1961 Rochell and the Candles – Once Upon A Time

1961 Rochell and the Candles – Once Upon A Time 

Many groups are started by young musicians who grow up in the same area and start playing together in a band.

Others are more like Rochell and the Candles, a group formed in 1958 in Los Angeles. The members included a singer from Texas who had been in a Gospel group with Lou Rawls, two singers from Louisiana who never met until they moved to LA, and one a singer who -did- grow up in LA.

After singing in clubs for a spell, the group began recording their own songs. Bass player Ted Brinson had played on sessions for the Specialty label, and the band recorded four tracks in his studio.

The standout seemed to be Once Upon A Time, a song written by two of the members. An acetate copy was hand-delivered to KGFJ and disc jockey Hunter Hancock played the song on his show. The reaction by listeners was sufficient to get the group a recording contract for the song. The lead vocals on that song were by Johnny Wyatt rather than Rochell.

The single on Swingin’ Records reached #26 on the Hot 100 in late 1960 and #20 on the R&B chart.

A few more singles followed, with the group now billed as Rochell and the Candles featuring Johnny Wyatt.

After they failed to produce any hits, the group moved to Champion Records in 1962. Two more years without a hit followed, and the group disbanded.


I have collected older articles about Lost or Forgotten Oldies in my books.

Please visit my author page on Amazon where I sell my paperbacks, eBooks, and audiobooks.

You can even read the books for free if you have Kindle Unlimited!

One thought on “1961 Rochell and the Candles – Once Upon A Time”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: