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The Astors

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Biography

One of Stax's less typical acts, the Astors recorded five singles for the label between 1961 and 1967; only "Candy" was a hit, making number 12 on the R&B chart (and smaller waves on the pop listings) in 1965. More doo-wop-influenced than most Southern soul groups, the Astors actually found much of their audience in Philadelphia, a town that always favored soul harmony vocals. Rawer in presence and execution than most artists on the Stax roster, the Astors recorded too sporadically to establish a distinctive imprint. Their sides hold substantial interest for serious soul fans, though, as Steve Cropper, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones, and guitarist Larry Lee (briefly a member of Jimi Hendrix's band) are among those who penned their material. All of their official sides made it to CD in 1996, on a disc that also featured recordings by a later, equally obscure Stax group, the Newcomers. ~ Richie Unterberger
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