Hello, Earl Lewis and The Channels are undoubtably one of the best examples of classic doo-wop that’s sung to perfection. They never charted a hit record on the national charts but their music is known by their legions of fans world-wide. It started back in 1956. The group performed at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Their first record “THE CLOSER YOU ARE” created a series of hits that made them one of the most outstanding vocal groups to come out of the 1950’s. Other hits followed, “THAT’S MY DESIRE”- 1957–“MY LOVE FOR YOU WILL NEVER DIE”-1959–“BYE, BYE , BABY”-1959, just to name a few.
With Earl Lewis’ fabulous falsetto lead voice, he lead the way for a brilliant new sound, for the male lead. The Channels great versions of the doo-wop classic, “GLORIA” and “SHOUT” are staples at every show. Lets not forget about their dance steps and the excitement they bring to every show.
Earl Lewis and The Channels are known as “New York’s Finest” a title that is not handed out lightly, considering all of the great vocal groups to come from New York City. Their hits on Whirling Disc Records, “The Closer You Are”, “The Gleam In You Eyes”, “I Really Love You”, “My Lovin’ Baby” between 1956 and 1957 were the foundation for the long and very successful career that has followed. The group has also recorded for Gone Records, Fury Records, Fire Records and Port Records. In 1971 Earl started his own label, Channel Records and began recording new songs and old favorites. He recorded 6 singles and an album between 1971-1974. In 1987 Earl Lewis and The Channel III, recorded a contemporary version of “The Closer You Are” for Soul Jam Records.
The Channels formed in 1955 with members, Larry Hampden, Billy Morris, Edward Doulphin, in 1956 Earl Lewis and Clifton Wright, former members of The Lotharios were added to the group and ZOOM!!! they were on their way. Earl Lewis and The Channels were one of those groups who became so extremely popular on the East Coast in the 1950’s, without having a national record success. The group was inducted into The United Group Harmony Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Boston Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Earl Lewis is still performing today, with Channels members, Jack Brown, Salahuddin Aziz and Ron Coleman. Check out their website, EARL LEWIS AND THE CHANNELS-THE OFFICIAL SITE. They will always remain a legendary group from the “Golden Era of Rock and Roll”.
Till the next time—Joe