The El Dorados Biography

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This Chicago, Illinois R&B vocal group achieved fame with one of the great jump tracks of the early rock ‘n’ roll era, ‘At My Front Door’, also called ‘Crazy Little Mama’. Members on that hit were Pirkle Lee Moses (lead), Louis Bradley (second tenor), Jewel Jones (first tenor), James Maddox (baritone) and Richard Nickens (d. 1991; bass). The group was formed in 1952, and signed with Vee Jay Records in 1954. The El Dorados achieved nothing but local hits until finding success with ‘At My Front Door’ in 1955, when it went to number 2 R&B and number 17 pop. The group’s only other chart record was the mid-tempo ‘I’ll Be Forever Loving You’ (number 8 R&B 1956). The group reorganized in 1958, when Pirkle Lee Moses was abandoned by the other members and recruited new singers from another Vee Jay group, the Kool Gents, whose lead, Dee Clark, had just deserted them. The new El Dorados besides Moses were Doug Brown, John McCall and Teddy Long (d. 1991), but, having no luck with further releases, this group broke up in 1959. Despite the El Dorados’ meagre chart success most of their records have been cherished by doo-wop fans, who find the group not only one of the more soulful-sounding of the 50s doo-wop ensembles but equally adept at both ballads (notably ‘I Began To Realize’) and jumps (typically ‘Bim Bam Boom’). The group took, perhaps unconsciously, a music that most observers considered nothing more than a commercial entertainment and created a profound and genuine folk art.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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