l to r: mickey francis, eddie edgehill, ronnie bright, raymond 'pops' briggs and richard barrett
The Valentines were a highly respected Doo Wop group, initially formed in 1952, in Harlem.
The group comprised of:
Raymond 'Pop' Briggs (first tenor)
Carl Hogan (second tenor) (b. 1938, U.S.A. d. 23rd December 1997, U.S.A.)
Mickey Francis (baritone)
Ronnie Bright (bass) (b. Ronald David Bright, 18th October 1938, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.)
Richard Barrett (b. 14th July 1933, Phildelphia, U.S.A. d. 3rd August 2006, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.)
The group, originally went under the names of The Mistletoes, and later, The Dreamers.
During a performance at a party in 1954, the group met a singer songwriter called Richard Barrett.
Richard hailed from Philadelphia, and was once a singer with a group called The Angels.
The Valentines invited him to join their group, who were impressed by his vocals and wanted to sing his own song ‘Summer Love’.
Richard Barrett, subsequently, was recruited to the ranks of the Dreamers forming a quintet.
The Dreamers changed their name to The Valentines on Richard’s arrival.
The group signed to Bruce Records and recorded the first version of ‘Summer Love’.
summer love b/w tonight kathleen - 1955
The song wasn’t released and the group relocated to the Old Town Records imprint.
Donald Razor (from The Velvets) then replaced Carl Hogan, and in 1954, the group released ‘Tonight Kathleen’ b/w ‘Summer Love’.
the woo woo train b/w why - 1956 / lily maebelle b/w falling for you - 1955
In 1955, Eddie Edgehill replaced Donald Razor and the group changed labels again, this time for the Rama imprint, releasing ‘Lily Maebelle’.
The Valentines later performed at the Apollo, Howard, and Royal Theatres.
The group released the singles ‘Love You Darling’, ‘Christmas Prayer’ and their biggest single ‘The Woo Woo Train’.
Further singles followed, including ‘Twenty Minutes (Before the Hour)’ and ‘Natures Creation’.
natures creation b/w my story of love - 1956 / don't say goodnight b/w i cried oh, oh - 1957
The Valentines personel changed again with Carl Hogan replacing Eddie Edgehill, and David Clowney replacing Raymond Briggs, after which the group released ‘Don't Say Goodnight’.
By 1958, the group had decided to disband following one final appearance at the Apollo Theater.
Richard Barrett returned to management and production activities, and became the manager of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers.
He also discovered the group The Chantels.
On the 3rd of August 2006, Richard Barrett passed away from pancreatic cancer.
Carl Hogan went on to sing with The Miracles (not the Motown group) and co-wrote several hits with Richard Barrett.
David Clowny became the singer Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez, charting with ‘Happy Organ’ in 1959.
Ronnie Bright sang with The Cadillacs and later became a studio vocalist.
summer love - itunes / the best of the valentines - 1991
Summer Love/For You (Bruce Records 1954)
Tonight Kathleen/Summer Love (Old Town Records 1954)
Lily Maebelle/Falling For You (Rama Records 1955)
I Love You Darling/Hand Me Down Love (Rama Records 1955)
Christmas Prayer/K-I-S-S Me (Rama Records 1955)
C'est La Vie/(C'est La Vie - Jimmy Wright) (Rama Records 1956)
The Woo Woo Train/Why (Rama Records 1956)
Twenty Minutes (Before The Hour)/I'll Never Let You Go (Rama Records 1956)
Nature's Creation/My Story Of Love (Rama Records 1956)
Don't Say Goodnight/I Cried Oh, Oh (Rama Records 1957)
The Best Of The Valentines (Collectables Records 1991)