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 DooWopDJ's 
R&B and DooWop CD Reviews

 
THE CROWS and The WRENS

Strictly For The Birds

The Rama & Gee Recordings 1953-1956

Westside WWSD#604
Barcode: 6 14475 03604 6

Review first published: 01.01.1999


Two of New York City’s finest Vocal Groups, The Crows and The Wrens for the first time, all their George Goldner label recordings on one CD.

Thirty-five (35) tracks including five never before available alternate takes from 1953 through 1956.

The Crows formed in Harlem, NYC in 1951 as the Four Notes. 1952 saw their first recording effort on Jubilee Records backing Frank "Fat Man’ Humphries. Later in ’52 they backed Viola Watkins as the unnamed group on her ’52 Jubilee release "Paint A Sky For Me"

However, it was the years 1953 and 1954, now as the Crows, is when they made their mark on the Vocal Group Scene. Daniel "Sonny" Norton - lead, Harold Major - Tenor, Mark Johnson - Tenor, William "Bill" Davis - Baritone & Gerald Hamilton - Bass make up the Crows.

The Wrens, from the Bronx, NYC, formed in 1954. Auditioning for Rama Records successfully in ’54 started the group on a ten song run with the label into 1956. Bobby Mansfield - Lead, George Magnezid - Tenor, Francis "Frenchie" Concepcion - Tenor & James "Archie" Archer - bass are the Wrens. Today 1999, finds Bobby Mansfield singing with the Morrisania Revue (aka The Voices Of DooWop). This group is an ALL-STAR line-up. Featuring along with Bobby are Lillian Leach (Mellows), Arthur Crier (Mellows/Halos) Eugene Tompkins (Limelighters), Waldo Champen (Cadillacs & others), Bill Lindsay (Crickets/Montereys).

Here now are the recordings of the Crows & The Wrens.


1. Gee - Crows ’53 Rama (Classic Uptempo! Their Biggest Hit) 

2. I Love You So - flipside (Super Ballad) 

3. No Help Wanted - Crows ’53 Rama $800 (Rocker!) 

4. Seven Loney Days - flipside w/Viola Watkins (Bluesy Uptempo) 

5. Perfidia - Lorraine Ellis & Group (Crows) ’54 Gee $500 (Good Uptempo) Alt take 

6. Call A Doctor - Crows ’53 Rama $200 (Rocker) 

7. Heartbreaker - flipside (Crows version of the ’51 release by the Heartbreakers) 

8. Untrue - Crows ’54 Rama $125 (Ballad) Alt take 

9. Baby - flipside (Movin’ here! Uptempo) Alt take 

10. Miss You - Crows ’54 Rama $200 (Nice, nice ballad) 

11. I Really, Really Love You - flipside (Jumpin’ & Bumpin’) 

12. Baby Doll - Crows ’54 Rama $200 (Still Groovin’) 

13. Sweet Sue, Just You - flipside (And still!) 

14. Mambo Shevitz - Crows ’54 Tico (Mambo! Naturally) 

15. Baby - Repeat. Now either 9 or 15 is the alt take. 

Those were the Crows 

These are the Wrens 

16. Love’s Something That’s Made For Two (Version 1) - Wrens ’54 Rama $500 (Uptempo) 

17. Beggin’ For Love - flipside (Killer Ballad!) 

18. Come Back My Love - Wrens ’54 Rama $250 (Biggest Hit, a ROCKER!) 

19. Eleven Roses - flipside (Another Great Uptempo) 

20. Love’s Something That’s Made For Two - Wrens ’55 Rama $150 (Quicker this time) 

21. Serenade Of The Bells - Wrens ’55 Rama $400 (Ballad) 

22. Betty Jean - Wrens (CD says Crows) ’55 Rama unreleased (Rocker) 

23. (She’s My) Everything - unrel flipside (Pretty Ballad) 

24. What Makes You Do The Things You Do - Wrens ’55 Rama $400 (Good Uptempo) 

25. I Won’t Come To Your Wedding - flipside (Mid Tempo) 

26. C’est La Vie - Wrens ’56 Rama $200 (Great Ballad) Note: Valentines backed Bobby on this one. 

27. Reckless - Bobby Mansfield & Group (Supremes) ’56 Rama unrel (Great Ballad) 

28. House Of Cards - flipside w/Supremes (Another Great Ballad) 

29. Hey Girl - Wrens alt version of ’55 Rama (Uptempo) 

30. Eleven Roses - Alt version here


There are the thirty (30) tracks from the Crows & the Wrens. Great mix of Rockers & Belly Rubbers. Gotta like dese BOIDS!! New release from Westside available everywhere!!

In Harmony:

Bruce (DooWop DJ)

ellupo@comcast.net