Monday, March 15, 2010

This week's 45 is:

The Flares - "Foot Stompin" - Felsted Records, 1961

Rule #76: Anything with "stompin'" in the title probably kicks ass.

Felsted Records began as a subsidiary of UK Decca Records in 1954, but was already shuttered by 1964. They tried releasing Jazz, dance and pop music but nothing really stuck. Today's record was released by the even shorter-lived US branch in New York.

I found the below info from a very well informed anonymous reviewer on Amazon (associated with a compiliation containing this track):

The Flares, under that name, are charter members of the one-hit wonder club with their only charter, "Foot Stomping Part 1", reaching #20 R&B and #25 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in October 1961 b/w Part 2. But some of the members did enjoy considerable chart success under other guises.

Beginning as a quintet in Los Angeles in 1953 as The Flairs, the group originally consisted of Cornelius Gunter, Richard Berry, Thomas Fox, Obadiah Jessie, and Beverly Thompson. That year they cut a Leiber & Stoller composition for the Modern label, "She Wants To Rock", which gained considerable regional attention but could not crack the national R&B or pop charts.

Berry would then move on to record with The Robins ["Riot In Cell Block No. 9" - another Leiber & Stoller composition], provided the deep male voice on Etta James' immortal 1955 hit "The Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)", did a bit of dramatic crying behind Donald Woods on "Death Of An Angel", and in 1956 with his group The Pharaohs, wrote and cut the first version of "Louie, Louie" - later a 1963 smash hit by The Kingsmen. (Ed: and don't forget "Have Love, Will Travel" later covered by the Sonics and the Black Keys!)

Gunter would move on to join The Coasters [where he was part of many hits] and, with Thompson and Jessie dropped, they became a quartet with the addition of Tommy Miller and George Hollis, previously with a local group called The Ermines.

By 1961 the group had changed the spelling of the name to The Flares and, now with the Felsted label, the group consisted of Miller, Hollis, lead Aaron Collins and Willie Davis, the latter two having been part of the previous RPM/Modern hits "Why Don't You Write Me?" [#3 R&B/#82 pop in 1955 as The Jacks] and "Stranded In The Jungle" [#4 R&B/#15 pop as The Cadets].

After their one 1961 hit, however, nothing else worked for the them or the Felsted Label, and by 1964 they had broken up, one more victim of the British Invasion.

Thanks for the info, anonymous guy!

Here's a collection of The Flare's work for those interested: Foot Stompin

Anyway kids, here's a little clip to get you stompin' those feet!

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