The Blue Jays

Genres: Doo Wop Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Tags: doo wop rock and roll all 60s oldies male vocalists chess records Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1960s 1980s
Links: biography wikidata wikipedia


An R&B vocal group from Los Angeles, California, USA, the Blue Jays perfectly embody the transitional era between 50s R&B and 60s soul in their renditions of doo-wop-styled songs with a gospel-style lead vocal. Comprising lead singer Leon Peels (1936, Newport, Arkansas, USA), Alex Manigo, Van Earl Richardson, and Leonard Davidson, the group came together in 1961, and the same year were signed by country singer Werly Fairburn to his Milestone label. The Blue Jays’ first record, ‘Lovers Island’ (number 31 in the US pop chart) in 1961, was at the time considered to be one of the last gasps of doo-wop, yet in retrospect, one can hear the first glimmerings of soul in Peels’ gospel-edged vocals. Peculiarly, the song only made the local R&B charts. The group followed the hit with some excellent numbers, notably ‘Tears Are Falling’ (1961) and ‘The Right To Love’ (1962), but achieved little success; they disbanded in early...

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