1962 Corsairs – Smoky Places
The Gleems consisted of three brothers from La Grange, North Carolina, and their cousin: Moses, Jay, and James Uzzell and George Wooten. The group began singing in local clubs and then toured along the East Coast of the US, heading slowly Northeast.
Zelma Sanders became one of the earliest female owners of a record label when she founded J&S Records in 1956. The label licensed of their releases to Chess Records for national distribution. In the early sixties, Chess created Tuff Records as a subsidiary of J&S Records. Abner Spector, a composer, songwriter, and producer since 1951, was an A&R specialist for Chess and became the head of Tuff Records.
Abner heard the Gleems singing in a club in Newark, New Jersey, and began working with the group. They changed their name to The Corsairs and released their first single in 1961. Abner wrote the group’s first single, It Won’t Be A Sin, but the record failed to click on Smash Records.
The group moved to Abner’s Tuff Record label for their second single. Abner also wrote and produced Smoky Places. The single reached #12 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the R&B chart in early 1962.
The group only reached #62 on the Hot 100 with their next single, and recorded five more singles that didn’t even reach the Hot 100. They stopped recording after 1964.
Abner’s most successful recording came about when he wrote and produced Sally Go Round The Roses for the Jaynetts. That single reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1963.
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