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The Delcos

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South Bend, Indiana-based R&B group the Delcos formed in 1961 -- according to Marv Goldberg's profile in the 1972 issue of Record Exchanger -- first tenor Pike Miller, tenor Peter Woodard, tenor/baritone Richard Greene, and bass Otis Smith first met as students at South Bend Central High School. A fixture of the local teen dance and talent show circuit, the fledgling group nevertheless suffered personnel problems; when Miller was asked to leave the lineup, his brother Gilbert was recruited to fill the gap, but he proved a poor fit as well. Finally, the Delcos (so named after the brand of batteries) added first tenor Glenn Madison, another Central High alum, as well as baritone/bass Ralph Woods, and in the fall of 1962 recorded their debut single "Arabia" for manager Juanita Henson's Ebony label. When the record began gaining momentum, Henson licensed the Delcos to Monument, who insisted the group re-record the song at its Nashville studios. "Arabia" went on to become a breakout hit in cities including Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and Detroit but fell shy of the national pop charts; Monument nevertheless bankrolled a tour of the East Coast, but declined to release the Delcos' follow-up "When You Dance," issued on Ebony and credited solely to Madison. Monument's Sound Stage Seven imprint released the final Delcos single "Still Miss You So" in November 1963. Weeks later, Woods was called to serve in Vietnam, and with the draft looming, the group dissolved. Madison later toured with the Penguins and Zola Taylor's Platters. In 1991, Ebony released Boy Could They Sing, a CD compiling the Delcos official releases along with more than a dozen unreleased demo recordings. ~ Jason Ankeny


1959 in South Bend, IN

Years Active:

'50s, '60s