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The Very Best of the Spaniels

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The Spaniels were one of the most important black harmony groups of the early ‘50s. Their effortless fusion of rough-hewn R&B melodies, with impeccably arranged harmonies and a mellow, almost solemn performance style provided the essential blueprint for the Doo-Wop explosion of the late '50s. Lead singer James “Pookie” Hudson formed the group in late 1952, and their talent was such that it prompted DJ Vivian Carter Bracken to form Vee-Jay records for the purpose of recording the group. Vee-Jay would eventually develop into a cornerstone of the Chicago Rhythm and Blues scene, and the Spaniels early sides for the label rank among Vee-Jay’s very finest releases. “Goodnite, It’s Time To Go (Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight)”, “Do-Wah” and “A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening” are primal early Doo-Wop masterpieces, and certainly inspired countless street-corner groups to venture into the recording studio. The Very Best of The Spaniels focuses mostly on the group’s earliest recordings, all cut shortly before James Hudson was drafted into the US military. They are some of the most influential and most widely revered slices of Doo-Wop ever recorded.


Formed: 1952 in Gary, IN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

The Spaniels are best known for their massive 1954 hit, "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" (number five R&B). They were the first successful Midwestern R&B group, coming from Gary, Indiana by way of Chicago. Lead vocalist James "Pookie" Hudson was a graceful lead singer who influenced many who came after him, most notably Aaron Neville. They were also one of the first (if not the first) R&B groups to perform with the lead singer on one microphone and the rest of the group sharing another, and initiated...
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The Very Best of the Spaniels, The Spaniels
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