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The Hollywood Flames

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Album Review

Though not in a class with the Moonglows, the Five Satins, or the Platters, the Hollywood Flames were a solid doo wop group that should have been much better known. The only song on this CD that was a major hit is the infectious "Buzz Buzz Buzz." Otherwise, listeners are treated to excellent material that fell through the cracks, which ranges from invigorating up-tempo songs like "Strollin' on the Beach," "A Little Bird," and "Crazy" to such engaging ballads as "Give Me Back My Heart," "A Star Fell," and "My Confession." While "Frankenstein's Den" shows that the Flames could be as much fun as the Coasters, the atypical and previously unreleased "This Heart of Mine" is as brooding as something Bobby "Blue" Bland would do. For doo wop aficionados who only know the Flames for "Buzz Buzz Buzz," this collection demonstrates that they had many other inspired moments.


Formed: 1949 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

This long-lasting Los Angeles doo wop aggregation had a very fluid personnel roster. Bobby Day was one of the group's founders in 1950, and the Hollywood Flames recorded prolifically for Hollywood, Specialty, Lucky, Swingtime, Money, and other labels before cutting their one major hit, the rocking "Buzz Buzz Buzz," in 1957 for Ebb Records. Earl Nelson, who was later half of Bob & Earl, sang lead on the tune, and some of their subsequent Ebb 45s were rocking novelties....
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