Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Phoenix Singers

Artist: The Phoenix Singers
LP: The Phoenix Singers
Song: "Lovely Choucoune" 
[ listen ]

I found this 1962 self-titled folk LP by The Phoenix Singers at Used Kids Records in Columbus, Ohio back in the summer of 2011. It's the group's only album, aside from a recording of them playing live at The Shadows (later called The Cellar Door) in Washington, DC. The Phoenix Singers (did they ever actually sing in Phoenix?) were musical guests for Johnny Carson's first gig hosting "The Tonight Show." Originally members of The Belafonte Singers, Ned Wright, Arthur Williams and Roy Thompson are hard to track down once they got out of Phoenix. According to an obituary in the Toledo Blade, Ned Wright, a native of Rossford, Ohio, died at age 55 on September 29, 1981. (Go here to listen to Ned's jazzy version of "Route 66," performed in Russia in 1955.) This recent Facebook post at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston indicates Arthur Williams is alive and in need of support. I can't find any post-Phoenix info about Roy Thompson. You can read more about The Phoenix Singers here; a photo of the trio and Johnny Carson's liner notes from the back of the LP are included below.

[ The Phoenix Singers on "The Tonight Show w/ Johnny Carson" — October 1, 1962 ]
[ L-R: Ned Wright — Roy Thompson — Arthur Williams ]

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