l to r: Sam Pace, Millard Edwards, Alvis Moorer and Gilbert Moorer
The Esquires comprised of:
Sam Pace (a.k.a. Sammie L. Pace, b. 22nd September 1944, Kansas City, Missourri, U.S.A. d. 7th January 2013, U.S.A.)
Gilbert Moorer Jnr. (b. 20th August 1941, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A. d. 28th August 2008, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.)
Betty Moorer (b. Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.)
Shawn Taylor (between 1965 - 1967) (b. U.S.A.)
Millard Edwards (ex. the Sheppards) (b. U.S.A.)
Alvis V. Moorer (b. 18th January 1940, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A. d. 21st August 2011, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.)
The Esquires were four vocalists who hailed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
From 1957 until 1976, the group were active, and were most fondly remembered for their 1967 hit, the Gibert Moorer penned, ’Get On Up’ b/w ‘Listen To Me’, recorded for a Scepter Records subsidiary, Bunky Records.
Based around the members of the Moorer family, Gilbert, Alvis and Betty, the group’s line-up varied during it’s early incarnations.
Relocating to Chicago in 1966 they auditioned for Curtis Mayfield, initially, then a failed attempt to sign with Constellation Records the same year, ending up with the Bunky Records imprint, set up following the demise of Constellation.
Bunky was a subsidiary of Scepter Records, who released the 1967 hit ‘Get On Up’, the song becoming a major hit in the United States, reaching number 11.
The Esquires (from left) Sam Pace, Millard Edwards, Alvis Moorer and Gilbert Moorer at the Apollo Theater in New York City in 1968.
The Esquires went on to perform at Chicago's Regal Theater and the Apollo Theatre in New York City and opened for various performers including Neil Diamond and Glen Campbell.
In Milwaukee, the performed at the Scene nightclub at 624 N. 2nd St., and performed with Harvey Scales (who was part of the Esquires line-up in 1960) and the Seven Sounds.
A parent album was released following their hit single entitled ‘Get On Up And Get Away’.
The group released five singles for the Bunky imprint, and then joined the parent company Scepter in 1968.
These singles included ‘And Get Away b/w ‘Everybody's Laughing’ (in 1967), ‘You Say’ b/w ‘State Fair’ (in 1968), ‘Why Can't I Stop’ b/w ‘The Feelings Gone’ (in 1968), ‘I Know I Can’ b/w ‘How Could It Be’ (in 1968), ‘You've Got The Power’ b/w ‘No Doubt About It’ (in 1968), ‘Part Angel’ b/w ‘I Don't Know’ (in 1969) and ‘Whip It On Me’ b/w ‘It Was Yesterday’ (in 1969).
In 1970, they group signed with Capitol Records for the single ‘Reach Out’ b/w ‘Listen To Me’ and joined the Lamarr Records imprint in 1971, releasing ‘Girls in the City’ b/w ‘Ain't Gonna Give It Up’ for the label.
They also recorded for the B&G, Wand, Rocky Ridge, Hotline, New World and Ju-Par labels during 1970 until 1976.
They group later re-released ‘Get on Up’, under the title ‘Get On Up '76’ b/w ‘Dancing Disco’ in 1976.
The Esquires continued to perform (with a changing line-up) over the next two decades, also recording for the labels, Lasco, Cigar Man Music, New World and Al Bun.
Sam Pace married Patricia Moorer, a younger sister of the Moorer brothers.
Get On Up And Get Away (Bunky/Scepter Records 1967)