Archive for February, 2010

The Passions

February 19, 2010

Harold Garcia, Sammy Handy, Kenny Sinclair from the Six Teens, Earl Sinclair and William DeVase, bass were the Passions on both Era and Dore.

On Era, they rendered the uptempo “Jackie Brown” b/w “My Aching Heart” (1063); reissued on Capitol (3963).

After this fine two-label release stiffed, The Passions were laid off to the Era sister label of Dore, after the cousins who ran Era, broke their partnership for the less effective “Tango Of Love” b/w “Nervous About Sally” (505) in 1958.

In 1959, most likely because of a competing East Coast Passions group, which had hit big with “Just To Be With You,” they became the Colognes on Lummtone, after which Sinclair and DeVase joined the Elements/Elgins vocal group.

Ed Townsend

February 18, 2010

Ed Townsend had scant success with Aladdin, Dot and Carlton.  However, his fortune improved when Townsend recalled, “Nat Cole brought me over to Capitol, I met him in Las Vegas when I sang with Horace Heidt.”

Townsend’s powerful ballad, “For Your Love” b/w “Over And Over Again” (3926) was his breakout local and national success, hitting top 15 nationally and top 10 in L.A. and on border radio.

“For Your Love” was enhanced by “the full sound of the combining of two gospel groups, one white, one black, in the background of this studio session.”

Supplementing this background were Gwen Johnson and Betty Wright, who went to school with the Blossoms.  Arranger Rene Hall recalled how Townsend was strongly opinionated about how he wanted the session to sound.  “That would be an Ed Townsend trademark.  He liked background singers that sing in the Broadway production style and violas instead of violins.  I only followed his style.  He’d say, ‘get me plenty of violas and keep those high screechy things down as much as you can,’ that’s what he called violins.”