V.S.O.P. #116 THE TURKS: THE "KEENS RECORDS" SESSIONS.
Featuring Gaynel Hodge, Jesse Belvin, Alex Hodge and Tommy “Buster” Williams .
The Turks were a vocal group formed by Gaynel Hodge with Jesse Belvin, Alex Hodge and Tommy “Buster”Williams. The Hodge brothers had been with The Platters on Federal and Gaynel had also been with The Hollywood Flames. The Turks first recorded for John Dolphin’s Money label and then went on to record for George Motola for a release on the Bally label. Bumps Blackwell, the great A& R man for Specialty and Keen Records recorded the vocal group next in late 1957 and again in February, 1958. Only one single was released by Keen Records in 1958, containing “Okay” backed by “Father Time”. However, four different songs were actually recorded during two separate sessions. All of the material that was recorded in the second session and both the released and unreleased master recordings from the first session are included here.Gaynel Hodge, the leader of The Turks was mentored by Jesse Belvin, who sings both bass and falsetto lead throughout these recordings. Gaynel composed all of the songs recorded on both sessions. The first session yielded “Okay” and the first version of the unreleased “It’s You”. Only mastered versions survive. The second session from February, 1958 included another recording of “It’s You”, an unreleased song called “My Baby”, and “Father Time”. All of the second session is included on this CD. Johnny “Guitar” Watson, who also recorded at the studio on the same day, backed by the Turks, was present and may have provided vocal backup and performed on some of the Turks’ recordings. This CD, in addition to augmenting the available material recorded by the Turks, provides a fascinating insight into the process of recording a fine vocal group. Everything is included here. All of the session material was recorded by Don Thompson at Radio Recorders. This CD should be of great interest to all collectors and fans of doo-wop and vocal group recordings.
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City Hall Records