Who was/is Les Cole & The Echoes ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Les Cole & The Echoes
Although composer credit might lead one to believe -- as some collectors speculated -- that Les Cole was a pseudonym for country singer Les Chambers, it was actually one for 'Country' Johnny Mathis. This nicely-realized two sider followed quickly on the heels of Eddie Noack's pseudonymous label inauguration Can't Play Hookey (see below) and actually saw light of day before Mathis' reunion with former partner Jimmy Fautheree, I Can't Find The Doorknob (D 1004; see below) despite following it in 'D's numerical sequence. Mathis had been flirting with stardom since early in the decade, and he and Fautheree had enjoyed some pretty heady -- but short-lived -- notoriety when they hit with If You Don't Somebody Else Will in 1954.
When he cut these sides, he was poised to become the most reliable and memorable singer on D, with a string of excellent, raw honky-tonkers, but he equipped himself very well here. This is a far more mainstream, self-conscious record than I Can't Find The Doorknob, sweetened by the presence of the Houston-based vocal group the Echoes. Colin Escott writes in the notes to 'The Complete 'D' Singles, Volume 1' (BCD 15832) that, according to Al Turner, Mathis and Les Chambers (who wrote Rock-A My Baby) "tossed a coin to see who would record these songs -- and Johnny lost!" Mathis, who claimed to have written Bee Boppin' Daddy despite Shelby Singleton's composer credit here, simply told Escott that "I had the brilliant idea of doing a rock 'n' roll record, and Pappy let me do it." Mathis enjoyed several hits during the 1960s and in recent years was active in gospel music, but suffered a severe stroke in 1998 from which he has not recovered.
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Vol.19 - Rockabilly From The Vaults Of D & Dart Records (CD)
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