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The Four Clefs

The Four Clefs were a group based in Chicago consisting of drummer/vibraphonist William Marshall, pianist James Marshall, guitarist Johnny "Happy" Green, and bassist Melvin "Chappie" Chapman. All four of them sang, though William Marshall was the lead singer and some of their records feature Marshall as solo vocalist; still others are purely instrumental. Green was the group's leader and musical director; singer-pianist Martha Artis is shown in some of their late advertising, but it doesn't appear that she ever played or sang on their recordings. The Four Clefs recorded for the Chicago division of RCA Victor's subsidiary Bluebird between 1939 and 1945 and their best-selling record was "Hiding All My Cares/"Blue Lude in C Sharp Major"; a slightly later, jive-styled instrumental, "Dig These Blues," is their best-known recording as far as posterity is concerned. Technically, the Four Clefs are rhythm & blues artists, but what they played was a sort of mélange of entertainment styles; William Marshall's solo singing was influenced by Bing Crosby, the group's singing is close-voiced in the style of the Ink Spots, and the instrumentals are lightly swinging and uncomplicated. ~ Uncle Dave Lewis
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Vocal Groups: Classic Doo Wop

Disc 1

4. Swing Is The Thing

6. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water

7. If I Didn't Care

9. Whispering Grass

11. That's The Rhythm

12. I Like Pie, I Like Cake

13. Milk Shake Stand

15. The Blues Can Jump

17. Hoe Cake, Hominy And Sassafras Tea

20. Write Me A Letter

21. Around About Midnite

23. It's Too Soon To Know

Disc 2

1. Too Much Of A Little Bit

3. Lemon Squeezing Daddy

5. My Baby's Gone

6. How Could You

8. Will You Be Mine

10. Make Me Thrill Again

11. Mary Jo

12. Ting-A-Ling

13. Stormy Weather

14. Eyesight To The Blind

15. The Glory Of Love

17. Good Googa Mooga

18. Just Walking In The Rain

20. Money Honey

21. Gee

22. I Found Out

23. A Sunday Kind Of Love

24. Get With It

Disc 3

1. Be Bop Wino

2. Feel So Good

3. Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite

5. Tell Me

6. Big Leg Mama

8. Is It A Dream

11. Hearts Of Stone

12. Baby Let Me Bang Your Box

13. The Stars Are Out Tonight

15. Gloria

16. Riot In Cell Block No.9

17. Oop Shoop

18. Grief By Day, Grief By Night

19. What Do You Do

20. Mary Lee

23. Buick '59

24. Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)

25. Newly Wed

Disc 4

1. Smokey Joe's Cafe

2. You Didn't Learn It At Home

3. Witchcraft

4. Chop Chop Boom

5. Rollin' Stone

6. No No Cherry

7. My Angel

9. The Door Is Still Open

10. That's Your Mistake

12. Be Bop Baby

14. Hug A Little, Kiss A Little

16. When You Dance

17. At My Front Door

18. Lonely Nights

19. Red Hots And Chili Mac

20. Bye Bye

21. A Story Untold

22. Don't Play No Mambo

23. Peace And Contentment

24. Nobody Knows

26. The Great Pretender

Comments

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