Hollywood Flames

The Hollywood Flames & Friends: 1950-1965

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During a 15-year career, this Los Angeles-based doo wop/R&B group recorded under at least seven names for at least 19 different recording companies. The group's lineup changes make the Temptations' members' departures (over a much longer time frame) seem minor. Vintage Records did a yeoman job assembling these 27 tracks from the many nooks and crannies they had to investigate. Like the early O'Jays in Northeast Ohio, the Hollywood Flames were similarly large in Southern California; most of their records made the play lists of area R&B stations, but few -- save "Buzz, Buzz, Buzz" (their biggest hit), "Elizabeth" (about the actress Elizabeth Taylor), "Believe in Me" (a masterful ballad), and a few others -- received any accolades outside their home haven. This album includes sides they recorded as the Turks and the Jets, but excludes tracks they did under names like the Satellites (who cut the original rendition of "Little Bitty Pretty One"). Original member Robert Byrd and later member Earl Nelson also recorded as Bob & Earl. A treat for collectors is the inclusion of both sides of their first single "Please Tell Me Now" and "Young Girl," issued when they were the Flames.

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