Wer war/ist Downbeats ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD und mehr


THE DOWNBEATS, a group of black teenagers from Gonzales, were one of Sarg's most prolific groups, cutting twelve sides over three sessions from late 1959 to the summer of 1962. Led by saxophonist O.S. Grant and fronted by the fine vocalist Charles Lighteard, the Downbeats were popular in the general area and were the envy of other groups, including the Moods.

"The Downbeats played in San Marcos one night," the Moods' Clyde Wallace recalls. "We were on the show, the Traits were on the show, and a bunch of bands -- and, boy, the Downbeats were by far the best. We really liked them." Recorded at ACA on October 19, 1959, the Downbeats' Come On Over (Baby), sort of a Little Richard-meets-Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On screamer, was paired with a typical ballad, Darling Of Mine, for their first Sarg release. Typical as it was, San Antonio teenagers bought it in droves as KONO gave the slow side heavy airplay. By the summer of 1960, it had sold almost 2,000 copies -- a huge hit by local standards, and the biggest seller Sarg had had up to that point. Nothing else the Downbeats recorded sold nearly as well, unfortunately, including the other two songs included here: Run To Me, Baby, and Oh, Please, which date from their second ACA session (March 11, 1960). After a third session two years later, singer Lighteard was replaced by the Bobby Bland-inspired Bud Harper.

Their subsequent recordings, for Harlem/Ebony in San Antonio and Duke in Houston, are more in a contemporary soul vein; they have their moments, but the Downbeats' early efforts for Sarg remain their best. Hoping to duplicate the early success he'd had with the Downbeats, Fitch eagerly signed THE SOUNDS to a two-record deal after they auditioned for him in early 1960. Black vocal groups were rare in Texas, making this group's anonymity all the more frustrating. It is known that they were led by singer Charles Sanders and were based in Victoria, southeast of Luling. Charlie Chan, a virtual blueprint of the Coasters' schtick, is the best of their four sides despite the overdone lyrical gimmickry. It was recorded at ACA on March 11, 1960. A more sober approach to rhythm and blues was their second single Tell Me, Baby (not included here), released later that fall. Neither record sold well enough to convince Sarg to record them again.

© Bear Family Records®

Excerpt from
Various - That'll Flat Git It!
Vol.18 - Rockabilly From The Vaults Of Sarg Records (CD)

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