The Ideals Biography

An R&B vocal group from Chicago, Illinois, USA. Formed in 1952, the outfit scuffled for many years with several personnel changes before recording in 1961 on the local Paso label. The Ideals at this time consisted of Reggie Jackson, Leonard Mitchell, Robert Tharp and Sam Steward (bass). In 1963 the group added a fifth member, lead Eddie Williams, and with his rough-hewn, soulful delivery they recorded their most successful record, ‘The Gorilla’; its ‘monkey dance’ theme was designed to reap sales from the success of the dance fad. It never reached any national charts but nonetheless received national exposure, partly in the pop market, and earned the group its first national tour. In 1965 the Ideals reorganized as a trio with Jackson, Mitchell and Steward, and they finally reached the R&B charts with ‘Kissin’’ in 1966, although the record did not, in fact, sell as well as ‘The Gorilla’. A notable song in 1966 was ‘You Lost And I Won’, which neatly married the group’s doo-wop past with the sound of soul. However, the group broke up a short time later. Most of the members did not join other acts after their Ideals association, except for Tharp and Mitchell. Tharp, under the name Tommy Dark, joined Jerry Murray in 1964 to form a dance duo called Tom And Jerrio, specializing in Boogaloo records. They had a hit with ‘Boo-Ga-Loo’ (number 10 R&B) in 1965. Leonard Mitchell continued to record by joining with Jerome Johnson and Robert Thomas to form the Channel 3, who released one single, to no great acclaim.

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