The Channels were formed in Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.A. in 1955.
The group (at various times) comprised of:
Larry Hampden (first tenor)
Billy Morris (second tenor)
Edward Doulphin (baritone)
Earl Michael Lewis (lead)
Clifton Wright (bass
The Channels hailed from New York City.
The original group were based around three singers, namely, Larry Hampden, Billy Morris, and Edward Doulphin.
They performed with two other part time group performers, before adding Earl Michael Lewis and Clifton Wright (previously part of The Lotharios) on a more permanent basis.
Earl Lewis began writing much of the group’s material, penning ‘The Closer You Are b/w 'Now You Know'’ in 1959.
stars in the sky b/w the gleam in your eye - 1956 / that's my desire b/w stay as you are - 1957
The Channels were then signed to Bobby Robinson's Whirlin' Disc label in 1956, releasing 'Stars In The Sky' b/w 'The Gleam In Your Eye' that year.
The group signed to several imprints during their career, including, Gone, Fury, Port, Hit, Enjoy, and Groove.
The Channels personnel line-up varied as various members came and went.
altar of love b/w all alone - 1957 / the closer you are b/w now you know - 1959
In 1957, the group signed to George Goldner's Gone label, releasing 'That's My Desire' b/w 'Stay As You Are' (in 1957) and 'Altar Of Love' b/w 'All Alone' (in 1957).
They performed mainly on the East Coast, but never nationally charted.
In 1959, they returned to Whirlin’ Disc for 'My Love Will Never Die'.
Their releases comprised of several notable singles, including ‘Bye Bye Baby’ b/w ‘My Love Will Never Die’ (in 1959), ‘I Really Love You’ (in 1961) and ‘Flames In My Heart (in 1961)’.
During the 70's Earl Lewis, along with various line-ups of the Channels, continued to tour around the east coast revival circuit.
the channels greatest hits - 1990 / new york's finest - 1990
Frank Zappa later recorded ‘The Closer You Are’ on his album ‘Them or Us’ in 1984.
The Closer You Are / Now You Know (1956)
The Gleam In Your Eye / Stars In The Sky (1956)
I Really Love You / What Do You Do (1957)
Flames In My Heart / My Lovin' Baby (1957)
Stay As You Are / That's My Desire (1957)
All Alone / Altar Of Love (1957)
Bye, Bye Baby / My Love Will Never Die (1957)
The Girl Next Door / My Heart Is Sad (1959)
The Channels Greatest Hits (Relic Records 1990)
Earl Lewis And The Channels - New York's Finest (Collectables Records 1990)