The Elements / Elgins

elgins_my_illness1

The Elements, Kenny Sinclair, Darryl “Cappy” Lewis, his brother Carl Lewis and Jimmy Smith emerged from the Six Teens with William DeVase, who had sung with Sinclair in the Colognes on Lummtone, also known as the Passions on Era and Capitol.

Their only release, the fine “Lonely Hearts Club” b/w “Bad Man” came out on Titan (1708) in 1960. A Beaumont, TX classmate of Smith from Texas, Oscar McDonald replaced Carl Lewis and the group moved on to the Flip, the original home of the Six Teens as the Elgins.

In 1961, Brown issued “My Illness” b/w “Extra Extra,” which used the opening (“…read all about it”) as by the Elgins (1724), with the title “My Illness” almost immediately changed to the more appetizing “Heartache, Heartbreak,” the opening lines (“heartache, heartbreak, and lonely misery”) of the song. Smith recalled, we always referred to it as ‘My Illness.’”

After a one-disc career as the Elements on Titan, the newly renamed Elgins put down one historic 45 for Flip, “Uncle Sam’s Man” b/w “Casey Cop” (353) in 1960. This tearful goodbye-to-a-serviceman’s sweetheart as he heads off to sea was patterned by Darryl Lewis from the bridge (“darling can’t you see that I’m going overseas”) of the Six Teens’ major Flip label hit, “A Casual Look” (315) from 1956.

The Elgins’ presentation featured strong unison harmonies overlaid with Jimmy Smith’s impassioned lead and soaring falsetto. “It’s what you call a weave, doing falsetto over the top, dropping back into the harmony, back to the lead,” said Smith. “It was a different thing.” For their next releases, the Elgins moved over to the Lummtone label in 1961.

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