The Clovers Blue Velvet Atlantic 1052 A





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Uploaded on Dec 19, 2011

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The Clovers "Blue Velvet" Atlantic 1052 A 1954

This is a Mint- of this fantastic 78. Priceless in my opinion. Hope you enjoy it!

December 6, 1954 found the Clovers opening at Boston's Hi-Hat. Then it was back to New York for their next Atlantic Studios session, on December 16. This time they recorded the 1951 Tony Bennett song, "Blue Velvet" (written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris) and re-recorded "Love Bug" (by Ahmet). The third track that day was "If You Love Me" (by Memphis Curtis, who had written "Lovey Dovey"). All three sides were led by Buddy.

"Blue Velvet" (with its haunting sax work by Sam "The Man" Taylor) and "If You Love Me" were issued that same month. Even though the Clovers had been singing "Blue Velvet" for years at the Apollo, they had to fight for the same number of years to get to record it, since Atlantic didn't own the publishing rights! Although "Blue Velvet" is one of the finest tunes the Clovers ever recorded, it only managed to stagger up to #14 on the charts. "If You Love Me" is a pleasant, standard Clovers-type tune, reminiscent of "Ting-A-Ling."

By 1990, Chuck Battle had replaced Steve Charles. That same year, "Hey Miss Fannie" was released, along with the newly-recorded "Goin' Home To Jesus." The latter song doesn't have the full group, however. Harold and John were sick in Myrtle Beach, but the studio time was already paid for. Consequently, Johnny Mason and Chuck Battle did the song themselves, with the added voice of Marion Carter, owner of Ripete! There was also a Ripete album that was issued only on tape, around 1989. Called The Clovers: Live At CT's, it contains versions of many of their hits, and does a fine job of showcasing a Lucas group live show.

In 1991, the Clovers were inducted into the UGHA Hall Of Fame, along with the Orioles, the Ravens, the Cadillacs, the Heartbeats, the Harptones, and the Teenagers. Both Harold Winley and Buddy Bailey were present to receive their awards.

Harold Lucas became ill in 1993 and died the following year. When this was written (in early 1997), the group ("Johnny Mason and the Clovers") consisted of Johnny Mason, Richard Merritt, David Warren, and John Bowie (with Dean Cavanaugh used as a utility fill-in when needed). With many, many personnel changes over the years, the Johnny Mason Clovers are still around in 2009.

Both John "Buddy" Bailey and Harold Winley sang with Jimmie Nabbie's Ink Spots over the years (as did Sonny Til), although not at the same time. Harold took over the leadership of the group when Nabbie died in 1992.

Harold Winley in 2004 Most of the Clovers are gone now: Bill Harris passed away from cancer in 1988; Harold Lucas died in January 1994; Buddy Bailey a month later. Charlie White is also dead, as is John Phillip, Matthew McQuater, and Lou Krefetz. Billy Mitchell lived in D.C., and occasionally joined the Johnny Mason group. He died on November 6, 2002, at the age of 71, after having been in a nursing home for a while. Harold Winley ("I'm the only one still standing") carried on Jimmie Nabbie's Ink Spots (with the Swallows' Herman "Junior" Denby on lead, as of mid-2001) until 2009 when he became part of "The Original Clovers, Featuring Harold Winley."

And that's the story of the Clovers, certainly one of the most popular groups in the history of R&B. Harold Lucas was right back in 1946; it was a lucky name!

Turntable used: Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB Direct Drive inputted straight into the sound card using the built-in pre-amp from the turntable.

Cartridge used: SHURE M78S using 78 3 mil needle

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