Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#903 (3/10/18)

"His Eye Is On The Sparrow"/
"Low Down The Chariot"
The Coleman Brothers
on Decca 8662 A/B
released in 1944

"Get Away, Mr. Satan, Get Away"/
"Raise A Rukus Tonight"
The Coleman Brothers
on Decca 8673 A/B
released in 1946

"You May Run On"
The Coleman Brothers
on Coleman CR-5964
released in 1948

[Above photo provided by Hans-Joachim Krohberger.]
Above: The Coleman Brothers in 1946; (Top L-R) Wallace, Melvin, Danny Owens, (Bottom L-R) Lander, Everette, Russell. Per the personnel information given in Disco-File, Danny Owens was not on any of the group's released records.

The Coleman Brothers were a musical family from Newark, NJ, who sang spiritual and, sometimes, secular songs. In late 1944, they formed The Coleman Recording Company, followed in 1945 by Coleman Enterprises resulting in the Hotel Coleman located in Newark.

Click HERE to view an article about The Coleman Brothers by J.C. Marion.
(Will open in a separate window)

"MERRY MUSIC MEN—Newest singing combine on WLW is the Coleman Brothers who joined the station in late November. They are heard on the "Circle Arrow Show," aired Sundays at 10:30 a.m., EST. Reading from left to right: Lander, Russell, Eldridge, and Wallace Coleman. Seated at the piano is Millard Thomas, accompanist.

"RETURN ENGAGEMENT BY PUBLIC DEMAND—A return engagement of the Coleman Brothers by public demand is scheduled for Saturday, October 11 at 8:30 p.m. at the Tabernacle of God. Don't miss their melodious singing. The Coleman Brothers is the only group known throughout America which consists of five brothers....

WINNIPEG TRIBUNE, October 31, 1949:
"COLEMAN BROTHERS AT DEER LODGE—The Coleman Brothers, who will sing tonight at Knox United Church under the auspices of the Knox A.O.T.A. Men's Club, and the Young People's Union, are shown Sunday when they visited veterans at Deer Lodge Hospital. The five brothers skyrocketed to fame when they sang at President Roosevelt's funeral, have been guests on the Fred Allen and Arthur Godfrey shows.

[Above photo is courtesy of Pete Grendysa.]
Above: The Coleman Brothers on the air for CBS Radio in 1943. (Top L-R) Wallace, Danny Owens, Melvin, (Bottom L-R) Russell, Everette, and Lander.

[Above photo provided by Dave Saviet.]
Above: A 1933 photo of The Four Shadows (L-R) Robert Tippins, Lander Coleman, James Norris, and John Norris.

[Above photo provided by Dave Saviet.]
Above: A mid-1940s photo of Hotel Coleman, located in Newark, NJ.

Above: The Billboard 2/9/46

Above: The Albuquerque Journal 1/27/50

Above Left: Although the Manor album inset cover picture shows Danny Owens, Disco-File does not include him on any of the records in the album. Owens, later in 1946, joined a Manor Records' secular vocal group, The Sentimentalists (soon to become The Four Tunes).

[Above photo is courtesy of Ferdie Gonzalez.]
Above: Per Ferdie's Disco-File, this is The Coleman Brothers in 1949. (Top L-R) Lander Coleman, Harold Clark, (Bottom L-R) "Curley" Bowen, A.J. Eldridge, and Russell Coleman. Clark is possibly Harold "Ham" Clark, the piano accompanist for The Harmonaires.


THE DAILY JOURNAL (Vineland, NJ), November 3, 1945:
The Coleman Brothers of Newark, well known radio and concert singers, scored a decided hit in the Vineland High School auditorium last night, with a large gathering of music-lovers. The six brothers presented a program of spirituals and folk songs.... One accompanied the other five at the guitar....

The Coleman Brothers, Everette, Lander, Melvin, Daniel [probably Danny Owens], Russell, and Wallace, gave a variety of numbers, including novel renditions with a "touch of swing," and two old favorites in "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Grandfather's Clock." Their harmony was perfect and they were roundly applauded at the conclusion of each number....

At Left: Clipping from The Daily Journal dated 10/31/45.

THE BILLBOARD, January 18, 1947: ....Spiritual singers, the Coleman Brothers, have been signed to National diskery pact....
[There is no evidence that anything by them was released on the National label.]

THE EUGENE GUARD (Oregon), December 21, 1949:
....the (Coleman Brothers) quartet opened the program with a special arrangement of "The Lord's Prayer." Other numbers in the first group were "Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho"; "Little David," and "Snow Ball."

The quartet sang in its second group, "Dry Bones"; "His Eyes Are On The Sparrow," "Danny Boy" and "Bye And Bye." Closing numbers were "Old MacDonald," "Round The Bend Of The Road," "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," "Old Man River" and "Silent Night."

