The Schoolboys Biography

An R&B vocal group from Harlem, New York City, New York, USA. With a remarkable series of pleading ballads in 1957, the Schoolboys typified the east coast pre-teen soprano sound, but like most such groups their career was short-lived. The group members were Leslie Martin (lead), Roger Hayes (tenor), James McKay (baritone) and Renaldo Gamble (bass), and their entry into the recording business was facilitated by famed New York disc jockey Tommy ‘Dr. Jive’ Smalls, who was introduced to the group at the behest of their manager. Smalls then arranged for the group to be signed to OKeh Records. The Schoolboys’ first success was a double-sided hit, ‘Please Say You Want Me’ (number 13 R&B)/‘Shirley’ (number 15 R&B), in early 1957. The group broke up soon afterwards, but ‘Carol’ made a strong impression later in the year on the east coast, even though it failed to make the national charts. The Schoolboys’ last record on OKeh, ‘Pearl’, featured Martin in the lead, who was supported by some members of the Cadillacs. Gamble had gone to join the Kodaks (another pre-teen group) and Hayes joined the Collegians of ‘Zoom Zoom Zoom’ fame. The Schoolboys made one more record, for Juanita, ‘Angel Of Love’, in 1958, before ending their career.

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

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