An R&B vocal group from Washington, DC, USA, Maskman And The Agents achieved success based on the nexus of two popular culture phenomena: soul music and the spy craze. The group members were Harmon Bethea, Tyrone Gay, Paul Williams and Johnny Hood. Bethea was a 25-year veteran of the R&B business, having been in the group the Cap-Tans; in 1967, he formed from the remnants of his old group Maskman And The Agents. The outfit sang novelty soul songs and Bethea appeared masked, reflecting the period when I Spy and Get Smart were popular US television spy shows, and James Bond films were highly successful. In the same period Edwin Starr had a hit with ‘Agent Double-O Soul’ and Jamo Thomas with ‘I Spy (For The FBI)’. Maskman And The Agents succeeded with two moderately sized hits, ‘One Eye Open’ (number 20 R&B) in 1968, and ‘My Wife, My Dog, My Cat’ (number 22 R&B) in 1969. They never charted nationally again.
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