The Chaunteurs with King Kolax (1961)
Twelve years ago I went to Paris for a week. One reason for my trip was to meet with Gil Petard of reissue label Chronogical Classics and the well known jazz, r’n’b and soul researcher Kurt Mohr. I had a CD with me that held a lot of tracks by Chicago tenor saxophonist. Tom Archia (the resulting CD, “Tom Archia 1957–1948” was released in 2011). I was also hoping to get a glimpse of Kurt Mohr’s files on several artists from Chicago and have Robert Campbell add them to the pages of the Red Saunders Research Foundation. At that time Mohr had basically given up research and two months before had given his archives to Soul Bag Magazine. I called up the magazine and was allowed to look through Mohr’s files for an hour on the next day.
Indeed I could gather some details we had not known before about different recording sessions. I also found an intriguing entry noting a record that the band of trumpeter King Kolax – on whom there is an entry at the Red Saunders Research Foundation – accompanied Chicago vocal group The Chaunteurs for drummer and producer Armand “Jump” Jackson’s own tiny label La Salle around 1961.
This was intriguing: How was I ever to hear that record? Now a while ago someone put one side of that record, the euphoria inducing “Wishin’ Well”, on youtube – but only for a hot moment, then it was gone again. A few weeks later a copy of this very rare 45rpm finally appeared on ebay. So I tried my luck – and won!
So here are the Chaunteurs accompanied by King Kolax and his Band doing “Wishin Well”. According to Robert Ferlingere’s Discography of Rhythm and Blues and Rock ‘n Roll Vocal Groups, (2nd ed., Vol. 1, 1992) and Bob Pruter’s Doowop: The Chicago Scene, the Chaunteurs consisted of Sollie McElroy (lead tenor, formerly of The Flamingos); Eugene Record (1st tenor); Robert Laster (2nd tenor); Clarence Johnson (baritone); Eddie Reed (bass). Besides King Kolax (heard only faintly here) and Jump Jackson the personnel is completely unidentified. I really wonder who the tenor saxophonist is and who is playing the organ.