The Capris (Philadelphia Group)
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The Capris Philadelphia Group
The Capris
Origin Philadelphia
1950s
Labels Gotham Records
20th Century
Ruben Wright
Charlie Stroud
Eddie Warner
Harrison Scott
Bobby Smart
Renee Hinton
Herb Johnson
Fred Hale

The Capris were a 1950s doo-wop group from Philadelphia who started out in their teens. They consisted of four males and a female. They recorded singles for the Gotham Records label. The song they're most known for is "God Only Knows".

Background

The group originally started out in the early 1950s as The Uniques. They all came from the same neighborhood. The early line-up consisted of Ruben Wright on piano, Harrison Scott on alto sax, Robert "Bobby" Smart on guitar, Gus Crawford the drummer, a bass player called Jerome and a male singer whose name has now been lost to time.[1] Later, as the Capris, they were a quintet consisting of five male singers. The original lineup was Ruben Wright, Charlie Stroud, Eddie Warner, Harrison Scott and Bobby Smart.[2] At that time the group's ages ranged from 15 to 16. Charlie Stroud left the group and they carried on for a little while as a quartet. Looking for a replacement, they came across Renee Hinton who had been singing in The Lovettes, a girl group. It was Ruben Wright who came up with name The Capris. The group did some rehearsals at Hinton's home because there was a piano there.[3] Herb Johnson also sang with the group.[4]

Career

In June 1954, the group were signed to Gotham.[5] The group recorded the original song "God Only Knows", featuring Renee Hinton's lead.[3][2] They also recorded five other songs, which included "Too Poor To Love", "Let's Linger A While", and "That's What You're Doing To Me".[3]

Their debut song "God Only Knows" got good airplay on the East Coast and became a local hit. The group also appeared on radio and television.[3][5]

Two singles following their debut single were released by Gotham, "It Was Moonglow" with the B-side "Too Poor To Love" in late 1954, and then "It's a Miracle" with "Let's Linger Awhile". The singles never really got anywhere and they weren't covered in the Billboard reviews.

In the mid-1950s, Ruben Wright and other members of the group entered into military service. After having returned in or around 1958, they re-grouped and took on Fred Hale as a replacement for Harrison Scott, who was now touring with another band. With Renee Hinton on lead, they recorded "My Weakness" with the B-side "Yes, My Baby, Please", which was released on Irvin Basllen's 20th Century label. That record also didn't go anywhere, and the group finished up.[3][2]

For a time, Renee Hinton went back to her old group, The Lovettes, who by this time had changed their name to The Laraes and did the show rounds at roller-skating rinks.[3]

Later years

1950s to 1970s

Ruben Wright recorded at least eight singles beginning in 1958 with "Love Is Gone" and "Girls Make Me Nervous", released on the Wynne label. During the 1960s, he recorded five singles for Capitol.[6] One of the Capitol singles became a regional hit. The Luther Randolph arranged / Marvin Holtz produced "I'm Walking Out On You" made to the Top 30 in Baltimore.[7] His last single was "La La La" with "I'm Gonna Have My Day", released on the Virtue label around 1969/1970.[8]

1980s to 2000s

In 1981, a Doris Browne single "Until The End Of Time" / "Why Don't You Love Me Now, Now, Now?" was re-released on the Collectables record label.[9] The record, originally released on Gotham G-296 in 1953, was credited to Doris Browne with the Doc Bagby Orchestra.[10] This 1981 Collectables release was credited to Doris Brown and the Capris.[9]

During the 1980s, Charlie Stroud sang with The Omega 5 Maestros, an R&B a cappella group. In 1985, the Capris got back together. Fred Hale replaced Harrison Scott and Dwight Jones from the Omega 5 Maestros replaced Bobby Smart.

In 1986, Eddie Warner was suffering from cancer; he died soon after. Charlie Stroud and radio DJ and music historian Charlie Horner visited him at his home shortly before he died.

In January 1987 Charlie Stroud died of a massive stroke.[11]

Also around that time, Renee Hinton, backed by The Castelles, sang the Capris' songs at an oldies event hosted by DJ Charlie Horner.

At the time American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today was being written by Jay Warner, Ruben Wright was still playing piano in Philadelphia. Renee Hiton was then singing in three different Philadelphia church choirs.[3]

Discography

References

  1. ^ a b Classic Urban Harmony - Echoes of the Past, Issue #97, Philadelphia's Original Capris by Charlie Horner
    With contributions from Pamela Horner, Article page 1
  2. ^ a b c AllMusic - The Capris, Biography by Jim Dunn
  3. ^ a b c d e f g American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today, By Jay Warner - Page 92 The Capris (PHILADELPHIA)
  4. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups, by Mitch Rosalsky - Page 51 Capris Discography
  5. ^ a b The Virgin Encyclopedia of Fifties Music, Colin Larkin - Page 62
  6. ^ Classic Urban Harmony - Echoes of the Past, Issue #97, Philadelphia's Original Capris by Charlie Horner
    With contributions from Pamela Horner, Article Page 12, Capris Related Discography
  7. ^ Classic Urban Harmony - Echoes of the Past, Issue #97, Philadelphia's Original Capris by Charlie Horner
    With contributions from Pamela Horner, Article Page 7
  8. ^ 45Cat - Ruben Wright - Discography
  9. ^ a b Discogs - Doris Browne And The Capris - Until The End Of Time / Why Don't You Love Me Now, Now, Now?
  10. ^ Vocal Group Harmony - SPOTLIGHT ON THE GOTHAM LABEL - PART ONE
  11. ^ Classic Urban Harmony - Echoes of the Past, Issue #97, Philadelphia's Original Capris by Charlie Horner
    With contributions from Pamela Horner, Article Page 8
  12. ^ 45Cat - The Capris (Philadelphia) - Discography
  13. ^ Popsike - The Capris "Oh My Darling" Lifetime 1001 Doowop 45 Original
  14. ^ 45Cat - Artist: The Capris (Candlelite) Catalogue: 422
  15. ^ Discogs - The Capris (2) Discography, Unofficial Compilations
  16. ^ Discogs - The Capris (2) Discography, Compilations

Further reading

External links


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