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The Flamingos. By Charles Hawkins. About The Choir. Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezekial Carey (Zeke), bass and 2nd tenor, respectively, formed the group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting cousins baritone Paul Wilson and first tenor John E. "Johnny" Carter at a Hebrew Israelite congregation.

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The flamingos

The Flamingos

By Charles Hawkins


About the choir
About The Choir

  • Jacob Carey (Jake) and Ezekial Carey (Zeke), bass and 2nd tenor, respectively, formed the group in Chicago, Illinois, after meeting cousins baritone Paul Wilson and first tenor John E. "Johnny" Carter at a Hebrew Israelite congregation.

  • The Flamingos' first single (for Chance Records), "If I Can't Have You", was a moderate local success, as was the follow-up "That's My Desire", but it was Johnny Carter's composition of "Golden Teardrops," with its complex vocal harmonies and Carter's soaring falsetto, that cemented their reputation as a top regional act of the day (and for all time among group harmony aficionados and record collectors).[


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The Flamingos

  • The Flamingos left Chance Records sometime after their December 1953 session and signed with DJ Al Benson's Parrot Records.


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The Flamingos

  • In early 1955, the Flamingos signed with Chess Records, to record for their Checker Records subsidiary. At Chess/Checker, the Flamingos achieved their first national chart hit with "I'll Be Home", which went to #5 on Billboard's R&B chart


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The Flamingos

  • The group began to come apart at the turn of the decade. Tommy Hunt left for a solo career in 1960. Nate Nelson and Terry Johnson split to form the "Modern Flamingos" in 1961, and went on to record as The Starglows on Atco Records in 1963.


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The Flamingos

  • The group continued recording into the 1970s. A new album was released in 1972 on Ronze, entitled The Flamingos Today. By this time, the group was the Careys, McClure, Fontaine, the returning Billy Clarke, and former Limelight Clarence Bassett, Jr.


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The Flamingos

  • The group recorded a new album, Unspoken Emotions, under the Ronze label in 1999. It featuring re-recordings of "Ain't Nothing But A Party" and "I'll Be Home", led by Zeke Carey.


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The Flamingos

  • The group appeared on the PBS television special Doo Wop 50 that same year.


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The Flamingos

  • The group split up in late 2005 due to money disputes. Spann, Jordan, Gilbert, and Faison grouped together to reform Spann's old group, The Dynamic Superiors.


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The Flamingos

  • The Flamingos received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award in 1996 (where Terry Johnson, Jake Carey, Zeke Carey, Tommy Hunt and Johnny Carter performed) and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame in 2004