Four Blazes

Genres: Pop / Rock
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s

Biography

The most famous line-up of this group from Chicago, Illinois, USA, was Tommy Braden (d. 1957; lead vocals, bass), William ‘Shorty’ Hill (vocals, guitar), Floyd McDaniels (vocals, guitar), and Paul Lindsley ‘Jelly’ Holt (vocals, drums). The Four Blazes became hit-makers in the early 50s with a mélange of jive, ballad, and jazz sounds that combined vocal harmony with their own instrumental support. This type of group was common in the 40s, when acts such as Cats And The Fiddle and Five Red Caps held sway, and the Four Blazes were one of the last of this breed to have R&B hits. The group was formed in 1940 by Holt, who recruited Hill, McDaniels, and bass player Prentice Butler, and they soon became perennials in Chicago clubs. They became the Five Blazes when they added pianist and lead vocalist Ernie Harper in 1946. They first recorded for Aristocrat in 1947, but were unable to garner more than a few local plays for their records. In...

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