Members of the singing group were Lander Coleman, second tenor; Wallace Coleman, baritone; Eldridge Coleman, bass; and Clarence Palling, first tenor; Harold Clark, accompanist-arranger....

THE CASH BOX, August 19, 1950:
LINDEN, N.J.—Regal Records, this city, has inked the Coleman Brothers to a long-term contract. Signing was announced by diskery exec Fred Mendelsohn here this week. Group, which comes to the diskery under the guidance of Howard Biggs, will reportedly be given an intensive promotional push. Biggs, who stated that the unit was "the most versatile I've heard in a long time," has been instrumental in the success of the Ravens vocal group on the National label.

The Colemans are slated to cut sides both as featured artists and as vocal background for other artists in the Regal stable. Their premier wax, "Goodnight, Irene" with the Paul Gayten ork, has already made a dent on some r.&b. territorial charts, and threatens to break out big any day now.

Listen to "Goodnight Irene" - The Coleman Brothers (With Paul Gayten Orch) - Regal 3281 - 1950
(Windows Media Player).

At Left: Howard Biggs (1953).

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

Above Left And Middle: Labels for Manor 100 and Manor 102, both released in 1945 as part of a Manor 3-record 78-rpm album "Spirituals Of The Old South." The personnel on these records are Lander, Everette, Russell, Wallace, and Melvin Coleman. The "I. Berman" on the labels is Irving Berman, owner of Manor and Arco Records, known for routinely taking unwarrented composer credits. Manor 102 was also issued on Manor 1003 in 1945 and re-issued on Arco in 1949.

Above Right: Label for Regal 3297 released in 1950 as by "The Colemans." The personnel on this record are Lander, Everette, Russell, and Wallace Coleman, and A.J. Eldridge.

The Billboard Review (11/18/50):

THE COLEMANS - REGAL 1368 [sic*]....
You Know I Love You, Baby
(78) A fine group delivers a slow, rocking blues in convincing fashion. Figures to attract coin mainly in city locations.
I Don't Mind Being All Alone (84) The group sparks a live, ever-moving reading of this revived oldie. Could pick up strong play on strength of the fired performance.
[*1368 is the matrix number for the "You know..." side. The actual record number is 3297.]

(NOTE: A ratings range of 70-79 was considered "good" and 80-89 was "excellent.")

Both Manor and Regal were from the Newark, NJ area (Linden is about ten miles south of Newark), as were also The Coleman Brothers. All of their releases, other than their three on Regal (and possibly the Decca side "Raise A Rukus Tonight"), were spiritual selections.

LISTEN: (Windows Media Player)
1. "The End Of My Journey" - The Coleman Brothers - Manor 100 - 1945.
2. "Plenty Of Room In The Kingdom" - The Coleman Brothers - Manor 102 - 1945.
3. "I Can See Everybody's Mother But Mine" - The Coleman Brothers - Manor 102 - 1945.
4. "I Don't Mind Being All Alone" - The Colemans - Regal 3297 - 1950.
5. "You Know I Love You, Baby" - The Colemans - Regal 3297 - 1950.
ALL FIVE played in sequence

Above: Label image of Decca 8662 recorded on March 21, 1944 and released in November 1944. This is the first of four records The Coleman Brothers had on the Decca label (1944-47). The group members on the first three of these are Lander, Everette, Russell, Wallace, and Melvin Coleman.

A well-known record collector, the late George Moonoogian, has stated "I personally feel that His Eye Is On The Sparrow by The Coleman Brothers is one of the finest group harmony records of the 1940' is so subtle, yet so powerful."

Above: Label image of Decca 8673 recorded on September 20, 1945 and released in January 1946.

The flip side of this record, "Raise A Rukus Tonight," features the group imitating instruments near the end of the song.

Above Left: Label image of Coleman CR-5964 released in January 1948. This is the second of seven records The Coleman Brothers had on the Coleman label (1947-49). Group members for all the Coleman records are Lander, Everette, Russell, and Wallace Coleman, and A.J. Eldridge.

Above Right: Clipping from The Cash Box dated 12/25/48. Coleman Records was a family owned label with Lander as President, Melvin as Vice President, and Russell as Secretary. In addition to spiritual music, Coleman Records also released rhythm and blues, such as The Ray-O-Vacs and The Ben Smith Quartet.

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

Listen to this week's selections featuring The Coleman Brothers on Decca and Coleman from 1944, 1946, and 1948 using Windows Media Player:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. His Eye Is On The Sparrow
          2. Low Down The Chariot
          3. Get Away, Mr. Satan, Get Away
          4. Raise A Rukus Tonight
          5. You May Run On
          ALL FIVE played in sequence

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

     At Right: Clipping
     (Courier-News - Plainfield, NJ 1/13/45)