The Del-Knights

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Philadelphia doo wop group the Del-Knights formed in early 1958. According to Marv Goldberg's profile on his R&B Notebooks website, co-founders Eddie Edgehill (an alumnus of the Valentines, which recorded…
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Philadelphia doo wop group the Del-Knights formed in early 1958. According to Marv Goldberg's profile on his R&B Notebooks website, co-founders Eddie Edgehill (an alumnus of the Valentines, which recorded a series of singles for the Rama label) and tenor Arthur Harden were childhood friends born and raised in the South Philly area. First tenor Warren Sherrill, baritone Frank Washington, and bass Jerry Abel completed the original lineup, dubbed the Orientals. Eventually Edgehill reached out to his former Valentines colleague Richard Barrett, now a staff producer for End Records owner George Goldner, and in mid-1958 cut an acetate for the label that Goldner opted against releasing officially. The group nevertheless agreed with his dismissal of their name, and rechristened themselves the Del-Knights before auditioning for Casino label co-owner Barry Golder, who extended a contract offer. Their debut single, "Compensation," appeared on United Artists' Unart subsidiary in late 1958. Despite a rigorous tour schedule that took the Del-Knights into eastern Canada, the record did not sell and their career stalled. In 1960, a frustrated Harden married and moved away, prompting the addition of new first tenor Anthony McKinley. Washington and Abel soon bailed as well, at which time Edgehill revamped the Del-Knights' approach, recruiting guitarist Tommy Langley, bassist Howard Churchill, saxophonist "Sax" White, and drummer Duke Johnson. After the early 1961 release of the Sheryl label single "I'm Comin' Home," Harden returned to the lineup and McKinley exited. The one-off Chancellor effort "Wherever You Are" followed in the spring, but while their grinding tour pace continued unabated, the group simply could not score a hit. After one last stab, 1962's Bronko release "Everybody Popeye," the Del-Knights' recording career ground to a halt, although the group continued performing live until 1966, when Edgehill, Sherrill, and Abel joined Terry Johnson's latter-day Flamingos lineup.