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Cousins Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezikial Carey (Zeke) formed the group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting Paul David Wilson and Johnny Carter at a black Jewish church. Earl Lewis soon joined, and after a series of name changes (The Swallows, El Flamingos, The Five Flamingos) wound up being known as The Flamingos. Sollie McElroy soon replaced Lewis (who joined The Five Echoes). Their first single (for Chance Records), "If I Can't Have You", was a moderate success, and the follow-ups "That's My Desire" and "Golden Teardrops" cemented their reputation. They left Chance Records sometime after their December 1953 session and signed with DJ Al Benson's Parrot Records. Sollie McElroy was on their first Parrot session, but left the group in December 1954, to be replaced by first tenor Nate Nelson (who was on their second Parrot session; he's lead on "I'm Yours," released in January 1955). In early 1955, the Flamingos transferred over to Chess Records, to record for their Checker subsidiary. They started to have national R&B hits in 1956 ("I'll Be Home," "A Kiss From Your Lips," "The Vow," "Would I Be Crying"), but both Zeke Carey and Johnny Carter were drafted (Johnny in September). They were also part of the 1956 Alan Freed movie Rock, Rock, Rock.

Nate Nelson, Jake Carey, and Paul Wilson continued the group with new member Tommy Hunt (added in October of 1956). Another new member, tenor, guitarist, and arranger Terry "Buzzy" Johnson, joined in late December of that year. This group (Nate Nelson, Tommy Hunt, Terry Johnson, Paul Wilson, and Jake Carey) began recording for Decca Records in April 1957. Zeke Carey returned to the Flamingos in 1958, making the group a sextet. (When Johnny Carter was discharged, he joined the Dells; he has been with them for almost 50 years.) Soon after, they began recording for End Records, at which they had several national hits. "I Only Have Eyes for You" (1959, originally recorded by Dick Powell in 1934) became their biggest seller and was followed by a long series of hits, including "Love Walked In", "Your Other Love", "Mio Amore", "Nobody Loves Me Like You", "Lovers Never Say Goodbye", "I Was Such a Fool" and "Love Walked In". In 1959, they appeared in the Alan Freed movie Go, Johnny, Go, singing a frenetic version of "Jump Children."

The group began to come apart again at the end of the decade. Tommy Hunt left, for a solo career, in 1960. Nate Nelson and Terry Johnson split to form the Modern Flamingos in 1961, and Paul Wilson left in 1964. The Careys, with a new lineup, continued recording through the sixties and seventies. They recorded several uptempo songs during this time, including "Boogaloo Party" and "Heavy Hips", and a slower song, Buffalo Soldier. They recorded many of their later hits on their own label, Ronze. Much of their later work featured Jake Carey on lead. By the late 80s, the group was the Careys, with Archie Saterfield, Ron Reace, and Kenny Davis. Later it was the Careys, Reace, and George Spann. Jake Carey passed away in 1996, and his son, J.C. Carey, entered the group. The group appeared on the PBS television special, Doo Wop 50, in 1999. The group was Zeke Carey, J.C. Carey, George Spann, Larry Jordan, and Mike Gilbert.

Zeke Carey passed away in 2001, and Tommy Hunt returned to sing lead. James Faison entered shortly thereafter, making the group a sextet. Terry Johnson leads his own group of Flamingos. The Flamingos were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The group that performed at the ceremony was Terry Johnson, Tommy Hunt, and Johnny Carter.


Displaying 1-2 of 2 items.

Flamingos : Best Of Flamingos : 1 CD :  : 70967

Flamingos : Best Of Flamingos

Review: The Flamingos are in the elite of vocal harmony groups, considered by some to be one of the best; they emerged from the 1940's jazz idiom, and though they were certainly influenced by their precursors the Five Keys, Orioles etc., they were intent upon forging their own unique sound. From the Chicago neighborhood to the local black Jewish 'Church of God and Saints,' where they lived, worshipped and hung out, the young conglomeration practiced and performed (changing lead singers on the way) and subsequently were able to secure a deal with Chance Records. This was the first of many labels, including Parrot, Checker, Decca and End, for whom the group recorded, and certainly the Flamingos suffered through as much ignominy as any group could: non-payment of royalties, original compositions attributed to other writers, litigation, and the 'cover' phenomena, whereby a white artist would record a hit by a black group, and make off with the sales. (Pat Boone was a notorious raider.) Nonetheless, history was kinder, and the Flamingos have since been recognized as the innovators they are.

Songlist: That's My Desire, Golden Teardrops, Jump Children, Dream Of A Lifetime, Ko Ko Mo, I'll Be Home, A Kiss From Your Lips, The Vow, The Ladder Of Love, Lovers Never Say Goodbye, I Only Have Eyes For You, Mio Amore, Nobody Loves Me Like You, Your Other Love, If I Can't Have You, Love Walked In, Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight, This Was

8286c | 1 CD | $11.98

Flamingos : Fabulous Flamingos : 1 CD :  : 5429

Flamingos : Fabulous Flamingos

Review: These tracks are from their years with End Records who they signed with in 1958 and stayed until 1962 leaving a legacy of hits. Includes a cool interpretation of the Orioles "It's Too Soon To Know".

Songlist: It's Too Soon to Know, Flame of Love, The Sinner (El Pecador), I'm Coming Home, Only Seventeen, Ol' Man River, You're Mine, My Lovely One, I Know Better, Moonlight in Vermont, Without His Love, Danny Boy

8287c | 1 CD | $11.98 | Some a cappella

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