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Who was Dolly & The Fashions


Richard

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Dolly & The Fashions were a trio from LA-two sisters Dorothea & Loretha Moody and their cousin Shirley Allen. Their debut 45 was as The Queen Tones backing Zeke Strong in 62'  .The Dolly & The Fashions 45 on Ivanhoe  was their last, the excellent,soulful 'Just Another Fool '(A- side of the above) in 1965  which was a local LA hit; sadly,without major label distribution it did'nt manage to break out. (info from Steve Propes & Galen Garts' 'LA R&B Vocal Groups 1945-65')

 

Edited by Michael V
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11 hours ago, ljblanken said:

Someone told me that the D and Fs were the same members as the Tears ("Good Luck my Love").... is that crazy? I can kinda hear some similarity in the vocals... but that's just a rumor I heard....

The singers voices are from another tone and timber to my ears. Only the "Jive" almost talking way of singing of the lead singer is reminiscent there. Both Dolly & the Fashions 45's are LA . One is a James Carmichael and the other is a Smith, Relf and Nelson projects.

While the Tears is a Chicago/Detroit product with Burgess Gardener and Andre Williams stamps all over it. But this can't be proof of anything at the same time. Still in the meantime, until we either have proof or amendments, I'll remain on the skeptical sides of the story. 

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I'm skeptical, too.  I think The Tears are a Chicago group.  Burgess Gardner and Wade Flemons, and VJ's Conrad Music all say it's a Chicago production.  You hear about one person moving across USA and working in a new place, and you hear about whole groups moving to New York or L.A. to get into the recording industry's hubs.  But, a whole group moving from big city L.A. to Chicago, and cutting just one record with Andre Williams and nothing else there, doesn't seem likely.  Also, I hear a different tone from the two groups' lead singers.  Every person has a unique tone, even identical twins.

Edited by Robbk
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9 minutes ago, Robbk said:

I'm skeptical, too.  I think The Tears are a Chicago group.  You hear about one person moving across USA and working in a new place, and you hear about whole groups moving to New York or L.A. to get into the recording industry's hubs.  But, a whole group moving from big city L.A. to Chicago, and cutting just one record with Andre Williams and nothing else there, doesn't seem likely.  Also, I hear a different tone from the two groups' lead singers.  Every person has a unique tone, even identical twins.

There were a few groups called The Tears, did this group only have the one release ?

Tears.jpg

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4 hours ago, Richard said:

Take it the writer is Wade Flemons?

Yes, and VJ's Conrad music proves that.  Definitely a Chicago production.  I don't remember a Chicago girls group called The Tears appearing locally in 1965-67.  So, maybe this was their only release, at least under that name.  But their lead, and the group, as a whole, don't sound, to me, like Dolly and The Fashions.

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  • 2 years later...
On 10/07/2019 at 19:12, Ljblanken said:

Someone told me that the D and Fs were the same members as the Tears ("Good Luck my Love").... is that crazy? I can kinda hear some similarity in the vocals... but that's just a rumour I heard....

I'm pretty sure that Dolly and The Fashions were an L.A. group, and The Tears were a Chicago group.  Look at the Smash Record: Chicago's Wade Flemons wrote the song, Chicago's Andre Williams produced it, and Chicago's Burgess Gardner arranged it.  It was on a Mercury Records subsidiary, and Mercury had a large office in Chicago, where that label was founded, and had its only office for many years, and The Chicago office specialized in Soul music from 1962-67, especially on its Blue Rock and Mercury labels, but also on its Smash, Philips and Fontana subsidiaries, and even on Limelight, its Jazz subsidiary.  

Dolly and The Fashions only had releases on L.A. labels, as far as I remember.  It IS true that some artists moved to other cities and recorded there, or were sent there to record after being signed.  But, I find it difficult to believe that Mercury signed Dolly and The Fashions in L.A., and then sent them to Andre Williams in their Chicago office, to record, under a new name.  But, the fact that neither The Yank, nor myself, remember The Tears appearing in Chicagoland, and Bob A. didn't learn anything about that group from anyone he interviewed.  I should have asked Bunky Sheppard if he remembered who they were, back in the 1980s, when his family of labels occupied the suite of offices next to ours (Airwave Records).  But, I had a lot more questions for him that were more important to me than that one.  But it's really strange that no one else based in Chicago who I asked knew anything about them, including Bob Pruter, Larry Montgomery, and all the Soul collectors I used to talk to.  So, it's tempting to think that it might possibly be one of those weird situations in which a West Coast group was in a Midwestern or Eastern city on vacation, and managed to get an ad-hoc recording session from a major label through some unusual happenstance.  Only, the name changes were usually because the group was currently under contract to record for another company.  But, I doubt that Dolly and The Fashions were under contract, at all, let alone to a tiny L.A. label like Ivanhoe or Tri-Disc.

