above: l to r: Earl Beal, Bill Horton, Raymond Edwards and Rick Lewis
The Silhouettes were formed in 1956 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The group, at various times, consisted of:
Earl Beal (b. Earl T. Beal, 18th July 1924, Denora, (near the Monongahela
River), Pennyslvania, U.S.A., d. 22nd March 2001) baritone
Bill Horton (b. 25th December 1929. d. 23rd January 1995) lead singer
Raymond Edwards (b. 22nd September 1922, Virginia, U.S.A., d. 1997, Philadelphia, U.S.A.) bass singer
Richard 'Rick' Lewis (b. 2nd September 1933. d. 19th April 2005, Einstein Hospital, Philadelphia, U.S.A.) tenor singer
Cornelius Brown - bass.
John ('Bootsie') Wilson - lead (a.k.a. Rev. John Wilson, b. 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., d. 21st September 2009, Spartanburg, U.S.A.)
Submitted by Elaine Lewis, wife of tenor Rick Lewis (many thanks, Elaine)
The Silhouettes had a number-1 record in 1958 called 'Get A Job' which first came out on Kae Williams' Junior label in December 1957.
The record caught on so fast that the pressing plant ran out red paper and had to start pressing on blue:In January of 1958, Tony Mamarella, the producer of American Bandstand, got the song leased to Ember Records, Al Silver's label in NY, which also carried the 5 Satins.
It was at this time that Bandstand started playing the record and the next day Al Silver had orders for half a million copies stuffed under his door!
'Get A Job' went on to sell over a million records.
'Get A Job' has been referred to as 'The National Anthem of Doo-Wop'!
In 1962, Bill Horton and Raymond Edwards left the group and were replaced by:
John ('Bootsie') Wilson (lead) and Cornelius Brown (bass).
This second group produced numerous, wonderful soul songs that got little attention, except for one, entitled 'Not Me Baby', which became a Northern Soul classic.
get a job - 1968 / the 1968 line-up (richard lewis - rear left / cornelius brown - rear right / earl beal - front left / john wilson - front right)
All the members have sadly passed away.
The last member to leave us was John Wilson on 21st September 2009.
People from England have told me that Wilson's 'Not Me Baby' is their favorite song ever!
The Silhouettes were managed by Kae Williams Snr., (Philadelphia DJ WDAS)
The original Silhouettes from 1987 featured Bill Horton, Rick Lewis, Earl Beal and Ray Edwards.
There is currently a new and magnificent CD out of all their songs, some of which are on no other compilation, it also includes rehearsal out-takes and other caught-on-tape moments.
This CD can be ordered by writing to GetAJob58@aol.com
Richard 'Rick' Lewis, the last surviving member of the original Silhouettes, the Philadelphia-based doo-wop group that scored a number 1 pop and R & B chart hit with 'Get A Job' in 1958, died in 2005.
The 71-year old tenor died of kidney failure at Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, 19th April, 2005.
He had been hospitalized for six weeks.
The New And Improved Silhouettes (Goodway Records 1968)
The Original And New Silhouettes -'58-'68 Get A Job (1968)