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The Mello-Moods

The New York-based Mello-Moods are significant in the history of teen vocal groups, coming together almost four years before Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, who were acclaimed as the one of the first black "kiddie" groups to capture the public's attention in the early '50s. 13 and 14-year-old eighth graders Ray "Buddy" Wooten (lead), Bobby "Schubie" Williams (second lead, tenor, and piano), Bobby Baylor (second tenor and baritone), Monteith "Monte" Owens (tenor and guitar), and Jimmy "Bip" Bethea (bass) were so young that they were all still attending Resurrection Grammar School on West 151st Street in Manhattan when they began to attract attention.

By late 1950/early 1951, the unnamed group of teenie vocalists could be found practicing at Macombs Dam Park across the bridge in the Bronx, right behind Yankee Stadium. Bobby Robinson, who owned the Red Robins record store and was looking to start the Red Robins record label, caught the group and decided that he'd invest his time and money to record them. By December 1951, the group -- now calling themselves the Mello-Moods -- had recorded their first single, a soft ballad called "Where Are You," which soon found its way on to Billboard's national R&B charts on February 23, 1952, where it reached number seven in the nation.

Jimmy Keyes, a friend of the group (later a member of the Chords -- "Sh-Boom" -- on Cat) became their manager and managed to get them on the bill at the Apollo Theater, as well as nightclubs usually reserved for adults. The Mello-Moods also made an appearance on the Spotlight on Harlem TV show. The group's next single, a ballad called "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night" earned them some airplay, but failed to chart and the group was soon signing up with new manager Joel Turnero. Turnero took them to Prestige Records, who released a set of singles, "I'm Lost" and its follow-up, "Call on Me," but both failed to chart. By 1952, the group became restless and started drifting off to form other groups. Soon enough, the Mello-Moods had merely vanished.

Schubie Williams, Bobby Baylor, and Monte Owens later formed the legendary Solitaires, whose biggest hit was "Embraceable You" on Old Town. In 1963, this same group began backing Ray Brewster as the Cadillacs ("Fool," Artic) and even toured for a while as both the Cadillacs and one of the bazillion acts calling themselves the Drifters, with Bobby Baylor doing his best Clyde McPhatter impression. Monty Owens later left the music biz and went to work for the U.S. Postal Service and Baylor became a transit conductor in the New York City subway system.

Ray Wooten was the unfortunate victim of a theft in the '70s that soured him on the music business for more than 30 years. The story is that two men convinced him that they were members of popular R&B radio show who wanted to do a magazine article and radio show about his career. Wooten turned over invaluable personal items, including photos and documents, which were to be used and returned to him, but as it turned out, the two were thieves and the personal items were never returned. Wooten was so hurt by this that he vowed never to have anything to do with the music business again and it wasn't until October of 1998, on the stage of the UGHA, that Wooten -- a guest of UGHA member/former Mello-Mood bassman Jimmy Bethea -- was welcomed with tremendous applause which made him feel like he had turned his back on a musical community that had not forgotten him. ~ Bryan Thomas
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Chart Toppin' Doo Woppin' Vol. 1: Rock Me All Night Long

1. Double Crossing Blues

2. Goodnight Irene

3. Sixty Minute Man

4. Don't You Know I Love You

5. The Glory Of Love

6. Fool Fool Fool

7. I Will Wait

8. Eyesight To The Blind

9. Shouldn't I Know

10. Will You Be Mine

11. Ting-a-Ling

12. Have Mercy Baby

13. Mary Jo

14. One Mint Julep

15. Hey Miss Fannie

16. Rock Me All Night Long

17. The Wheel Of Fortune

18. Where Are You (Now That I Need You)

19. Baby, Don't Do It

20. Beside You

21. Crying In The Chapel

22. Money Honey

23. Help Me Somebody

24. Marie

25. Dream Girl

26. Good Lovin'

27. Rags To Riches

28. I Wanna Know

x

Track List: Conquer The World: The Lost Soul Of Philadelphia International Records

1. Hard Workin' Man

2. Conquer The World Together

3. Grasshopper

4. It's So Wonderful

5. Makin' Up Time (Parts 1 & 2)

6. Theme For Five Fingers Of Death

7. Good And Plenty

8. Darling Come Back Home

9. Yellow Sunshine

10. Ghetto Woman (Parts 1 & 2)

11. Everybody Needs Good Lovin' (Parts 1 & 2)

12. Days Go By

13. The Big Hurt

14. Love Is Here

15. Ruby's Surprise Party

16. Stop Taking My Love

x

Track List: The Fire & Fury Story (Disc 1)

1. Bobby's Boogie

2. Wiggles

3. How Could You

4. Can't Do Sixty No More

5. Go Back

6. Come On And Love Me Baby

7. Angel Face

8. Dear One

9. What Do You Do (To Make Me Love You So)

10. Mary Lee

11. Why Can't You Treat Me Right

12. The Closer You Are

13. The Gleam In Your Eye

14. My Lovin' Baby

15. Honey, Honey (You Don't Know)

16. Lydia

17. Cora Lee

18. Magic Mirror

19. Indian Fever

20. My Kinda Woman

21. While Our Hearts Are Still Young

22. Little Boy And Girl

23. Oh Gee, Oh Gosh

24. Dear Lorraine

25. Whispering Heart

26. Linda

27. Valerie

28. Baby I Love You

29. All Night Long

30. Runaround Baby

x

Track List: Vocal Groups: Classic Doo Wop

Disc 1

2. Sweet Georgia Brown

3. Sweet And Slow

4. Swing Is The Thing

5. My Walking Stick

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

19. Wig Blues

20. Write Me A Letter

21. Around About Midnite

22. Ever Lovin' Slick

23. It's Too Soon To Know

24. Five O'Clock Blues

25. Jumping Jack

26. Rival Blues

Disc 2

1. Too Much Of A Little Bit

2. What's The Matter With You

3. Lemon Squeezing Daddy

4. Please Don't Leave Me

5. My Baby's Gone

6. How Could You

7. One More Time

8. Will You Be Mine

9. Sixty Minute Man

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

19. I Wasn't Thinkin', I Was Drinkin'

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

8. I'm Leavin' (Clickity Clack)

9. The Door Is Still Open

10. That's Your Mistake

11. Baby Let's Play House

12. Be Bop Baby

14. Hug A Little, Kiss A Little

15. I Need You So

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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Never heard of The Mello-Moods, t h e i r ok,BUT I see why I never heard of them.

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