2 Songs, 7 Minutes


About The Sequins

The Sequins said "Hey Romeo" and record buyers responded, giving the teenaged singing trio a Top 40 R&B hit. Consisting of Veronica "Ronnie" Gonzalez, Linda Jackson, and Dottie Hayes, the Sequins were all students at Chicago's Harlan High School. After winning first prize at a talent contest at the legendary Regal Theater, the group began performing in area clubs. During one club appearance, they were spotted by the husband and wife team of Bill and Denise Jones, owners of Crajon Productions. Crajon was a contradiction of the first three letters of Denise's maiden name Craig and her husband's last name, and the independently distributed label was started from the couple's home around 48th and Langley Avenue on the city's south side. Denise Jones recorded herself under the name Denise LaSalle (the 1971 gold number one single "Trapped By a Thing Called Love"). For the bulk of her releases and the ones on Crajon, LaSalle utilized the services of Memphis, TN, producer Willie Mitchell, who would go on to have gold and platinum-laced success with Al Green. The Sequins' first release on Crajon's label was "Hey Romeo" b/w "I've Got to Overcome" and it went to number 32 on Billboard's R&B charts in late summer 1970. The singers went on a national tour, performing at New York's Apollo Theater and other major venues. The follow-up on the medium sky-blue colored Crajon imprint was "The Third Degree" b/w "Someday You'll Be Mine," released in spring 1971. The silky ballad was recorded in Memphis with Mitchell utilizing the same subdued style and instrumentation (the Memphis Horns and the Hi Records Rhythm Section in a low-key mode and crying strings) he would use on Al Green in the next year or so. "The Third Degree" received radio airplay in Chicago and other markets. Which led to the trio's appearance on a pre-nationally syndicated Soul Train with Don Cornelius on WCIU-TV channel 26 (sponsored by Joe Louis Milk). Another Crajon release, "It Must Be Love," was a regional hit in the summer of 1973, the year LaSalle relocated to Memphis, later marrying James Wolf and moving to Jackson, TN, where she began recording for the city's Malaco label in 1983. With Crajon defunct, the Sequins drifted into private life. Other Sequins singles were "It Must Be Love," written by Philip Mitchell (Ben E. King and the Average White Band's "Star in ihe Ghetto"), b/w "You Flunked Out" on Crajon; "Hideaway" b/w "I Ain't Gonna Cry No More" on the Terrace label; and "Who Says You Can't Jerk" b/w "I'll Be Satisfied" and "Don't Fall in Love." ~ Ed Hogan, All Music Guide