Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#899 (12/16/17)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

"Dreams Of You"/"If You Love Me"
The Royals
on Okeh 6832
released in 1951

"I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long"
Chuck Willis With The Royals
on Okeh 6985
released in 1953


[Above photo is courtesy of Paul Ressler.]

Above: Photo of Chuck Willis. He had hits for the Okeh label and then for Atlantic. Willis was also an excellent song writer, composing most of his own recordings, as well as the superb "Oh What A Dream" for Ruth Brown (backed by The Drifters), "Close Your Eyes" for The Five Keys and "The Door Is Still Open" for The Cardinals.

Click HERE for an article about Chuck Willis. (Will open in a separate window)

PITTSBURGH COURIER, April 26, 1952: RECORDING STAR OPEN FOR DATES—Popular Chuck Willis' latest recording, "Big Mouth Lucy," is rapidly sweeping the country. It looms as one of the biggest sellers on the Okeh label. Willis' recordings of "I Tried" and "I Rule The House" are among the best modern blues to come from the heart of the South. Willis can be secured for dates by writing to Mrs. Anne Durrah at 239 Auburn Ave., N. E., Atlanta....
[No chance this was prepared by Willis' press agent, right? His newly released "Loud Mouth Lucy" record on Okeh 6873 went nowhere! Same story for "I Tried" and "I Rule My House" on Okeh 6810.]




(Cleveland Call And Post - June 1953)

(Cleveland Call And Post - March 1954)
[Above clippings provided by Richard Koloda.]


CHUCK WILLIS




(1952 Clipping)

(1956 Clipping)
Above: Note that both the 1952 and 1956 clippings show the same picture of him, even though four years difference. Both "My Story" and "It's Too Late" were composed by Chuck Willis,

Listen to "My Story" - Chuck Willis - Okeh 6905 - 1952. (Windows Media Player)
Listen to "It's Too Late" - Chuck Willis And His Band - Atlantic 1098 - 1956. (Windows Media Player)
BOTH played in sequence.




(1956 Clipping)

(1958 Clipping)
[The above four clippings courtesy of Galen Gart.]



Above: THE CASH BOX, March 1, 1958:
(Left) Atlantic's writer-singer, Chuck Willis with Mrs. Bill Doggett, wife of King's jazz organist; (Right) Music publisher, Al Stanton, ABC-Parmount's Paul Anka, Chuck Willis and Bob Austin of The Cash Box.

JET MAGAZINE, April 24, 1958:
Chuck Willis, 30, blues singer and rock 'n' roll star, died following his second ulcer operation within two weeks, at Hughes Spalding Pavilion in Atlanta. Willis' latest record is entitled: "What Am I Living For?" backed with "Don't Want To Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes"....

(NOTE: The titles of the two songs sound a lot more ominous, and prophetic, than the actual lyrics. Both were composed by Chuck Willis.)

The Billboard Popular Review Spotlight (3/31/58): CHUCK WILLIS — ATLANTIC 1179.... Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes
Willis belts out the blues in high style. It's a teen-slated rocker with a novelty lyric and excellent chorus and ork backing. It can also score in r.&b. marts. Flip, "What Am I Living For," is a ballad.

The Cash Box Award O' The Week (4/5/58): CHUCK WILLIS — ATLANTIC 1179....
Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes/What Am I Living For

Chuck Willis sights both barrels at that teenage market and lets go with a middle beat r & r item, "Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes," that bears all the marks of a winner. Willis rocks this timely lyric with the salesmanship of a real pro. The tune bounces energetically and the lyric is bound to hit the kids where they live. This should be a real big one for Willis and Atlantic. The coupling, "What Am I Living For," is another goodie. A slow beat ballad-blues given a sincere and warm reading. Willis is strong here—but we lean to "Rock And Roll Shoes" for quick and decisive action.

Listen to "Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes" - Chuck Willis - Atlantic 1179 - 1958. (Windows Media Player)
Listen to "What Am I Living For" - Chuck Willis - Atlantic 1179 - 1958. (Windows Media Player)
BOTH played in sequence.


EXTRA AUDIO (Windows Media Player):
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]


(The Cash Box, 10/27/56)

(Trade Magazine, November 1956)


Above: (Left) Atlantic 1112 recorded in August 1956 and released in October 1956; (Right) Atlantic 1168 recorded in October 1957 and released in November 1957. As seen on the above labels, Chuck Willis is a credited composer on both songs. He is the sole composer on both flip sides.

Chuck Willis had nine records on the Atlantic label (1956-1959).

Listen to "Juanita" - Chuck Willis - Atlantic 1112 - 1956.
Listen to "Betty And Dupree" - Chuck Willis - Atlantic 1168 - 1957.
BOTH played in sequence.



