The El Dorados, The Very Best Of The El Dorados

Ed Ward

By Ed Ward

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Very Best Of The El Dorados

The El Dorados
The secret to success: name your group after a Cadillac.

In 1955, Vivian Carter held a "beat the Spaniels" contest to try to find some new talent for Vee-Jay Records. Pirkle Lee Moses was sure the group he'd led since 1952 could win, so they entered, and sure enough, they did. Their very first record, "At My Front Door" (known by some as "Crazy Little Mama") was a huge success, hitting the pop top 20 and topping the R&B charts, with an arrangement that showed off each of the four singers 'talents. Their follow-up, "I'll Be Forever Loving You," didn't have the pop success, but became a classic a decade later among East Coast a cappella groups — and it did very well on the R&B charts. Right after it came out, however, the other three broke with Moses in an argument over management, and he recruited three other guys, the Kool Gents, whose lead singer, Dee Clark, had just gone solo. No further hits ensued, but a lot of fine (and weird) records did. This collection has everything from the bizarre "Chop Ling Soon" to the raunchy "Annie's Answer," sung by an unknown female.