the velours in 1957 - l to r rear: charles moffitt, john pearson, donald haywoode, jerome ramos. front: calvin mcclean, john cheatdom
The Velours hailed from from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York.
The Velours members line up featured (at various times):
Jerome ‘Speedo’ Ramos (tenor) (b. Jerome W. Romeo Ramos, 15th May 1937, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. d. 21st October 2012, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.)
John Cheatdom (first tenor)
Donald Haywoode (second tenor) (b. 1936, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A. d. 9th August 2015, Hammersmith Hospital, London, England)
Kenneth Walker (baritone)
Marvin Holland (bass)
Charles Moffitt (6th September 1929, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A. d. December 1986, U.S.A.)
Troy Keyes (13th March 1940, Pantego, North Carolina, U.S.A.)
John Pearson (18th June 1925, U.S.A.)
The Velours came to fruition during the mid-'50s, at the height of the Doo-Wop era.
Jerome Ramos and John Cheatdom, both previously sang in a group called the Melody Men.
The duo teamed up with Marvin Holland and Sammy Gardner to form another group called the Troubadours.
The Troubadours then became the Velours.
After being discovered at an Apollo Theatre amateur night, in 1956, they signed to the Onyx label imprint.
my love come back b/w honey drop - 1956 / can i come over tonight? b/w where there's a will - 1957
Their first single, ‘My Love Come Back’ b/w ‘Honey Drop’ was released that year, but failed to chart.
In 1957, they released the ballad ‘Can I Come Over Tonight’ b/w ‘Where There's A Will (There's A Way)’, which was much more successful.
The Velours released further singles in that decade, including ‘Blue Velvet’ b/w ‘Tired Of Your Rock & Rolling’, ‘This Could Be the Night’ b/w ‘Hands Across The Table’, ‘Romeo’, ‘Remember’ b/w ‘Can I Walk You Home’, and ‘Crazy Love’ b/w ‘I'll Never Smile Again’.
In 1957, Marvin Holland and Kenneth Walker left the group.
They were replaced by Charles Moffitt and John Pearson (a baritone).
Between 1958 on to 1961, the group switched labels to the Cub imprint.
They brought in Troy Keyes and Keith Williams (as a tenor), transforming the group into a sextet.
remember with the velours - 1958
The Velours released one album entitled ‘Remember With the Velours’.
The group continued to record material up until 1961, after which the group went their separate ways.
the velours in 1965: jerome ramos, richard pitts, john cheatdom and donald haywoode
The Velours became the Fantastics, later in 1968, who continued to record and perform into the next decade.
the fantastics - 1971
l to r: richard pitts, john cheatdom, jerome ramos and donald haywoode
Jerome Ramos died of throat cancer on the 21st of October 2012 at the age of 75.
John Cheatdom went on to become part of a European version of The Platters.
Charles Moffitt sang at UGHA at times until he was murdered after returning home from a UGHA performance in 1986. His killer was never caught.
Richard Pitts is currently a music teacher at Huddersfield University in England.
Donald Haywoode passed away in August 2015.
Remember With The Velours (Onyx Records 1958)