Moonglows, The (Harvey Fuqua, Billy Johnson, Prentiss Barnes, Bobby Lester, Pete Graves

Ca. 1956-58 in-person signatures of the great R&B group, 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees

Price: $125.00

Description:
The Moonglows 1950s American R & B group, their 1954 song ”Sincerely” went to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, #20 on the Billboard Juke Box chart. They were 2000 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. After Army service, Harvey Fuqua and Bobby Lester formed a duo in 1949 in Louisville. In 1951, Fuqua moved to Cleveland and formed the Crazy Sounds with singers Danny Coggins and Prentiss Barnes, Lester joining later. In 1952, performing in Cleveland, they auditioned for the club's management and soon contacted radio host Alan Freed, who became their manager. In 1953, Freed renamed the group the Moonglows, after his own nickname, Moondog. They signed with Freed's Champagne label, but their records didn’t make the charts. Coggins left, replaced by Alexander Walton (a/k/a Pete Graves or Pete Walton). In 1953, they recorded for small label Chance, but their records had little success; their cover of Doris Day’s "Secret Love" was their most successful. In Sept. 1953, Freed contracted with NYC radio station WINS. His success led to a contract for the Moonglows with Chess Records. Their 1st Chess single, “Sincerely", led by Lester, reached #1 Billboard R&B chart and the Pop chart Top 20, later a crossover success for the McGuire Sisters. In 1955, guitarist Billy Johnson became their 5th member with another R&B hit "Most of All", then a more modest 1956 success with "We Go Together". For most of their tenure, lead vocals were shared by Lester and Fuqua, Lester doing doo-wop ballads, Fuqua doing rock and roll songs; both also recorded vocal duets. Their next 1956 hits incl. "See Saw" (#5 R&B & #25 on Billboard Top 100) and "When I'm with You" (#15 R&B). In Aug. 1956, they were in one of the 1st rock and roll movies, “Rock, Rock, Rock”, lip-syncing "Over and Over Again" and "I Knew From The Start". By Dec. 1956, Fuqua began singing most vocal leads. In June 1957, the Moonglows had an R&B hit covering Percy Mayfield’s “Please Send Me Someone to Love” and in late 1958, the Fuqua-led "Ten Commandments of Love" was #9 R&B & #22 pop, billed as Harvey and the Moonglows. Chess released 2 EPs and an album in that time. After that release, the original group broke up at year’s end, performing together only for contractual reasons. In 1959, Lester began a solo career, later forming his own Moonglows group; in 1959, he was arrested on a narcotics charge in Texas. Fuqua worked with the Marquees, where he first met Marvin Gaye, relocating the group from Washington to Chicago and renaming the group Harvey and the New Moonglows. In 1970, Fuqua, Lester and Graves reunited briefly as the Moonglows and recorded "Sincerely '72" which reached #43 R&B. Lester sang lead for his own Moonglows group until his 1980 death. Fuqua performed with Lester's Moonglows at the 1983 Grammy Awards and they toured as Harvey and the Moonglows to 1986. 6 x 4 ½ autograph album page signed by the great original 1956-58 R&B group, incl.: Harvey Fuqua (1929-2010), Billy Johnson (1924-1987), Prentiss Barnes (1925-2006), Bobby Lester (1930-1980), Pete Graves (1936-2006). Johnson adds “Sincerely” (their great 1954 hit) and “The Moon Glows” (their original name), Lester adds “Most of al”, and Graves adds “Luck Always”. Very rare piece of rock and roll/R&B history! Undated but ca. 1956-58, no place but Washington DC area.

Condition: Very good, slight toning at edges (magnified in scan)
Type:Autograph album page






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Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
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