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The Six Teens A Casual Look - The Flip Recordings (CD)

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​(ACE Records) 25 Tracks - 1956-1963 -  Barely a teenager when the song was... more

The Six Teens: A Casual Look - The Flip Recordings (CD)

​(ACE Records) 25 Tracks - 1956-1963 - 

Barely a teenager when the song was recorded, Trudy Williams' plaintive lead on the Six Teens' A Casual Look is one of the haunting memories of the classic age of the doo wop sound. Initially taken along by her elder sister Louise to a rehearsal of the Los Angeles-based group founded by songwriter Ed Wells, Trudy was voted in as a member after they heard her voice. She became the sixth teen even though she hadn't really qualified for the title. Their first recording, done in March 1956, produced one of the most durable sounds of the vocal group era and one which is still to be heard on oldies radio today. Written by Ed Wells, A Casual Look made it to #7 on the R&B lists and #25 in the pop chart. and attracted cover versions. One of the best was by Little Clydie & The Teens on RPM which can be found on MODERN VOCAL GROUPS Vol 4 (Ace CDCHD 764).

A Casual Look started a career for the group on Los Angeles' Flip label for which they recorded no less than a dozen singles. All of these are included on this CD, a collection of their complete recordings for the label. It features 25 tracks since, in addition to the version of Teenage Promise released as by the Six Teens, Trudy and her sister recorded a faster version which was released as late as 1963 as by Trudy and Louise. Label billing was something that changed quite a bit for the group. Starting with the vanilla Six Teens name, there were several records that carried the group name featuring 14 Yr. old Trudy Williams or just plain Trudy Williams. One release You're My Boyfriend / A Foolish Little Girl even foreswore the name of the group and was released as by Trudy Williams with vocal accompaniment. 

Despite the changes of billing, the group members were fairly much the same throughout their recording career. As well as Trudy, her sister Louise and the group's founder Ed Wells, the Six Teens comprised Kenny Sinclair, Darryl Lewis and Beverly Pecot. Louise and Beverly also 'moonlighted' for the label behind lead Richard Owens as the Ivy Leaguers and can be heard on Deposit Your Love (In The Bank Of My Heart), another Ed Wells-penned ballad, on the compilation Flip Doo Wop Vol 2 (Ace CDCHD 838). In 1957, Kenny Sinclair left the group and was replaced by Richard Owens. He then, in turn, was replaced by Jimmie Smith. Trudy and Jimmie can be heard duetting on the up-tempo So Happy. Kenny, Darryl and Jimmy also recorded for the Flip label as the Elgins. 

One of the keys to the the success of the group lies with the nature of the songs that Ed Wells put together for them. Many of these were 'story' songs whose lyrics progressed throughout the number as opposed to the more repetitive and more ephemeral lyrics which were quite common in the second half of the 50s. Good examples are Afar Into The Night, Only Jim, Was It A Dream Of Mine, and My Surprise. As the group grew up together through what Beverly Pecot calls the 'age of innocence', their material grew more mature in tone. This is reflected in selections like Love's A Funny That Way, Heaven Knows I Love You, That Wonderful Secret Of Love and one of the few songs not written by Ed Wells, the Richard Berry-penned A Foolish Little Girl. However the group called the changes, they unfortunately never repeated their initial success of A Casual Look and with the end of the Flip label, they went their separate ways. 

The 1990s saw the Six Teens re-formed and they appeared on radio and in oldies shows. Ed Wells and Richard Owens have unfortunately passed away recently, but Kenny Sinclair, Darryl Lewis and Jimmie Smith are still performing in a re-formed Elgins group, along with original member William DeVase. The Elgins will feature in the forthcoming compilation FLIP DOO WOP - VOLUME 3. Compiled by Gordon Skadberg and the guys at Early Bird Records, the CD's extensive notes feature interviews with the surviving group members. The group may never have had an album in their career but now there's a chance to hear the complete catalogue of Trudy Williams and the Six Teens on Flip Records.

