juke1 juke2
juke3 juke4

header text

on the  Vocal Group Harmony Website 


Spinning only the best in Rhythm & Blues


 

Your destinations:

Home

Listen To My Show

Next Week's Playlist

Unca Marvy's Articles

Places To Visit

Things To Know

My Ink Spots Book

Surveys

Fan Club Cards

Other Neat Stuff






»»» Contact Unca Marvy


Spotlite Logo
typewriter



Marv Goldberg, Marcia Vance, and Mike Redmond

The original cast of Yesterday's Memories:
Marv Goldberg, Marcia Vance, and Mike Redmond




The greatest problem in communication is
the illusion that it has been accomplished.

                                          George Bernard Shaw




R&B And Me:
An Author Remembers


I am a part of all that I have met.
Ulysses - Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I don't sing. I don't play an instrument. I don't write songs. I don't arrange music. I don't have a reputation as an influential DJ. I don't own a record label. I don't produce recording sessions. I don't even have much of a record collection.

I'm not sure if this list is exhaustive, but it certainly gives you a pretty clear idea of what my involvement with Rhythm & Blues is not.

Why then have I called this section "R&B And Me"? Well, I have been involved, in my way. For more than half a century, I've been a researcher and music historian in the field. I've interviewed more than 300 people, mostly members of vocal groups, who created R&B music in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. These interviews were then turned into magazine articles (and, in one case, a book), usually written by me (at times with one or more collaborators), sometimes handed over to others, if my workload was particularly heavy. The result, as of January 2016, is about 275 articles on groups, 2 on duos, and 10 on single artists. (Harder to classify are the articles on Waldo Champen and Arthur Crier each of whom sang with many groups.) There are also several articles that aren't about specific singers; you'll find them listed separately, below (as Non-artist Articles).

My resulting body of work is therefore a survey of R&B music, from the mid-30s to the mid-60s. My articles have appeared in many publications over the years (including some original writing done for album liner notes), and below you'll find a list of all I've done.

I'm proud to have been a part of R&B. I wish the music itself had found greater acceptance, but at least I did my part to see that the artists got the recognition they deserved. There are so many more stories to be told; that's why I keep digging.


ADDENDUM - JUNE 1, 2018:

Lately I've been mostly writing about single artists, rather than groups. There are actually reasons for this.

Groups tend to choose names that are easily remembered. This means that most groups have names that are (or use) very common words. It really isn't worth my while to plow through thousands of newspaper citations that have nothing to do with what I'm researching (especially when, after I'm finished, I find that there's never been anything printed about them). A person's name is generally (but not always) easier to research.

Sometimes I get lucky. While there are almost 200,000 mentions of "Red Caps" over the years (including baggage handlers, baseball teams, Carling's Red Cap Ale, and a racehorse named "Red Cap" [I refuse to even mention Red Caps bowling teams]), once you pair it with "Steve Gibson", it cuts it down to around 1500, almost all of which are relevant. Although that's still a lot to go through, I don't mind doing it when it gives me the results I want.

On the other hand, take the Moonglows for example. Other than the song "Moonglow", there shouldn't be all that many extraneous references, right? Think again. Searching newspapers from 1953 to 1960 brings up over 9500 instances of "moonglow" (the search engine doesn't bother to differentiate between the singular and the plural). More was written about "moonglow dyed muskrat coats" than was ever written about the vocal group.

How about the Danderliers? That's an odd name. Using only what I could find in newspapers, their entire career can be made into this massive article: on Friday, May 13, 1955, they appeared at the Ritz Theater in Akron, Ohio and, on May 15 and May 22 of that year, "Chop Chop Boom" appeared in Newport News, Virginia record store ads. (Fortunately, they've been written about; I'm just using them as an example.)

Many times you get nothing usable. I looked for the Emanon Trio, who were active in the early 1950s. There are many ads for them (mostly in the San Francisco area), and even a photo. But nothing names the members. Geneva Vallier was on one of their records, but nothing in papers associates her with them. (However, there were two big articles that recounted how a gangster died and left her a ton of money.) This stuff ain't easy.

The smaller a group's output, the less the chance that they'll be in any paper. The greater the output, the better the chance that someone's already written about them. I think it's about time that those who've never had any decent write-up come into their own.

