The Five Jets

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Detroit's Five Jets recorded five singles on Deluxe Records from 1953 to 1954 and one on Fortune Records as the Five Dollars in 1957. The members included Joe Murphy aka Joe Charles, Joseph Von Battle,…
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Detroit's Five Jets recorded five singles on Deluxe Records from 1953 to 1954 and one on Fortune Records as the Five Dollars in 1957. The members included Joe Murphy aka Joe Charles, Joseph Von Battle, and unknowns, possibly Walter Gaines or Roquel "Billy" Davis aka Tyran Carlo who either sang or play guitar for them. Davis, the group's main writer, sometimes wrote with a determined dude named Berry Gordy Jr. None of the singles sold well, a few spins here, a play there, but nothing exciting happened. Gigs were plentiful around Detroit, but they had to pay like everybody else to get into the Apollo, the Regal, or the Howard Theater.

It wasn't because of effort, they were honed tight, but Henry Glover, their producer at Deluxe, never found the magic formula. You won't find much info about the Five Jets or many who have heard their recordings. Label owner Syd Nathan's King/Federal/Deluxe setup was totally in-house; they recorded, mastered, pressed records, designed label /album covers, warehoused, and distributed under one roof. Nathan would press 50 copies of a new single by newly signed acts that he hawked to the DJs; if he couldn't generate any interest he didn't press any more. This accounts for the lack of interest in the group today; you can't miss what you never heard.

They broke out with "Not a Hand to Shake" b/w "I'm in Love" in 1953. Deluxe followed it with four flops in 1954: "I'm Stuck" b/w "I Want a Woman"; "Tell Me You're Mine" b/w "Give In"; "Crazy Chicken" b/w "Do the Crazy Chicken"; and "Please Love Me Baby" b/w "Down Slow." A final single as the Five Dollars, written by Berry Gordy and Tyran Carlo, "I'm Wondering" b/w "You Fool" also failed to do the trick and soon the Five Jets reemerged as the Five Stars.