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The Fi-Tones

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Biography

Originally a Brooklyn-based street corner vocal group calling themselves the Cavaliers Quartet, the Fi-Tones first changed their name to the Fi-Tones Quintette after the core group -- Cecil Holmes, Marlowe (aka "Lowe") Murray, and Ron Anderson (bass) -- added Gene Redd (lead vocals) and Lloyd Davis (lead vocals) to their lineup. Their first recordings, in 1954, were for Tommy Robinson's Harlem-based independent Atlas Records and were played by Alan Freed and Tommy "Dr. Jive" Smalls in the New York area thoughout the fall and early winter of 1955. Of these, "Foolish Dreams" fared best, scoring first place in a WNJR (Newark, NJ) listener's poll of favorite vocal groups. They later appeared on "Dr. Jive's Rhythm & Blues Easter Review" at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. By mid-summer 1956, the group's "I Belong to You" was climbing the national charts and landed in the Top Ten in Kansas City. They continued to perform live, but by the end of 1957, the sales had dipped. Atlas issued their last single, and in 1958, the Fi-Tones were off the label. They next recorded for Hy Weiss' Old Town label. Lloyd Davis left and was replaced by Reggie Barnes, but this lineup disbanded after the single failed to chart and were gone by late 1958. ~ Bryan Thomas

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