Thursday, May 21, 2009

Darryl Vincent and the Flares

Click on for a larger picture

The following information was generously provided me by the ageless George Cummings. Still rocking after all these years.

Darryl Vincent (1942 - 1975)

The original band on the early records were Darryl, Jimmy Pasquale, Denny Powers and Zack Martin. J Pasquale had to go to camp and I was hired to take his place in '58. After he returned, we went and got a job in Gulf Shores at the Canal Lounge, 5 nites a week. Zack couldn't leave Meridian, so we got Austin Phillips to drum. We got another gig in Mobile at the big Melody Club next to Brookley Field Air force base.The Club seated hundreds of people and we packed it out. Hired 2 black guys to play with us, Eddie Connors on vocals who had a regional hit at the time with" World of Make Believe", great record, I wish I had a copy of it today. Prince Connelly played great blues guitar and sang. We were probably the first integrated band in the South in '58.

Austin had to go back to high school so we got Knobby Walsh to replace him on drums. We loaded up Darryl's Volkswagen bus and drove to Chicago, our first big trip to a large city. We got an audition at Chess Records and they liked us and we cut two songs with Etta James, Larry Williams and Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows (Etta's husband at the time) singing background vocals.(see below) One song was "Shed No Tears". I can't remember the other one. Because Darryl was already signed to Sandy Records in Mobile caused us some complications and our Chess record was not released.

Remember these? Click on to listen.

Etta James
Larry Williams
Harvey and the Moonglows

Want a tale from the road? I'm sure George, Jimmy and Denny have many, many stories. Maybe a couple could even be told to a mixed audience.

While in Chicago doing the Chess thing we rented a big room with 5 beds across the street from the record company. We were resting one day when the old black maid came in to clean, she told us this room we were staying in was Al Capone's main hotel suite. The next day we went to record and left our bus outside the door of the studio in broad daylight. After hours of recording we came back elated and excited only to find someone had broken into the bus and stolen everything we had brought to Chicago clothes, shoes, luggage, etc. and Jimmy's shotgun he had brought along. Totally wiped us out. Lucky we had left on our instruments and amps inside and they survived. We went and told Leonard Chess ( the owner of the record company) and he wrote us a check for $150. Found out later that they busted a ring of Chicago policemen for breaking into cars.

Darryl used his grandmother's old pistol to close out his gig in '75 at 33 years old.

1 comment:

Kirk Messer said...

I knew Darryl in those days, I was a young Meridian,Ms. Police Officer in 1973 and was the one that found Darryl in the basement of his grandmothers house next to Rush Hospital. I often talk to old friends and new about knowing Darryl.What a lost for such a up and coming star in those days. RIP Darryl. Kirk Messer (AKA) Billy ROCK Q-101/MISS 101