By Peter Gibbon

Article properties: The Six Teens: A Casual Look - The Flip Recordings (CD)

  • Interpret: The Six Teens

  • Album titlle: A Casual Look - The Flip Recordings (CD)

  • Year of publication 2002
  • Genre Doo-Wop

  • Label Ace Records

  • Artikelart CD

  • EAN: 0029667184229

  • weight in Kg 0.1
Six Teens, The - A Casual Look - The Flip Recordings (CD) CD 1
01 A Casual Look
02 Teenage Promise
03 Send Me Flowers
04 Afar Into The Night
05 Only Jim
06 My Special Guy
07 Arrow Of Love
08 Was It A Dream Of Mine
09 Baby You're Dynamite
10 My Suprise
11 My Secret
12 Stop Playing Ping Pong With My Little Heart
13 Danny (This Is The Last Dance)
14 Loves Funny That Way
15 Oh It's Crazy
16 Baby-O
17 You're My Boy Friend
18 A Foolish Little Girl
19 Heaven Knows I Love You
20 Why Do I Go To School
21 So Happy
22 That Wonderful Secret Of Love
23 A Little Prayer
24 Suddenly In Love
25 Teenage Promise
The Six Teens A Casual Look Truth in packaging was what you got with The Six Teens.... more
"The Six Teens"

The Six Teens

A Casual Look

Truth in packaging was what you got with The Six Teens. The Los Angeles outfit was a sextet, expansive for the era and split right down the middle between boys and girls. And they were all in their teens, though remarkable lead singer Trudy Williams was only 12 when they formed in 1955.

Pianist/baritone Ed Wells was the brains behind the group, writing most of their material. Wells assembled soprano Beverly Pecot, tenor Ken Sinclair, baritone Darryl Lewis, and sisters Trudy and alto Louise Williams, who came in last as a package deal (Louise named the group). Trudy's pipes weren't altogether unlike Frankie Lymon's, albeit seasoned with a maturity well beyond her tender years. Wells wangled an audition with Max Feirtag of locally based Flip Records. Feirtag took the sextet into Bunny Robyn's Master Recorders in early '56.

Among the bounty was Wells' A Casual Look, a yearning ballad about a boy heading off to serve his country that showcased Trudy's alluring pipes (Sinclair hopped in on the bridge). Coupled with another Wells ballad, Teen Age Promise, A Casual Look came out in March of '56 and vaulted to #7 on 'Billboard's R&B 'Best Seller' list and made it to #25 pop. Clydie King, another talented L.A. youngster, covered A Casual Look for the Biharis' RPM logo as Little Clydie and The Teens. Later on, The Beach Boys would too.

In July, The Six Teens encored on Flip with Send Me Flowers b/w Afar Into The Night, but the sextet was fated to be a one-hit wonder. Flip released another nine singles by the group, extending into 1960. The plaintive Only Jim was their third offering, while Wells gave Trudy a chance to wrap her vocal cords around a piece of up-tempo material on Arrow Of Love, their next Flip single. Sinclair departed in mid-'58, replaced first by future Vibrations/Temptations tenor Ricky Owens and then Flip labelmate Jimmie Smith.

Though Wells didn't stick around for all that long after The Six Teens called it quits (one of his last efforts was a '62 duet with his sister for Flip, billed as Shank & Maydiea), Sinclair, Lewis, and Smith joined The Elgins, who made the soulful I Lost My Love In The Big City for Lummie Fowler's Lummtone imprint in 1963. Ken later found his way into The Olympics as well as The Bagdads, whose Bring Back Those Doo-Wopps for the Double Shot logo was a '68 throwback. Wells died of throat cancer on February 18, 2001; cancer claimed Sinclair on March 16, 2003.

 

- Bill Dahl -

Various Vol.8, - Street Corner Symphonies 1956

Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/various-vol.8-street-corner-symphonies-1956.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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