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The Willows

The Willows bloomed in 1950 from Harlem as the Dovers: Richie Davis, John Steele, Ralph Martin, Joe Martin (twins), and Bobby Robinson. Tony Middleton replaced Robinson who left in 1952 to open a record shop on 125th Street that became Fury Records.

The Dovers built a reputation battling other groups; they often practiced with Gloria Lynne's group, the Delltones; Lynne later recorded on Premium with the Wheels before going solo. Pete and Goldie Doraine became their managers and financed the groups' 1953 debut, "Love Bells," on their own Pee Dee label, as the Five Willows. Three singles followed on Allen Records in 1953 that balm egos but did nothing for their bank accounts.

After two flops on Herald in 1954, they hit as the Willows (dropping the "Five" for booking purposes) on Melba in 1956 with "Church Bells May Ring," featuring Neil Sedaka on chimes. It blasted to number 11 R&B but died at number 62 pop due to the Diamonds' number 14 pop cover. The Cadets and Sunny Gale also played the cover game.

They didn't have any more hits but hung tough until 1965. Platters on Eldorado and Gone in 1957-1958 credited to Tony Middleton & the Willows went unnoticed; ditto for singles as the Willows on Club and Warwick Records. The Martin twins, Freddie Donovan, and Dotty Martin (Joe's wife) were the Willows for two nonstarters on Heidi Records in 1964. And a lineup featuring Tony Middleton and Richie Davis appeared in the '70s to work the doo-wop revivals; but by the '90s, the Willows wept no more. ~ Andrew Hamilton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Legendary Rockin' R&B

2. Hi Fi Baby

4. Lovey Dovey Lovey One

7. Tarzan

9. You Better Dig It

11. Little Girl Of Mine

12. Flipping Their Top

14. Pretty Please

15. The Bear

16. No Time

19. That's A Pretty Good Love

x

Track List: The Golden Age Of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 2

1. Memphis

3. You Belong To Me

4. Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night

5. A Million To One

6. Rockin' In The Jungle

7. Wild Weekend

8. Stay

10. Mountain Of Love

12. Let The Little Girl Dance

13. There's A Moon Out Tonight

14. Get A Job

15. You

16. Buzz Buzz Buzz

17. I've Had It

18. I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)

19. Mister Lonely

20. In The Still Of The Night

21. Church Bells May Ring

22. That's LIfe (That's Tough)

24. Let's Stomp

25. Oh Julie

26. Little Darlin'

27. Teen Beat

28. Diamonds And Pearls

29. Alley Oop

30. California Sun

x

Track List: This Is Reggae Music - The Golden Era 1960 - 1975

Disc 1

1. Iron Bar

2. Fat Man

3. Rough And Tough

5. My Boy Lollipop

6. Penny Reel-O

7. Phoenix City

10. Rudy Got Soul

11. Down By The Train Line

12. Cry Tough

13. 007 (Shanty Town)

15. The Loser

16. Train To Skaville

17. Ba Ba Boom

18. Stop That Train

21. True, True, True

22. Israelites

23. 54-46 That's My Number

24. Everything Crash

Disc 2

1. Do The Reggay

3. Engine 54

5. Cuss Cuss

7. Tighten Up

8. Return Of Django

9. Shocks Of Mighty

10. Monkey Man

12. Ride Your Donkey

13. Red, Red Wine

14. Wonderful World, Beautiful People

15. Pressure Drop

16. Don't Let Me Suffer

17. Rivers Of Babylon

18. Liquidator

19. Johnny Too Bad

21. Double Barrel

22. Many Rivers To Cross

Disc 3

1. You Can Get It If You Really Want

2. Montego Bay

3. Come Into My Life

5. Blood And Fire

6. 400 Years

7. Duppy Conqueror

8. Vietnam

9. Singer Man

12. Small Axe

13. Pomps And Pride

14. Bongo Man

15. Let Your Yeah Be Yeah

16. Guava Jelly

17. Black And White

18. I Feel Good All Over

19. Hypocrite

20. Stick By Me (And I'll Stick By You)

21. Cherry Oh Baby

22. African Herbsman

Disc 4

1. Better Must Come

3. A Place Called Africa

4. Trenchtown Rock

6. I Can See Clearly Now

7. This Is Reggae Music

8. Brand New Second Hand

9. Lively Up Yourself

10. Stir It Up

11. Money In My Pocket

12. Funky Kingston

13. The Time Has Come

14. Everything I Own

15. Westbound Train

18. S90 Skank

19. Black Man Time

20. Bad Da

Comments

Report as inappropriate
djjp1049
DJJP HERE THE WILLOWS WERE THE FIRST PUERTORICAN GROUPS IN THE BRONZ THE OPENED THE DOWN FOR ALL SPANISH GROUPS.
Report as inappropriate
Eeee, it's a band of Willows. Freaky.

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