The Flamingos: Flamingo Serenade - Flamingo Favourites (CD)
(Westside) 24 tracks.
ENDLP 304: "FLAMINGO SERENADE" ...was originally released in April 1959. It represents George Goldner's ambitious concept to create an entire album with an R'n'B vocal group singing popular standards (a concept he repeated successfully with Little Anthony and the Imperials' ''Shades Of The '40's" set - see and hear Westside WESM 556). The album was produced by Henry Glover under the personal supervision of Goldner. and was issued in both mono (ENDLP 304) and true stereo (ENDLPS 304). It features a dozen smooth vocal gems. performed with the rich and intricate vocal harmonies that are a trademark of the Flamingos. The album's cover is consistent with what's in its grooves, featuring a photo of the sextet - dressed in light blue tuxedos with black trim - gathered around a table laden with candles and champagne. Smooth and classy all the way!
The track selection by George Goldner included 4 songs which were to be released as singles. all 4 cuts from the Flamingos' extended-play 45rpm that was released in March 1959. and 4 additional standards which appear only on this album. The 4 singles were: "Love Walked In" (End 1044 and 1055), "But Not For Me" (End 1040). "Yours" (End 1055 - all issued in 1959) and "Time Was (End 1092 - issued in 1961). Two of the cuts from End EP 205 were also issued as a single in 1959. "I Only Have Eyes For You"/"Goodnight Sweetheart" (End 1046) charted for 13weeks (peak #3) on Billboard during the summer of 1959, and "Eyes" has since become both an all-time classic of the Rock 'n' Roll era and the Flamingos' signature song. The other EP cuts, "Music Maestro Please" and -I'm In The Mood For Love". plus 4 additional album-only tracks complete a package of standards done wonderfully in the Flamingos style - truly a "Flamingo Serenade"!
ENDLP 307: "FLAMINGO FAVORITES" ...was released in October 1960, and was essentially a continuation of Goldner's concept of having the Flamingos sing popular standards for both teenage and adult audiences. It was issued in both mono (LP 307) and stereo (LPS 307) although, as with some of Goldner's other album releases. some of the alleged stereo masters were merely electronically-rechannelled mono mixes. (This CD release keeps the true stereo cuts and replaces the -fakes" with the original mono masters.) The album's cover is directed to the younger market, depicting a group of teenagers at a "typical" 1950's record party. They're having a great time dancing and spinning records by the Flamingos (shown with an imaginative rendering of the End Label).
The tracks on this album include four songs released as End singles: "Heavenly Angel" (End 1062) from 1959, "Sesame Mucho" (End 1066 and 1070) and "Mio Amore" (End 1073) from 1960, and 'Dream Girl" (End 1092), issued later in 1961. At the time of the album's release, "Mio Amore" had recently scored on the Billboard charts for 3 weeks (peak #27) during the summer of 1960. The remaining 8 songs -including the entire second side of the record - were released only as part of this album. Overall. these sides - plus the 12 on the first Flamingos album -provide two dozen standards performed in the unique and beautiful styling of the Flamingos.
Article properties: The Flamingos: Flamingo Serenade - Flamingo Favourites (CD)
The Flamingos were on the roll of their career. The Chicagoans had been recording since 1953, first for Chance and then Parrot and then Checker (where they hit in '56 with I'll Be Home and A Kiss From Your Lips) before signing with Decca in '57. Then they landed at George Goldner's New York-based End Records.
Founders Jake (their bass singer) and tenor Zeke Carey were still on board when The Flamingos signed with End, along with original baritone Paul Wilson and lead tenor Nate Nelson, who came in during their tenure on Parrot. Future soul star Tommy Hunt was there, as was tenor Terry 'Buzzy' Johnson, who doubled on guitar. He and Wilson co-wrote and co-fronted the group's first End hit Lovers Never Say Goodbye. Both that and their '59 smash I Only Have Eyes For You, their career peak (it's on our previous edition), were dreamy ballads. Sam Cooke's pen provided an upbeat change of pace.
"I had asked Sam to write us a song, because I loved Sam Cooke," says Johnson. "We were very dear friends. And I wanted a song like 'You Send Me' or 'For Sentimental Reasons,' all those beautiful slow ballads that he sang. And I was waiting for him. He said, 'I'll write you a song! I'll write you a song!' He had his own office. He had really elevated in life. He said, 'I'll write you a song.' And every time we'd see him, I'd say, 'Where's the song?' He'd say, 'I'm working on it.'
"One day at the Regal Theater, Sam came in and he said, 'Buzzy, give me a guitar! I got your song!' And he played it, and it was slow, the way he did it. And George Goldner heard it fast. And I liked it slow, because it had more of a feeling. But then George Goldner wanted it to sound more like 'Shout,' those chords.
And Sam didn't mind. He said, 'Well, just get the song out there. I don't care.'"
Released in February of 1960 as Nobody Loves Me, End quickly repressed Cooke's tune, led by Nate and Terry, as Nobody Loves Me Like You (Besame Mucho gave way to a Johnson-penned You, Me And The Sea as the flip). Nobody Loves Me Like You rose to #23 R&B and #30 pop.
The Flamingos scored four more charters at End, but Mio Amore, a lilting Your Other Love (a Drifters-styled Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman composition), Kokomo (which they'd previously cut for Parrot), and Time Was failed to crack the Top 40. Hunt, Johnson, and Nelson left before the end of 1961, Hunt scoring a solo hit that year for Scepter with the dramatic Human. The Careys pointed The Flamingos in a soul-oriented direction that led them back to the R&B charts in '66 with The Boogaloo Party. Nelson died June 1, 1984; Wilson passed May 6, 1988; and Jake and Zeke Carey left us in December 10, 1997 and December 24, 1999 respectively.