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The Corsairs

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Biography

The Corsairs originated from La Grange, NC, releasing seven records as the Corsairs, and one as Landy McNeil & the Corsairs, the first on Smash, and the rest on Tuff Records. Their lineup consisted of three brothers, Jay, James, and Moses Uzell, and cousin George Wooten. As the Gleems they sang at all the local functions and made their way north to the New Jersey/New York area, and were discovered harmonizing in a Newark, NJ, night spot by Abner Spector. Spector later hit with "Sally Go Round the Roses" by the Jaynettes. The family affair debuted on Smash as the Corsairs with "Time Waits" b/w "It Won't Be A Sin" in 1961, but it went unnoticed. For their second release Spector switch them to Tuff Records where they scored with "Smokey Places," which nearly cracked the pop Top Ten, settling at number 12 in 1961. Chess Records distributed this and their subsequent Tuff recordings. They followed with "I'll Take You Home" b/w "Sittin' on Your Doorstep" in 1962, a fine recording that stalled at number 62. They kept releasing singles until 1964, but "Dancing Shadows," "At the Stroke of Midnight," "Stormy (It's Almost)," and "Save a Little Monkey" did next to nothing. A versatile group, all three brothers sang lead, their recordings bridged the gap between '50s doo wop and '60s R&B. They released their final recording in 1964, "The Change in You," b/w "On the Spanish Side," as Landy McNeil & the Corsairs, but the sound had stagnated and didn't stand a chance against current favs' like "My Girl," "Baby I Need Your Loving," and other mid-'60s sounds. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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