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The Best of the Larks

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Album Review

A comprehensive collection by the early-'50s' Larks, who are considered one of the top doo wop groups of all time. Westside Records didn't leave any significant tracks off this compilation of songs recorded during the two-year span the group was together. (They were issued, however, over a five-year period, from 1950 to 1955, by Apollo and Lloyd Records.) Embraced are their Apollo debut, "Coffee, Cigarettes and Tears," and "Hopefully Yours," a sweet ballad that was back-sided by member Eugene Mumford's "When I Leave These Prison Walls," written while he was incarcerated in a North Carolina prison for allegedly raping a white woman; he was pardoned in 1949 by the governor. Also on the project is "My Reverie," a classic ballad that demonstrates their advanced ballad skills; two takes of "Eyesight to the Blind," which made the national R&B chart; and the humorous "I Ain't Fattening Frogs for Snakes."


Formed: 1938 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s

Not to be confused with Don Julian's Larks, his post-Meadowlarks trio (whose huge R&B hit in 1965 was "The Jerk"), or the Philadelphia-based soul group called the Larks, this group of Larks dates back to the early days of vocal music, with roots in gospel music, and featured the immense talents of Eugene Mumford. The Larks' story actually begins in Durham, NC, in the late '30s, when original core members: Thurmon Ruth, Allen Bunn, Junius Parker, Jimmy Gorham, and Melvin Coldten -- a powerful gospel...
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The Best of the Larks, The Larks
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