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The Flamingos

"The Flamingos" were a doo wop group, popular in the mid to late 1950s.

Cousins Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezekial Carey (Zeke), bass and 2nd tenor respectively, formed the group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting baritone Paul Wilson and first tenor John E. "Johnny" Carter at a black Messianic Jewish synagogue. Earl Lewis (not the Channels lead) soon joined, and after a series of name changes ("The Swallows", "El Flamingos", "The Five Flamingos") wound up being known as The Flamingos. Sollie McElroy soon replaced Lewis (who joined The Five Echoes). The Flamingos' first single (for Chance Records), "If I Can't Have You", was a moderate local success, as was the follow-up "That's My Desire", but it was Johnny Carter's composition of "Golden Teardrops," with its complex vocal harmonies and Carter's soaring falsetto, that cemented their reputation as a top regional act of the day (and for all time among group harmony aficionados and record collectors).

The Flamingos left Chance Records sometime after their December 1953 session and signed with DJ Al Benson's Parrot Records. Sollie McElroy was on their first Parrot session, but left the group in December 1954, to be replaced b...

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