Finally, there's almost no one left to interview. If a group has never been written about, I probably don't even know any of their names. Since I have no intention of branching out into the 1960s, I have to work with what's available.



Some other quotes you may find useful in your lives:

      People do not deserve good writing, they are so pleased with bad.
                      Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside us.
                      Oliver Wendell Holmes



articles


generic bird groups

generic "bird" groups



        Alphabetical listing of my online articles


My R&B articles are alphabetized in this drop-down list (with a
chronological listing further down the page). Just make a selection.


NOTE: I'm reasonably certain that all the links are correct. If you're looking up the Thor-Ables,
for example, you'll be correctly brought to the Flairs article. Tell me if a link is incorrect,
but first make sure that the group you want isn't in the article you ended up at.



SITE SEARCH



To search for all articles that mention a group or member, use this search field. Enter a selection and then click the "Search My Site" button. If the item is more than a single word, surround it with quotation marks. If you put in more than one search argument, you'll only get pages that have all  the terms.

NOTE: To keep everything consistent, I've used "3", "4", and "5" in group names. Thus, you'll find them under "5 Keys" and "4 Buddies". If you enter "Five Keys" or "Four Buddies", you won't get the results you expected.

ANOTHER NOTE: Since I usually list what other artists' songs were reviewed in a given week, many of the instances will be irrelevant. If you just want to read an article about a specific group, it's faster to use the drop-down menu, above.

To search all of Google, not just my site, clear the check box below.

Search my site



        Recently-added articles
 
3 Riffs Loumell Morgan Trio Chubby Newsom Albennie Jones Tiny Topsy
Spirits Of Rhythm Ida James Annisteen Allen Maggie Hathaway Bette McLaurin
3 B's & A Honey What's An A&R Man? Day, Dawn & Dusk Madeline Greene & 3 Varieties Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop
Master Keys 3 Keys/4 Keys/Furness Brothers Flennoy Trio Mabel Scott Caldwells
Open The Door, Richard Angel Face Vanita Smythe Little Four 4 Clefs
         
        Recently-updated articles

NOTE: I'm constantly fiddling with my articles as I find new data and photos. The ones listed below are those that have significant changes or what I consider to be interesting ones.

The 4 Shades Of Rhythm article has been completely re-written
         
Hepsters Coronets Hornets Metrotones Regals
Orbits Jaguars Otis Williams and the Charms Syncopators Monograms
 
        Non-artist Articles

NOTE: Occasionally I write articles that aren't about specific artists. This list will make them easier to find.

The Dread Chorus
What's An A&R Man? Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop Open The Door, Richard
Gloria - A Short History Let The Show Begin Baton Records Old Town Records
Showtime At The Apollo How Many Boots Do You Have? American Graffiti (movie review)  
         
        Constantly-updated articles (the supergroups)
         
5 Keys Clovers Dominoes Drifters Flamingos
Larks Moonglows Orioles Platters Ravens
Red Caps Teenagers      
         
        Credit where it's due
     
In many cases, I wrote articles with others (sometimes only doing the interviewing). Since then, I have thoroughly rewritten most of those articles myself, but these are the people with whom I co-authored the originals, in the publications listed below.

Blanket credit is extended to Ferdie Gonzalez of Disco-File, for his help over the years with the discographies used in most of my articles.
     
*DF = written with Donn Fileti
*DH = written with Dave Hinckley
*GM = written with George Moonoogian
*JN = written with John Nielson
*KK = written with Kitty Karp
*MR = written with Mike Redmond
*MV = written with Marcia Vance
*PG = written with Pete Grendysa
*RF = written with Ray Funk
*RW = written with Rick Whitesell
*TB = written with Todd Baptista
     
OVER 50 YEARS OF WRITER'S CRAMP
a chronological listing of my articles



And don't forget my Ink Spots Book.


liner

Note: every once in a while I come across a CD that has something I've written used as liner notes. It's rare that I'm asked (or even told) about this, although sometimes I volunteer an article if I find out about a project in time. If you ever run across something I've written that isn't on this list, please let me know, so that I can add it here (I'm actually proud that someone thinks enough of my scribblings to use them; however, it would be nice to get a copy of the CD).



back to top
Like this page? Contact me.

email:marvy42@att.net
© Copyright 2000, 2016 Marv Goldberg