Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#567 (Week of 5/10/08 - 5/16/08)

(5/10/97 - 5/10/08)

"Don't Be Angry"/"Blues At Dawn"
by The Sultans
on Jubilee 5077
released in 1952

[This magazine clipping provided by Charlie & Pam Horner.]

Clipping Caption: THE SERENADERs are well known at the European Command camps where they entertain the troops. They have also appeared in Europe's largest cities and recently completed a week engagement in Paris. They are, left to right, Pfc. Clyde Wright, Pfc. James T. Freeman, Pfc. Louis J. McClam and Cpl. Nathan Larkins.

Entertaining U.S. Soldiers
[This newspaper clipping provided by Charlie & Pam Horner.]

Clipping Caption: Clyde Wright and his Superior Serenaders, winners of the 1952 Soldier singing contest in Europe, are now touring major cities in France putting on shows for U.S. GI's. Left to right: Cpl. Roosevelt McFadd, Pfc. Joseph Ballard, Cpl. Nathan Larkins, Pfcs. Wright and Louis J. McClam.

From Pam & Charlie Horner:

Clyde Wright is from the Charlotte NC area. His first group was the Golden Bell Quintet. As a teenager, Clyde played guitar on the group’s 1945 RCA-Victor recording (#20-1939) but did not sing on it. Later, he sang in the group live on radio station WBT (Charlotte) along with his cousin, Napoleon “Nappy” Brown. Thermon Ruth went to Charlotte to recruit Clyde Wright for the Selah Jubilee Singers in 1948. Wright agreed to join the Selahs, but insisted that Ruth also hire his cousin Napoleon Brown. At that time, the Selah Jubilee Singers then consisted of Thermon Ruth, Allen Bunn, Jimmy Gorham, Melvin Coldten, Junius Parker, Clyde Wright and Napoleon Brown.

After a short while, Ruth and Bunn left to form the Jubilators, who also included Raymond Barnes, Hadie Rowe, Jr., and David McNeil. It was this group that soon acquired Eugene Mumford and eventually became the Larks on Apollo.

Meanwhile, the Selah Jubilee Singers, now consisting of Wright, Brown, Gorham, Coldten and Parker, went to NYC and recorded for Jubilee records. Two records were released [Jubilee # 3002 – “Down Here I’ve Done My Best” (written by Nappy Brown) b/w “Why Not Today” (written by Clyde Wright) and Jubilee #3003 – “Since Mother’s Been Gone” (written by Parker) b/w “Sorrow Valley.”] Nappy Brown does lead on “Down Here I’ve Done My Best” and “Why Not Today.” Clyde Wright leads on “Since Mother’s Been Gone.”

At this point, Napoleon Brown left the group and was replaced by someone remembered only as Clarence. The group continued recording for Jubilee, but now did some secular tunes under the name the Sultans. The Sultans were Clyde Wright, Jimmy Gorham, Melvin Coldten, Junius Parker and Clarence ???. Clyde Wright wrote “Don’t Be Angry.” Clyde went into the army and was not aware the Sultans’ records were ever released until years later when Charlie Horner asked him about the records. The group must have been rehearsing “Don’t Be Angry” before Nappy Brown left, because he speeded the tune up and recorded it for Savoy in 1955, resulting in a hit record (#2 on R&B Charts, #25 on Pop Charts). When Nappy Brown’s version came out it did not credit Clyde Wright as writer. Clyde considered suing but didn’t because Nappy was his cousin.

The group was a quintet for all four sides. Master numbers indicate they were all recorded at the same session.

Meanwhile, Clyde Wright continued to sing while in the service. In Europe he formed a group called the Serenaders. Above are two clippings of Clyde with this group from 1952.

[Photo by Pamela Horner.]
From Pam & Charlie Horner:

By 1955 Clyde Wright had joined the Golden Gate Quartet, a group he still sings with today. Above is a photo of the Gates singing in Spain in 2004. Clyde is second from the right.

Above Left: Clipping from The Cash Box dated 7/14/51 for The Sultans' first of their two releases on Jubilee. A review of Cliff Ayers' "I'll Wait For You," in the same edition of the magazine, states that it is "...given a pleasant backing by the Balladiers [sic]." The Balladeers had two releases on their own for Jubilee in 1950.

Above Right: Label image for Jubilee 5077. The group was actually a quintet.

Listen to this week's selections by The Sultans: [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
       Don't Be Angry - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
       Blues At Dawn - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
       BOTH SONGS played in sequence

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       Don't Be Angry - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
       Blues At Dawn - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
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       Don't Be Angry - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
       Blues At Dawn - Jubilee 5077 - 1952
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