The Montclairs

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The Montclairs (aka Don Gregory & the Montclairs) released two singles in 1965 on Cleveland, OH's Sunburst Records, which was operated by Jules and Mike Belkin and Carl Maduri. Gregory (born Don Gregory…
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The Montclairs (aka Don Gregory & the Montclairs) released two singles in 1965 on Cleveland, OH's Sunburst Records, which was operated by Jules and Mike Belkin and Carl Maduri. Gregory (born Don Gregory Jones) fronted a skimpy but energetic group consisting of Richard Jordan (sax), an unknown musician named Sam (guitar), Eddie Woods (vocals), and Gregory (bass). Woods previously sang with the Hornets.

Sunburst inked them after seeing the response they received at live performances with a little ditty that Gregory worked up called "Happy Feet Time." The Montclairs were the Music Box's (a basement show bar located at 107th and Euclid Avenue) house band; they played every Sunday for five years and backed touring R&B artists like Tommy Hunt, Billy Stewart, and Donnie Elbert. "The Five," referring to East 105th and Euclid, was Cleveland's black entertainment Mecca in the '60s, dotted with movie theaters, illegal gambling, bars, and pawn shops.

"Happy Feet Time," a jubilant jam with party ambience, was a regional hit in 1965. A reincarnation, "Sore Feet" b/w "Poopsie," followed but didn't chart, and the Montclairs' stint with Sunburst ended. Marduri and the Belkin brothers ignited many careers but rarely really built any, and folded labels after a few releases.

They kept performing, traveling all over Ohio electrifying crowds, and were regulars at the Arabica Coffee House in Shaker Heights, OH, in the '70s. Richard Jordan later passed away, Eddie Woods severed his hand at work, and Sam disappeared. Gregory continued to perform in East Cleveland.