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the flairs/the flares

The Flares

The Flairs/Flares hailed from Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

'The Flairs' consisted of:

Arthur Lee Maye (Tenor) (11th December 1934, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, U.S.A. d.17th July 2002, Riverside, California, U.S.A.)

Beverley Thompson (Tenor)

Cornell Gunter (Lead) (b. 14th November 1936, Coffeyville, Kansas, U.S.A. d. 26th February 1990, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.)

Thomas 'Pete' Fox (2nd Tenor)

Joe Winslow

A.V. Odom (bass)

Obediah 'Obie' Jessie (Baritone) (b. 28th December 1936, Lincoln Manor, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A. d. 27th April 2020, U.S.A.)


Richard Berry (Bass) (11th April 1935, Extension, Louisiana, U.S.A. d. 23rd January 1997, Inglewood, California, U.S.A.)

'The Flares' consisted of:

Aaron Collins (Lead) (b. 3rd September 1930, Kress City, Arkansas, U.S.A. d. 27th March 1997, U.S.A.)

Willie Davis (Tenor)

Beverly Harris (Tenor) (b. 8th June 1937, California, U.S.A.)

Thomas Miller (Baritone)


George Hollis (Bass)

The Flares were a Los Angeles based doo-wop group, formed in the early Fifties.

Originally, formed in 1952, under the name of the Debonaires.

At that time, the group comprised of Arthur Lee Maye, Pete Fox, Obediah Jessie, Joe Winslow, and A.V. Odom.

Joe Winslow and A.V. Odom left the group at an early stage, leaving the remaining three group members.

A.V. was replaced by Richard Berry making the group a quartet.

Arthur Lee Maye

arthur lee maye

Arthur Lee Maye then departed the group for a successful career in baseball (playing at a professional level for the Milwaukee Braves).

Beverly Thompson was recruited as a replacement.

Cornell Gunter, once a vocalist for an early incarnation of The Platters, was also recruited, making the group a quintet.


cloudy & raining b/w so worried - 1951 / i had a love b/w she wants to rock - 1953

The Debonaires released some sides for the Recorded In Hollywood Records imprint at this time.

The group switched labels, signing to the Modern Records imprint.

They were relocated again to the Modern subsidiary, Flair Records, a label which provided a name change for the group to The Flairs.

The Flairs

the flairs in 1953: (clockwise) richard berry, cornell gunter, peter fox, beverly thompson and obie jessie

At Flair Records they released ‘I Had a Love’ b/w ‘She Wants To Rock’ and ‘Rabbit On A Log’ b/w ‘Down At Hayden’s’ in 1953.

The group continued to release sides throughout 1954.

Beverly Thompson left that year, with the group continuing as a quartet.

Richard Berry also departed, to work with Arthur Lee Maye's group, The Crowns.

He also performed with his own group, The Dreamers.

The Flairs

the flairs in 1955: (clockwise) cornell gunter, randy jones, obie jessie, peter fox and shirley gunter

Richard’s replacement was Randy Jones.

Following numerous personell changes, by various members moving in and out of various other doo wop groups, The Flairs moved to ABC-Paramount Records, recording under that name.

After recording for ABC a short time, they switched to Modern Records, and then on to Aladdin Records.

The Flairs recorded up until 1958 for Antler Records.

That year Willie Davis and Aaron Collins joined The Flairs.

At this time, the group comprised of George Hollis, Thomas Miller, Willie Davis, and Aaron Collins.

In 1959, the group slightly changed their name to The Flares.

A couple of other personell changes left the group line -up being George Hollis, Thomas Miller, Eddie King, Robbie Robinson and Beverly Harris.

This version of the Flares recorded for the Felsted Records imprint.

The Flares

the flares in 1960: (clockwise) robbie robinson, thomas miller, george hollis, beverly harris and eddie king

In 1960, they, briefly, recorded under the name of Bennie Bunn and The Cadets for Sherwood Records.

George Hollis left the group and was replaced by Randy Jones.

Patience Valentine joined the group, and this version recorded for Jan-Lar Records imprint.

Flares 45Flares 45

footstompin' parts 1 & 2 (1961)

The ‘revolving door’ personnel changes continued, and by 1961, they finally released their best known hit ‘Foot Stompin' Part 1’.


The single reached number 20 on the R&B charts and number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

That year they recorded under the name The Peppers for the Ensign Records imprint.

They recorded as the Flares for Press Records.


encore of foot stompin' hits - 1961 / foot stompin' - 2002

Throughout 1964, the group performed as both groups before disbanding that year.

Richard Berry was the writer of the song 'Louie, Louie'.

Aaron Collins (who wrote 'Foot Stompin') passed away in March 1997.

His sisters were Betty and Rose Collins, who recorded as The Teen Queens.

Cornell Gunter went on to become part of the group the Coasters.

The Flares

Real Player

The Flairs singles

1951 - Cloudy and raining / So worried (Hollywood-185)

1952 - I had a love / Tell me you're gone (Hollywood-396)

1953 - I had a love / She wants to rock (Flair-1012)

1954 - You should care for me / Tell me you love me (Flair-1019)

1954 - Getting high / Love me girl (Flair-1028)

1954 - Baby wants / You were untrue (Flair-1041)

1954 - This is the night for love / Let's make with some love (Flair-1044)

1955 - Hold me, thrill me, chill me / I'll never let you go (Flair-1056)

1955 - My darling, my sweet / She loves to dance (Flair-1067)

1963 - Tell me you're mine (CROWN CLP-5356)

1963 - (Why Do) I Love You (CROWN CLP-5356)

1963 - I Want You To Be Mine (CROWN CLP-5356)

The Flares singles

1957 - I'd Climb The Hills And Mountains / Swing Pretty Mama (Antler 4005)

1960 - Loving you / Hot cha-cha brown (Fested-8604)

1960 - Jump and bump / What do you want if you (Fested-8607)

1961 - Foot stompin' part 1 / Foot stompin' part 2 (Fested-8624)

1962 - Rock'n'roll heaven Pt.1 / Rock'n'roll heaven Pt.2 (Press-2800)

1962 - Doing the Hully Gully / Truck and trailer (Press-2802)

1962 - Make it be me / Mad house (Press-2803)

1963 - Do it with me / Yon he go (Press-2807)

1963 - Shimmy and Stomp / Hand clapping (Press-2808)

1963 - Do it if you wanna / The Monkey walk (Press-2810)

1964 - I didn't lose a doggone thing / Write a song about me (Press-2814)


Encore Of Footstompin' Hits (Press Records 1961)

Footstompin (Ace Records 2002)

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