Who was/is The Cues & Jimmy Breedlove ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
The Cues & Jimmy Breedlove
Burn That Candle
The Cues didn't form the usual way. No standing under the street corner lamp, harmonizing and hoping for some record exec to stroll by. Atlantic Records A&R man Jesse Stone wanted an in-house vocal group to back his label's stars, so in 1954 he contacted tenor Ollie Jones, formerly of The Ravens and The Blenders, and baritone Winfield Scott (aka Robie Kirk). Two more singers were also recruited; the ad hoc quartet was billed as The Playboys behind Charlie White (see our previous volume). No matter who they backed at Atlantic, they were disguised under different names and sometimes incorporated different members.
Although Aladdin Records was based in L.A., the label maintained a New York logo called Lamp, and Stone ran it for the Mesner brothers. Jesse brought his group to Lamp, and in September of '54 they officially debuted as The Cues with Scoochie Scoochie (led by Jones) b/w Forty 'Leven Dozen Ways, fronted by fellow ex-Blender Abel De Costa, a first tenor. It came out in November and sank without trace, but the group was too busy at Atlantic to worry about it. They were The Gliders on LaVern Baker's '55 smash Tweedlee Dee, which was written by Scott. Bass Edward Byrnes was now a permanent fixture in The Cues.
The Cues had a '55 release on Jubilee coupling Only You (not The Platters' smash) and I Fell For Your Loving (both Jones vehicles), and they masqueraded as The Four Students for Hot Rotten Soda Pop and its flip So Near And Yet So Far on RCA's Groove subsidiary before settling in at Capitol as The Cues with Apalachicola, Florida-bred Jimmy Breedlove their other tenor. The Cues cut their first date for their new label on August 11, 1955 at Capitol's New York studios on 47th Street. Scott brought Burn That Candle along; bouncy and infectious, it was expressively sung by Breedlove, and Sam 'The Man' Taylor turned in a scalding sax solo. Jones led the other side, the Stone-penned ballad Oh My Darlin', at a followup session 13 days later. Capitol issued Burn That Candle in September only to see Bill Haley and His Comets' Decca cover go to #9 pop while The Cues' original languished at #86.
While maintaining their busy background schedule at Atlantic behind Big Joe Turner, Ivory Joe Hunter, and Ruth Brown, The Cues tried to land a Capitol hit of their own with the perky Jones-led novelty Charlie Brown (not The Coasters' future hit) near year's end as well as the rocketing Destination 2100 And 65 (penned and fronted by Ollie),a Breedlove-fronted Crackerjack with no other Cues in evidence, and a Stone-penned Why that Breedlove led in '56 that made a #77 pop showing in early '57. The Cues were demoted to Capitol's Prep logo for their swan song Crazy, Crazy Party, led by Ollie. Stone was their producer all the way.
Songwriting proved lucrative for both Jones ( Nat Cole'sSend For Me and the Crests' Step By Step) and Scott (The Five Keys' Gee Whittakers and Elvis' One Broken Heart For Sale) after The Cues faded out. De Costa participated in countless sessions as a background singer, while Breedlove made a '58 solo LP on RCA Camden.