The Legacy Lives On
The Reynolds Brother’s music legacy started in 1955. Our dad then airman James. C. Reynolds, United states Air Force, formed a Doo Wop group called the Dell Vikings. It was comprised of a few of his Air force buddies and their story is written in music history. They became Doo Wop legends, but unfortunately for our dad he was soon reassigned to a different base in Youngstown, Ohio.
Our father had a boyhood dream to become a rock-n-roll star. So in 1957 he formed a new group with some of his old high school buddies,and they became the EDSELS and his dream came true! They were best known for their rock-n-roll hit, RAMA LAMA DING DONG. They had many great tours all over the USA, and multiple performances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and at the Apollo in New York City. However, the 60”s music was going in a different direction… and so was dad.
Dad was performing in the Detroit when he met our mother, Louise Gulledge, who was a modern jazz dancer. It was love at first sight!Dad found a spirt filled revelation and was guided to a little COGIC Pentecostal church that changed our lives forever, he and mother raised 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls. Before we boys knew it we were playing and rehearsing songs to sing in church, and sing we did! Dad and mom started a new church and the Reynolds Brother’s were the musicians. I guess singing and music was still in Dad’s blood.
At the time we had no idea what Doo Wop was, but we had 4 part background harmony…1st tenor, 2nd tenor, baritone and bass. At a very young age we began performing with the best gospel groups of that era,it was a grand time just to be on stage with the those great singers.
Time was passing and we were growing beards and mustaches and getting taller. Dad got a call to perform in New York City at Radio City Music Hall, now he needed a singing group and musicians right away. Dad had been able to get two of the original EDSELS, Marshall, Sewell, and Harry Green , and of course he had his 5 sons.
Well this is where it all began for the REYNOLDS BROTHERS. We knew all of dad’s songs, having sung them over the years, we had performed in front of many people, but …Radio City Music Hall! Some famous singers work a lifetime and never make it to that great city and stage. It wasn’t until the night of the performance that we realized we had lived in a house with a father we never knew musically. We watched as many famous performers approached and hugged our dad… he had not seen his friends for some 20 years. He introduced us as his sons, the new generation Doo Wop. But the greatest lessons was the response from his fans that had not seen the EDSELS in many years. Dad told us that ‘’ You are nothing without your fans and never forget that… no matter how many hit songs you have’’
Since then we have performed with the Temptations, Chilites, Drifters, Platters, Little Richard, Lime lights, Speedo and the Cadillac’s, Bo Didley , Cleftones, Skyliners, Tokens, Pookie Hudson and the spaniels, Eldorado, Dell Vikings, Harptones, Hank Ballard, Lloyd, price, Chiffons, Frankie ford, Lou Christie, Don and Juan, contours, Dells and Gene Chandler, just to name a few. To all these Rock-N-Roll legends and any we may have missed, you have taught us how to be true performers and we learned from the best. We ,love you all and thank you for your love and guidance. May your legacy live on.