Solitaires
(With their run at Old Town over, The Solitaires find themselves on MGM. This was their only release on MGM and their last release as The Solitaires)

Roulette 4549
Through A Long And Sleepless Night/What Would You Say; 1964
The Chances
(This is an oddball one off release that somehow wound up on Morris Levy's Roulette label credited to The Chances. The "A" side is a trio recording by Milton Love, Bobby Baylor and a third unknown singer. The " B" side is by a sextet consisting of:
Milton Love - lead tenor
Monte Owens - tenor/guitar
Bobby Baylor - tenor/ baritone
Cecil Holmes - tenor/baritone
Reggie Barnes - tenor/ baritone
Freddy Donovan - bass

Donovan was the bass singer of "The Willows")

Arctic 101
Fool/The Right Kind Of Lovin'; 1964
Ray Brewster And The Cadillacs
(These sides are by Milton Love, Bobby Baylor and Freddy Barksdale backing Ray Brewster and recording and touring as the Cadillacs)

The Solitaires had a long career as Doo Wop groups go and some of the various group members continued in the music industry.

Cecil Holmes Worked for the Buddha label and later formed Casablanca records with Neil Bogart. Winston Willis became a Rhythm and Blues marketing director for RCA and later a Vice President at the Polydor label. Bobby Williams joined the Charles Mingus Orchestra until he died in 1961. Reggie Barnes was a drummer with the Jimmy Castor Bunch. Herman Curtis was an organist for a while. Milton Love, Bobby Baylor and Freddy Barksdale reformed the Solitaires in the 1970's for gigs on the oldies circuit. Later, in the 1990's, Barksdale & Love recruited George Magnezid, former tenor of the Wrens and Robby Mansfield (son of Bobby Mansfield, former lead singer of the Wrens) to form a new lineup.
While the information he conveyed was interesting Rooster's communication skills need improvement. - Global_Dog_Productions

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Re: The Solitaires US 45 Discography

Post by wurlitzer1450 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:37 am

i had no idea the Solitaires had so many records.
near the little town of nervous, new mexico

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Re: The Solitaires US 45 Discography

Post by rooster » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:48 am

Yep wurl, 19 records (or 21 if you count the Chances & Cadillacs records) in ten years. As I said above a long career as Doo Wop Groups go. Especially since they never had a national hit and were confined mostly to NYC.

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