Amazing that NO one, in all our researching and interviews has found anyone who remembers who The Tears were.  Also amazing that none of the children or grandchildren of the group's members have posted on YouTube that their Mom or Grandma, or Auntie was a group member.  I guess there is a good chance we will never find out who they were.

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thats a point on the Tears, Ive loved that track for as long as I can remember, but its never dawned on me as to who they were.  Here in the UK The Tears was one Mick Smith always championed, certinally in the early 9ts. Sure it was known before then, but Mick is the guy I got my copy from.

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and from 45cat website:

"Comments and Reviews" mickey rat - 6th Sep 2017
 Scratch my 4 years old guess that this is Dolores Hall.

Latest edition of Ferdie Gonzalez' Disco-File indicates group members were Shirley Allen, Doretha Moody and Loretha Moody who were also known as The Queen Tones."

 

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On 10/07/2019 at 19:12, Ljblanken said:

Someone told me that the D and Fs were the same members as the Tears ("Good Luck my Love").... is that crazy? I can kinda hear some similarity in the vocals... but that's just a rumor I heard....

I was all set to elaborate on a very unlikely, roundabout way L.A.'s Dolly and The Fashions could possibly have ended up recording a VJ song for Mercury in Chicago, connecting Richard Parker running VJ's Soul music production in L.A., and VJ's Vivian Carter and Jimmy Bracken shutting down their L.A. operation and taking the master tapes back to Chicago, and Ewart Abner shopping the unfinished Fashions' masters to Chicago's Mercury office for as much cash as they could get, as they had no money to press anything except Jerry Butler and a few Exodus records they thought might hit.  But, after listening to The Tears 2 cuts, and several Dolly and The Fashions' cuts back-to-back several times, I could hear that the two lead singers' voices are not really close, at all.  I have no idea how that rumour started, but it must have been started by a deaf person.  The Tears' lead singer was a fair amount older than "Dolly" (Miss Moody), and her voice is a lot richer and heavier than Dolly's, and the tones are just too different.  And the overall group sounds are very different from each other, as well.  

But, it is interesting to hypothesize as to how a Midwest or East Coast artist could end up contributing to a West Coast recording, and vice versa.  I was blown away finding out how Mickey Stevenson ended up co-writing a couple songs that ended up on Leon Rene's Class Records in 1958, when I was sure he was living and working in Detroit at that time, working for Carmen Murphy's House of Beauty Records, and Gwen and Anna Gordy's Anna Records.  It turns out that Stevenson hadn't visited a relative in L.A.  He became friendly with a songwriter from New Orleans, who recently moved to Detroit, and they wrote a few songs together.  And the guy returned to New Orleans with the songs, and shopped them to Rene, who still commuted between L.A. and New Orleans, because he still had family there, and more importantly, still had connections to the music industry there, and signed singers and groups from there, and used musicians from there as well.  So, often, those weird connections of artists and labels and producers from different areas of North America make sense, once we find out the back story.

But, unfortunately, in this case, incredibly, no knowledgeable people even from back when The Tears' recorded their Smash cuts, can tell us who they were.  Surely they recorded other recordings under another name.  But, I'm amazed that with my being from Chicago myself, and having been there during 1965-66, and same for Bob Pruter, and with all the Chicago producers, artists, and collectors we talked to back then, we never found out.  And Bob Abrahamian also never talked to anyone who knew who they were is amazing, as well.  I'd bet that even if we had talked to Andre Williams,  Burgess Gardner, and Wade Flemons a couple years after that recording session, they wouldn't have been able to tell us who they were.  Maybe they were from Milwaukee or Des Moines, or Indianapolis, or Fort Wayne or South Bend.  Nobody remembered knowing what Chicago high school they attended, or seeing them at an amateur try-out, or singing contest, or a local "sock hop", or "battle of the groups" that were held at the local park recreation centres.  

I saw lots of the groups Bob A. interviewed at "Battles of The Groups" park events, and saw a lot of posters or flyers circulated to high school bulletin boards advertising those. I never saw The Tears listed anywhere.  I saw Donald and The Delighters, The Desideros, The Accents, and many other groups when they were just amateur high-schoolers.  Usually, if we never saw anything with the group's name before a record came out on them, the group came from out of town, or the record company changed their group name right after their signing.  I think that The Tears likely sang under a different name before that record came out.

 

Edited by Robbk
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