Above Left: Label image of Okeh 6832 recorded on March 29, 1951 and released in October 1951. Strange that it took over six months before releasing it. "Dreams Of You" has a Sonny Til And The Orioles sound, perhaps trying to cash in on their success.

The Royals had only this one record and the one released side backing Chuck Willis (see below). They recorded at least four more songs for Okeh, which were not released at the time.

The Cash Box Review (10/27/51):

THE ROYALS — OKEH 6832.... Dreams Of You/If You Love Me
The top end is a slow ballad that receives a fair vocal treatment from the Royals. With a good backing, this level comes out ok. The second side is a change of pace jump number in which the boys sound much better. This lid features some fine sax playing. Ops are urged to watch the lower deck.

Very little is known about this "Royals" group, except that, like Willis, they were from Atlanta. Perhaps Willis was influential in bringing them to Okeh? Composer names shown on this record's labels are "Dabney," "Moss" and "McAllister".... They are not credited at ASCAP or BMI for these songs.... Are they names of members of The Royals?

These Royals are not related to The Royals on Federal, The Royals on Venus, or the Royals on Apollo (who became The Five Royales on Apollo and King).

(NOTE: It is unclear who "The Royals" mentioned in the following article actually are, but "our" Royals were from Atlanta, Georgia.)
ROYALS CAN'T IMPERSONATE "5 ROYALES," COURT RULES
NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 1953 — A Superior Court injunction was granted last Saturday (7) at Muscogee County, Georgia, which prohibits the Royals, an r.&b. singing group, from further impersonating the Five Royales in the state of Georgia. A temporary injunction had been issued earlier in the case.

The Royals are prevented from using either the name Five Royals or Five Royales, and the group is also prohibited from using the pictures of the Five Royales in their promotion or inferring that they have recorded the songs "Baby, Don't Do It," the Five Royales' current hit, or any other of the latter group's disks.

The apparent misrepresentation was uncovered by Carl Lebow, a.&r. head for Apollo and personal manager of the Five Royales, and Ben Bart, head of Universal Attractions, which is the booking agent for the Five Royales. The Royals had been doing a series of theater dates thru the South under the billing of the Five Royales and/or Five Royals. Newspaper ads and placards made use of the pictures of the Five Royales. The Royals are now packaged in a show which includes Anna Mae Winburn and her ork, the Fou Chez dancers and Bobby Wallace. The Royals have been the headline attraction.

The tour has been promoted by Spizzy Canfield. The road manager is Eustace Pilgrim, husband of Miss Winburn. When the impersonation was discovered, registered letters were sent to all the known theaters on the tour asking that the Royals' act be cancelled. One theater in Newport News is known to have done this. Others, however, followed thru with the booking. Canfield, along with D.P. Nesbitt, manager of the Liberty Theater in Columbus, Ga., were named as co-defendants, along with the Royals.

The hearing for a separate damage action against the Royals for $10,000 was set for the first Monday in June.



Above: Label image of Okeh 6985 recorded on June 26, 1952 and released in June 1953. Again, there was a long delay before releasing the record. The flip, "Don't Deceive Me," does not have vocal goup backing. As expected, Chuck Willis is composer of both sides.

Chuck Willis had fourteen releases on the Okeh label (1951-1956).

The Cash Box Review (6/27/53):

CHUCK WILLIS — OKEH 6985.... I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long (B+)
Willis is supported by The Royals as he sings a slow blues in tormented style. Orchestral backing is easy and the general mood of the record is in the sad vein.
(NOTE: A rating of B+ was considered "excellent.")

The Billboard Review (6/27/53):

CHUCK WILLIS — OKEH 6985.... I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long (76)
Willis gets the help of a vocal group for another okay blues reading. (Wait.... was that "okay" or "Okeh"?)
(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good.")

NOTE: Most discographical information provided at this website is from Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File.


Listen to this week's selections featuring (on 1./2.) The Royals and (on 3.) Chuck Willis With The Royals on Okeh from 1951 and 1953:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
 
          1. Dreams Of You
          2. If You Love Me
          3. I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long
 
          ALL THREE played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
 
          1. Dreams Of You
          2. If You Love Me
          3. I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
 
          1. Dreams Of You
          2. If You Love Me
          3. I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long
 
          ALL THREE played in sequence


     [To download audio files, right-click on link
     and then click "Save link (target) as..."]




(Clipping from New Castle News dated 4/7/55)


THANK YOU to all who have helped with "Record Of The Week" during 2017, including the following:

Götz Alsmann
Todd Baptista
Jeff Beckman
Andrew Bohan
Austin Casey
Galen Gart
  
Marv Goldberg
Ferdie Gonzalez
Richard Koloda
Hans-Joachim Krohberger
Amber Layne
Wes Layne
  
Gibb Laytham
Joe Marchesani
Bob Pruter
Paul Ressler
Dave Saviet
  
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