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Best of The Jesters - Golden Classics Import

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8e9cd5a0) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fc5a540) out of 5 stars Another Often-Overlooked But Talented Doo-Wop Group 18 Mar. 2011
By George O'Leary - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Like The Paragons, who hailed from Brookly (see the excellent Collectables release covering that group as well), The Jesters were a New York Doo-Wop group that formed up in the same area, this time in Harlem, all being students at Cooper Junior High School. Consisting of co-leads Adam Jackson and Lenny McKay, tenor Jimmy Smith, Bass Noel Grant and baritone Leo Vincent, they refined their harmony by practising under the train bridges around 120th Street.

Also like The Paragons, they were signed by Paul Winley for his label established in 1956, after seeing them perform at the famed Apollo Theatre during one of their frequent amateur nights. Unlike their label partner, however, who never could produce a national hit for Winley (likely due to a lack of promotional funds) The Jesters did have two to their credit, although their first, So Strange, just barely fit the category when it finished at # 100 in the Billboard Pop Top 100 in July 1957 b/w Love No One But You on Winley 218.

After their second release was unsuccessful (I'm Falling In Love b/w Please Let Me Love You on Winley 221), they returned to the charts with the wonderful The Plea, which peaked at # 74 Top 100 in March 1958 b/w Oh Baby on Winley 225. All six sides to this point were produced by David Coret Clowney, who would gain fame of his own as Dave "Baby" Cortez. But that was all, she wrote as none of their remaining singles could get them back on the charts (Sally Green b/w The Wind on Winley 242 in 1959 - although the latter did reach # 110 on the Bubble Under charts, and That's How It Goes b/w Tutti Frutti on Winley 248 and Come Let me Show You b/w Uncle Henry's Basement on Winley 252 - both in 1961.

As I said earlier, these results had les to do with their singing ability which, like The Paragons, was as good as an Doo-Wop group around, but rather to the limited ability of Winley to get his records played by DJs in the age of Payola. Winley also released an LP entitled The Paragons Meet The Jesters in 1959 (Winley 102), and the track I Laughed in this compilation comes from that album, which was very well received commercially AND artistically.

Perhaps the strangest thing about Doo-Wop groups like these is that so very few of them ever made any dents on the R&B charts at the time.

A nice addition to your Doo-Wop collection, with excellent sound, and a perfect companion to The Paragons release.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9019360c) out of 5 stars Classic Doo Wop 22 Mar. 2008
By Scooter - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The classic New York street-corner group, with falsettos and harmonies, the Jesters recorded several classics of the doo-wop genre for in 1957 and 1958, including "So Strange" and "The Plea." All their hits are here in this CD. If you like the Doo Wop genre, you'll like this CD.
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