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The Mellows

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Biography

Lillian Leach and her group, the Mellows, never scored any huge doo wop hits, despite solid efforts, but remain revered among fans of the vocal group genre. The foursome -- in addition to Leach, an excellent female lead singer, their lineup included Harold Johnson, Johnny Wilson, and Norman Brown -- began recording in 1954 for Jay Dee, a small New York-based label owned by Joe Davis. Davis was a popular figure in the R&B world; in addition to running his own labels (Beacon was another of his top-notch indie labels), he ran his own management company and even worked for MGM Records for a time. The Mellows recorded several songs for Jay Dee, including "How Sentimental Can I Be" in August 1954, "Smoke From Your Cigarette" in January 1955, and "I Still Care," issued in April 1955 and probably the high point of their career. They later moved over to Brooklyn's Celeste Records, covering classics like "Lucky Guy," "My Darling," "Sweet Lorraine" -- and a song called "I'm Gonna Pick Your Teeth With an Icepick" -- then moved over to Candlelight for one last single before disbanding a few years later. ~ Bryan Thomas
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