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Page last modified on July 06, 2016, at 12:19 PM EST

(redirected from H.HartfordMelodyBoys)


Group Members

Tenor
Clyde Garner (1940-1941)
Vernon Bright (1941-1942; 1944-1945)
Delmon Knight (1945-1946, 1947)(also sang lead)
Jack Bailey (1947)(also played fiddle)

Lead
Buell Bone (1940-1941)
Odis L Echols (1941-1942?)
Delmon Knight (1944-1945)(also sang tenor)
Jimmy Jones (1945-1947)(also sang bass)(also played guitar and stand-up bass)
Jack Ford (1947)(also played guitar)

Baritone
Odis L Echols (1940-1941; 1944-1952)(also served as manager)
Victor Bright (1941-1942?)

Bass
Doug Jones (1940-1942?)
Jimmy Jones (1944-1945; 1947-1948)(also sang lead)(also played guitar and standup bass)
Fred Bennett(1945-1947)
Johnny Jones (19??-195?)

Piano
Doy Ott (1940-1941; 1946)
Lawrence Ivey (1941-1942?)
Everett Butrum (1944)
Bill Reynolds (1947)
Cecil Pollock (1950

Accordion
Hassell Kimbrough (1945?)
Doy Ott (1946)
(1947)




Odis Echols And His Melody Boys, Stamps-Baxter Faultless Melody Boys, Odis Echols And His Hartford Melody Boys and Melody Ranch Boys With Pop Echols (1940-1952)

History

Odis Echols was a long-time Stamps-Baxter Music Company employee who played a prominent role in the development and operation of the Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys (AKA Stamps Melody Boys) which had existed since the early 1930s. After Echols left that group, he started, disbanded and reorganized several singing groups. The changes in name, location, and musical emphasis varied according to product sponsorship, music company affiliation and the entertainment trends of the day. There were several starts and stops. The common thread was the use of Echols' name paired with the phrase "Melody Boys." Echols considered them all as one group.

In 1940 after leaving the Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys in Arkansas, Echols started a quartet that was sometimes called the "Stamps-Baxter Faultless Melody Boys" or "Odis Echols and his Melody Boys" in Louisville, Kentucky. They appeared on WHAS radio and were sponsored by the Faultless Starch Company. Members included Echols, Clyde Garner, Buell Bone, Doug Jones, and Doy Ott. Vernon Bright, Victor Bright, and Lawrence Ivey became members of this group later. Both Bright brothers and Ott had been members of the Stamps-Baxter Melody Boys previously.

Echols left Stamps-Baxter and became part owner and president of the Hartford Music Company in 1943. By early 1944, he had moved from Louisville and organized the Hartford Melody Boys in Hot Springs, Arkansas where they performed on KTHS radio. In their advertisements they were referred to as "Odis Echols and his Hartford Melody Boys." Members included Vernon Bright (tenor), Delmon Knight (lead), Odis Echols (manager, director and baritone), Jimmy Jones (bass) and Everett Butrum (pianist and comedian).

In 1945 the group relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana where they appeared on KWKH radio. When Vernon Bright left in mid-1945 for the U.S. Army, Delmon Knight switched over to tenor, Jimmy Jones switched to lead, and Fred Bennett joined the group to sing bass.

By the fall of 1945, as Echols was beginning to sever his relationship with the Hartford Music Company, he disbanded the Hartford Melody Boys and almost immediately organized another quartet called "Odis Echols and his Melody Boys." The group included the former members of the Hartford group. They continued to operate from KWKH in Shreveport.

In early 1946 Doy Ott came back to play piano and accordion. The quartet was affiliated with the Stamps-Baxter Music Company by this point. This group sang a mix of gospel and western music, and they were heard over the Mutual Radio Network. Their performances usually included "A Redheaded Toby." This was a freckle-faced country bumpkin character that had been used in traveling shows for many years. This incarnation of the group was billed as the "Melody Ranch Boys with Pop Echols" at times to take advantage of the rising popularity of country and western music.

Around 1947, Echols disbanded the gospel quartet, and the Melody Ranch Boys sang mostly western music. Their instruments were fiddle, guitar, accordion and stand-up bass. Echols later re-established "Odis Echols and his Melody Boys" with its mix of gospel and western music plus comedy. Starting in late 1949, the group performed at KSEL radio in Lubbock, Texas until they disbanded in 1952.

Other Melody Boys Groups
There were several musical groups of various genres that used the Melody Boys name prior to 1932 when the Stamps-Baxter Music Company began using the name. See Stamps Melody Boys for more information on the first Stamps-Baxter group.

Frank Stamps, who split from Stamps-Baxter in 1945 and formed his own Stamps Quartet Music Company had several quartets on his roster, one of which was called the Stamps Melody Boys. They operated for a while on KLRA radio in Little Rock. Members in 1949 included Jack Pittman, Richard Smith, Clarence Heidelberg, Doug Jones, and Reece Crockett.

After the death of Herschel Foshee in 1949, the members of Hershel Foshee & His Stamps-Baxter Quartet were re-branded Joe Roper & The Melody Boys Quartet. Gerald Williams was hired at the age of 16 to replace Foshee and later managed the group into the 21st century. See Melody Boys Quartet for more information.

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Page last modified on July 06, 2016, at 12:19 PM EST