Samstag, 6. August 2016

The Essex aka Anita Humes & The Essex



The Essex
aka
Anita Humes & The Essex
(Camp LeJeune, North Carolina)


Personnel:

Anita Humes (lead)
Billy Hill (vocals)
Walter Vickers (vocals and guitar)
Rudolph Johnson (vocals)*
Rodney Taylor (vocals and drum)
*left the group in 1963 after the recording of “Easier Said Than Done”

Discography:

The Essex

Singles:

1963 - Easier Said Than Done / Are You Going My Way (Roulette 4494)
1963 - A Walkin' Miracle / What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me (Roulette 4515)
1963 - She's Got Everything / Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind (Roulette 4530)
1964 - What Did I Do / Curfew Lover (Roulette 4542)
1966 - The Eagle / Moonlight, Music And You (Bang 537)
1967 - Are You Going My Way / Everybody's Got You (For Their Own)* (Roulette 4750)**
*second pressing label says Everybody's Got You (For Your Own)
**credited to Anita Humes & The Essex

Albums:

1963 - {Easier Said Than Done}
Easier Said Than Done / Whenever I Need My Baby / Where Is He / All In My Mind / Every Night / I Love Her / Are You Going My Way / Been So Long / Come On To My Party / I Have To Cry / Conga La Ya / We Belong Together (Roulette R 25234 / SR 25234)

1963- {A Walkin' Miracle}
A Walkin' Miracle / What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me / She's Got Everything / Curfew Lover / Why Do Fools Fall In Love / Dance Without Music / Crawl Before You Walk / Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind / More Than It Would Help / I Want The Real True Thing / I'd Do Anything / Quit While You're Ahead (Roulette R 25235 / SR 25235)

1964 - {Young & Lively - Featuring Anita Humes with The Essex}
Marriage License / Young Wings Can Fly / Actions Speak Louder Than Words / In My Dreams / You Talk To Much / Gee Whiz / There's No Fool Like A Young Fool / Where There's A Will (There's A Way) / Bring It To Me / You Can't Please All Of Your Lovers / Creation Of Love / Make Him Feel Like A Man (Roulette R 25246 / SR 25246)

Unreleased:
 
1964 - Be My Baby
1967 - Everybody's Got You (For Their Own) (alt. longer vers.)

Anita Humes

Singles:

1964 - Don't Fight It Baby / When Somethin's Hard To Get (Roulette 4564)
1964 - I'm Making It Over / Just For The Boy (Roulette 4575)

Unreleased:

1964 - Be Sure
1965 - Real True Lover
1965 - When The Music Stops 

Biography:

The Essex were an R&B vocal group formed in 1962 by members of the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Members included, Anita Humes, Walter Vickers, Rodney Taylor, Billy Hill and Rudolph Johnson. Sandwiched between doo-wop’s fading popularity and the British invasion of the airwaves, the band’s clean-cut sound was perfect for the time. The Essex put out hopeful and buoyant music, a reflection of attitudes in postwar America and on the heels of the Cuban missile crisis. Their music was the kind listeners would sing to themselves as they walked down the street.

 
Gary, Indiana's Rodney Taylor and New Brunswick, New Jersey's Walter Vickers had joined vocal forces in Okinawa before being shipped back stateside. They teamed with Billie Hill from Princeton, N.J. and New Yorker Rudolph Johnson, but it took 22-year-old lead Anita Humes, born in 1940 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to make the group special. She'd enlisted in the Marines in October of 1960 and was singing at Camp Lejeune's NCO club when they met.


A demo was sent to Roulette Records, where it was heard by industry vets George Goldner and Henry Glover. The group snared furloughs so they could audition in person in March of 1963. Within 24 hours, The Essex (named after Essex, County, N.J.) were in the studio. Goldner and Glover didn't realize that “Easier Said Than Done,” the work of fellow Marines William Linton and Larry Huff, was a hit with its 'tick-a-tick' rhythm (Linton transposed the tempo he heard as a teletype operator) and Anita's clear-as-a-bell lead. It was designated the flip side to Johnson's “Are You Going My Way” when Roulette pressed The Essex's debut platter that May. Reaction from the public decreed a happier fate for “Easier Said Than Done.” On June 8, 1963 The Essex first hit record made its Billboard Hot 100 debut. The record went right to the top of the charts, becoming the #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B chart. The recording sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”.

 
Decked out in their snappy Marine uniforms, The Essex looked like no other act on the 1963 scene. Military duties limited their concert appearances; Johnson was shipped out not long thereafter. The Essex followed-up their hit with another Top 20 hit record.  On August 24, 1963 the group charted “A Walkin’ Miracle”. The single charted at #12 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart. In November of 1963 the group charted their third single record of the year.  On November 16, 1963, “She’s Got Everyting” charted on the Hot 100.  The single was a modest hit, charting at #56 and failed to chart on the Billboard R&B chart.  On November 30, 1963 the flip side of the record charted on the R&B chart. “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” charted at #42, but did not chart on the Hot 100.

 
Anita left the Marines in October 1963 and went on an eight-month, 36-city Dick Clark Caravan of Stars tour with Bobby Vee, The Ronettes, Little Eva, Jimmy Clanton and The Dovells. The Essex were in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was shot.  That show was canceled. Perhaps their most telling engagement was their appearance at New York City’s legendary Apollo Theatre: The Essex’ chart run was over, and after a handful of little-noticed records like "Curfew Lover," The Essex broke up in early 1964. Anita enlisted in the Army the following June. She was assigned to Fort Gordon's communications school, where she met Gene Chappelle. They were married Oct. 3, 1964, in the post chapel. Anita Humes released two solo singles on the Roulette label, but had no chart success.
 
Anita Humes Chapelle

Rodney Taylor was killed in a New York City robbery in 1966, the same year the reformed Essex, now Humes and two gents, cut a Bang single. A last 45 back on Roulette the next year and they were done. Anita Humes Chappelle was divorced and living in Harrisburg when she died May 30, 2010 at age 69.

Sources:


Photo gallery:

Anita Humes



Anita Humes French EP cover

Anita Humes Chapelle

Video:

To Tell The Truth episode of November 9, 1964 featuring Anita Humes lead singer of The Essex

Songs:

The Essex / Anita Humes & The Essex

Easier Said Than Done

Are You Going My Way

A Walkin' Miracle

What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me

She's Got Everything

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

What Did I Do

Curfew Lover

The Eagle / Moonlight, Music And You

Everybody's Got You (For Their Own)

Whenever I Need My Baby

Where Is He

All In My Mind

Every Night

I Love Her

Been So Long

Come On To My Party

I Have To Cry

Conga La Ya

We Belong Together

Why Do Fools Fall In Love

Dance Without Music

Crawl Before You Walk

More Than It Would Help

I Want The Real True Thing


I'd Do Anything

Quit While You're Ahead

Marriage License

Young Wings Can Fly

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

In My Dreams

You Talk To Much

Gee Whiz

There's No Fool Like A Young Fool

Where There's A Will (There's A Way)

Bring It To Me

You Can't Please All Of Your Lovers

Creation Of Love

Make Him Feel Like A Man

Be My Baby

Everybody's Got You (For Their Own) (alt. longer vers.)
 
Anita Humes

Don't Fight It Baby

When Somethin's Hard To Get

I'm Making It Over

Just For The Boy

Be Sure

Real True Lover

When The Music Stops


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