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Falcons Mystery

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In the Spring of 1963 the Falcons broke up and almost immediately Robert West persuaded the Fabulous Playboys to take over the Falcons commitments. Here's my question; `Has it Happened to You Yet` / `Lonely Night` Lupine 124 was issued in 1962 (and soon after on 1024) with the A side being written by Carlis `Sonny` Monroe & James Gibson who were in the Fabulous Playboys. As this was released a year before the unplanned break up, did West have some connection with the Fab Playboys?

 

Thanks

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Hi Keith, are you sure? I can't find a youtube clip, but "lonely nights" has a female group on it. That doesn't make sense that it would be any falcons except a lead.

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I've had that record since it was out.  It's Sonny Monroe and The 2nd Falcons group (Fabulous Playboys) on both sides.  it's a different recording of "Lonely Nights" from Robert West's earlier recording sung by Gene Martin (which had The Primettes (Supremes) backing him) on Lupine 106, from late 1962.  Lupine started in 1962.  But 1024 was released in 1964.

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In the Spring of 1963 the Falcons broke up and almost immediately Robert West persuaded the Fabulous Playboys to take over the Falcons commitments. Here's my question; `Has it Happened to You Yet` / `Lonely Night` Lupine 124 was issued in 1962 (and soon after on 1024) with the A side being written by Carlis `Sonny` Monroe & James Gibson who were in the Fabulous Playboys. As this was released a year before the unplanned break up, did West have some connection with the Fab Playboys?

 

Thanks

Robert West was The Fabulous Playboys' manager.  They were one of his groups, -just like The Falcons.  He owned The Falcons' name.  That's why he was able to just put the Playboys in as if nothing happened.  The Playboys (AKA Fabulous Playboys) had recorded for his own Contour Records in 1958-59, before being recorded by Don Davis for DaCo Records in 1961.  He had stayed their manager all through that time.  I believe they had sung some backgrounds on some of his other artists' recordings in addition to making local club appearances during that time.  But, as we stated above, when Lupine 124 was released in 1964, they were only singing in clubs and singing backgrounds, they hadn't had a release as the featured artists on LuPine to that point.

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Robb, did you actually listen to the record? It does have a male group on it but they are mixed way in the background (they are brought up a little more later) and has girls mixed much louder than the guys. I don't have the gene martin to compare, do you know if it's the same girls backing track?

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I have both records, but I'm not with them now.  Even if I were, I have no stylus to play them.  My memory tells me that the female backing singers are NOT the same track.  I clearly hear The Supremes on Gene Martin's in my memory, and on the flip ("I Got The Blues"-on You-Tube).  I don't think the girls on The Falcons' were the same (or, at least the mix is so different that the 2 cuts sound very different-other than just the lead vocals.

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After listening to The Falcons' version, I'm more convinced that I'm remembering correctly than I was before. I'm pretty sure that both the girls in the background are different and the instrumental tracks are different as well, from the Gene Martin version.  I hear The Supremes on the Gene Martin, in believe it or not, a more soulful version of backing than the very "poppish" effort on The Falcon's version.

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The CD "Rare Tracks With The Primettes (Who Later Became The Supremes)" states that The Primettes were hired by LuPine Records (Robert West) to record background vocals on 8 songs (in addition to the 2 on which they were the featured artists).  The CD lists Gene Martin's "Lonely Nights" as one of those 8, but, did NOT list The Falcons' version as one of them.  That corresponds with what my ears tell me.  The female background singers on the 2 versions are different.

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HI All, many thanks for this info, does it look as though the Gene Martin track, Lupine 106 is a different song to the Falcons on 124 / 1024? I've listened to the Falcons track and the girl chorus is mixed well into the back ground slightly behind the level to the male backup. Unfortunately I don't have the Gene Martin version but did listen to I Got The Blues and the girl back up is at a similar if slightly less level. I doubt if the Lonely Nights I've just listened to is a '64 recording or by the second Falcons as it is a classic doo wop production and no way comparable to Has it Happened to You Yet.

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HI All, many thanks for this info, does it look as though the Gene Martin track, Lupine 106 is a different song to the Falcons on 124 / 1024? I've listened to the Falcons track and the girl chorus is mixed well into the back ground slightly behind the level to the male backup. Unfortunately I don't have the Gene Martin version but did listen to I Got The Blues and the girl back up is at a similar if slightly less level. I doubt if the Lonely Nights I've just listened to is a '64 recording or by the second Falcons as it is a classic doo wop production and no way comparable to Has it Happened to You Yet.

Keith, your statement that "Lonely Nights" by The Falcons is NOT The 2nd (New) Falcons is very puzzling.  Carlis (Sonny) Monroe is the lead singer, beyond the shadow of a doubt.  He has one of the most distinctive voices in music.  It cannot be mistaken.  It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1963, but also could have been '64.

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Hi Robb, I have to listen to quite a few Falcons tracks today for some sleeve notes that I am working on and I'm going to try to get more of a feel for the various leads, I have their Big Wheel 45s so I'll include them.

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I've eventually found some session details for `Has it Happened to You Yet` and `Lonely Nights`. They are as follows - 

 

Carlis ‘Sonny’ Monroe (lead tenor) James Gibson (first tenor) Johnny Alvin (second tenor/baritone) Alton ‘Bart’ Hollowell (baritone)

                                                                                                                    Detroit, MI 1964

L-124-A                     315                                                                       Has it happened to you (yet)                           Lu Pine 1020. 124

L-124-B                     315                                                                       Lonely nights                                                      Lu Pine 1020. 124

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