Vocal Group Record Of The Week
#836 (4/11/15 - 4/24/15)

"Is It A Dream"/"Hurry Home"
by The Vocaleers
on Red Robin 114
released in 1953


Above: A 1953 photo ofThe Vocaleers consisting of (Back L-R) William Walker (tenor), Herman Dunham (tenor) and (Front L-R) Melvin Walton (baritone, tenor), Joe Duncan (lead tenor), Lamarr Cooper (bass). This is the line-up for their second release on Red Robin ("Is It A Dream"/"Hurry Home"). On their first record ("Be True"/"Oh! Where"), Teddy Williams sings bass instead of Cooper. Joe Duncan sings lead on all ten sides released on Red Robin.

Click HERE for an article about The Vocaleers by Marv Goldberg.
(Will open in a separate window)




Above: Clippings from The Billboard (Top) dated 5/16/53 "BEST BUYS" and (Bottom) dated 5/23/53 a follow-up to "BEST BUYS." "Is It A Dream" was on Billboard's "R&B Top Ten Seller List" in May through September 1953 for such cities as Philadelphia, Washington/Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago and Los Angeles. Oddly, it seems not to have made the top ten sellers list for New York City. The group's first record "Be True" did make it onto New York's R&B Top Seller List at number eight in January 1953.

"Is It A Dream" made Billboard's National R&B Top Sellers List in May, June and July 1953, peaking at number nine. Also, it was the 4th most played in juke boxes, one time each in July and August 1953.




(Clipping for the Apollo Theatre, located in Harlem, NY, from June 1953)


(Clipping for the Howard Theatre, located in Washington, DC, from July 1953)



EXTRA AUDIO SELECTION (Windows Media Player):

AT LEFT: JOE DUNCAN SINGING WITH A VOCALEERS GROUP AT UGHA ON MAY 17, 1996:

Listen to "Is It A Dream" by Joe Duncan And Vocaleers at UGHA on 5/17/96.

This is a quartet with Joe Duncan singing lead. I was in a front row seat for this performance. In an interview afterward, Duncan said that his favorite lead singers had been Sonny Til and Clyde McPhatter. He also named "Love You" as his favorite Vocaleers' song.




BELOW: THE VOCALEERS AT UGHA IN JUNE 1997:

Joe Duncan is at the far right. This is the same group that sang at UGHA in May 1996, except the singer at the far left was not present.



Above: Label image of Red Robin 114 released in March 1953. The Vocaleers had five releases on Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label (1952-1954). "Duncan-Robinson" are shown as composers for all eight sides of the first four Red Robin releases.

Listen to this week's selection by The Vocaleers on Red Robin 114 from 1953:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
 
          1. Is It A Dream
          2. Hurry Home
 
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
 
          1. Is It A Dream
          2. Hurry Home

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
 
          1. Is It A Dream
          2. Hurry Home

      [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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Last Updated: April 11, 2015

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