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The Blue Jays

The Blue Jays perfectly represent the transitional era between '50s R&B and the '60s soul era by singing doo wop-styled songs with a gospelly lead vocal. They are best known for their 1961 Top 40 hit "Lovers Island," which many consider to be the last hit record in true doo wop style.

The Los Angeles-based vocal quartet -- Leon Peels (b. 1936, Newport, AR), Van Richardson, Alex Manigo, and Leonard Davidson (aka "Len" and "Tree Tall Len") -- came together in the suburb of Venice, CA, in 1961. Following an appearance at an amateur show at the Fox Theater in Venice, the group were put in touch with country singer Werly Fairburn, who signed them to his Milestone label. Milestone's roster consisted mostly of rockabilly bands and had already achieved some success with the Paradons ("Diamonds and Pearls").

The Blue Jays' first single "Lovers Island," written by Peels and Manigeault, seemed almost like a throwback to an earlier time in vocal group music. Though it was not a big seller like other vocal act singles of the time by groups like the Jive Five or the Dreamlovers -- it charted in the pop Top 40 at number 31 and performed well on the local L.A. R&B charts -- it served as a beautiful swan song for the doo wop era. Milestone also released an album pairing the Paradons with the Blue Jays.

The group followed their hit with singles like "Tears Are Falling" (1961) and "The Right to Love" (1962), but nothing came of them and the group broke up in early 1962. Leon Peels later recorded a number of singles -- including "On a Magic Island" -- for Whirlybird Records, backed by the Hi-Tensions. ~ Bryan Thomas
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Golden Memories Vol. 14

1. Daddy's Home

2. I'm Leaving It All Up To You

3. There's A Moon Out Tonight

4. He's So Fine

5. Raindrops

6. Ya Ya

7. Lovers Island

8. Anyone Who Had Heart

9. Mountain Of Love

10. Midnight Special

11. You Talk Too Much

12. Paper Roses

13. My Dad

14. Baby It's You

15. Goodbye Cruel World

17. Mule Skinner Blues

18. (What A) Wonderful World

19. Hey Girl

x

Track List: Ost [A Dudley/Pet Shop Boys/Var]

1. The Crying Game

2. When A Man Loves A Woman

5. White Cliffs Of Dover

7. The Crying Game

8. Stand By Your Man

x

Track List: Street Corner Essentials

Disc 1

1. Nadine

2. Darling Dear

3. Sincerely

5. I'll Be Home

6. Come Go With Me

7. Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

8. Little Darlin'

9. Long Lonely Nights

10. Book Of Love

12. So Tough

13. Oh Julie

14. Tell Me Why

15. I Met Him On A Sunday

16. One Summer Night

17. Little Star

18. You Cheated

19. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

20. (Sorry) I Ran All The Way Home

21. Sea Of Love

22. Over The Rainbow

23. Let Me In

24. I Really Love You

25. Imagination

Disc 2

1. White Cliffs Of Dover

3. My Baby's Gone

5. Woke Up This Morning

7. I Want To Love You

10. Dance, Girl, Dance

15. Dorothy

16. Your Memory

18. If I Only Had Magic

19. Echo

23. Honest I Will

24. Be My Girl (Please Be Mine)

25. The Stars

x

Track List: The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 3

1. The All American Boy

2. Kansas City

3. My True Love

4. Jennie Lee

6. The Beat

7. To Know Him, Is To Love Him

8. When You Dance

9. Love Letters

10. So Tough

11. To the Aisle

12. La Dee Dah

13. Endless Sleep

14. Chicken, Baby, Chicken

15. Lover's Island

16. No Chemise, Please

17. It Was I

18. Tonight I Fell In Love

19. Happy Birthday Blues

20. Rockin' Little Angel

21. Tonite, Tonite

22. Cha Hua Hua

23. Western Movies

24. The Girl In My Dreams

25. Sugar Shack

26. There Is Something On Your Mind

27. Woman Is A Man's Best Friend

28. Sacred

29. The Freeze

30. Click Clack

Comments

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Almost forgot this one. Thanks
Report as inappropriate
A Lovers Islander is a great song.
Report as inappropriate
ever hear september by Pomplamoose ?

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