The Flamingos

From Academic Kids

The Flamingos were a doo wop group, popular in the mid to late 1950s.

Cousins Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezikial Carey (Zeke) formed the group in Chicago, 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, "If I Can't Have You", was a moderate success, and the follow-ups "That's My Desire" and "Golden Teardrops" cemented their reputation. The group fell apart and reformed in the mid 1950s with Jacob Carey and Paul Wilson, and new members Terry "Buzzy" Johnson, Tommy Hunt, and new lead Nate Nelson. Zeke Carey returned shortly thereafter, making the group a sextet. Other noteworthy songs from the 1950s include "A Kiss From Your Lips", "I'll Be Home", and "Would I Be Crying". "I Only Have Eyes for You" (1959, originally recorded by Dick Powell in 1934) became their biggest hit 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".

The group began to come apart again. Tommy Hunt left 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. The 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.

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.

Samples

External Link

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