David Nicholas (lead and first tenor), Milton Pratt (lead, second tenor and baritone), Joe Mercede (first tenor), Elijah Summers (baritone) and Julius Williams (bass) formed this R&B vocal group in the late 50s in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Only Williams had previous experience, having recorded with the Tremaines in 1958. Still without a name, the new quintet kept rehearsing until the turn of the decade, making their debut for Crimson Records with ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’ in 1961. On emerging from a New York subway, the band saw a billboard advertisement for the Broadway musical Camelot, and took this as their name. The Camelots made their debut on Aanko in 1963 with ‘Your Way’, an update of a former Heartbeats hit. Another cover version followed, this time the Harptones’ ‘A Sunday Kind Of Love’. More successful was their 1964 release, ‘Pocahontas’, which saw a move to Ember Records. For Cameo Records, they recorded the gospel-tinged ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’, another strong effort that reflected the versatility of its singers. A succession of singles followed for a variety of labels, including Times Square and Relic Records, but by the middle of the decade the group was treading water and decided to break up shortly thereafter. Like so many of their peers, the group re-formed in the early 80s on the back of doo-wop and R&B vocal nostalgia, with a line-up featuring Pratt and Williams alongside newcomers Michael Regan, Joe Pitts (ex-Paragons) and Ernest Burnside (ex-Paragons). The re-formed group released only one new recording, an EP featuring their best-remembered oldies, ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’, alongside previously unissued archive tracks. Despite a strong reception for their revitalized live shows, the group broke up again in October 1984.
Share this page