Voices For Lovers - The Calvanes ©2000JCMarion


In July of 1955, Dootsie Williams was sitting pretty for a guy that scuffled around the periphery of the record business for many years. His connection to Fremont High School had given him three winners with The Penguins ("Earth Angel" and "Love Will Make Your Mind Go Wild"), The Medallions ("The Letter"), and Don Julian & The Meadowlarks ("Heaven And Paradise"). He returned to the friendly confines of Fremont High and through the word of the area teenagers found a new vocal group that called themselves The Calvanes. That August Dootone Records held their second annual Los Angeles Teenage Party and there the Calvanes were introduced. The members of this new group were lead singer Herman Pruitt, tenors Lorenzo Adams and Joe Hampton, baritone Stewart Crank, and bass singer Jack Harris. Soon after Dootone #371 was released by the group - "Crazy Over You" and "Don't Take Your Love From Me". The 'A' side "Crazy"does well especially in the Southern California area. Because of successes with vocal group EPs, Dootone releases one by The Calvanes, EP #205 entitled "Voices For Lovers".

In February of 1956 the second Dootone release by The Calvanes is issued on #380. The songs are "One More Kiss" and "Florabelle". This side seems to disappear almost without a trace and Dootone drops the group from its roster. The Calvanes go on to record two further sides for the small independent label Deck Records in 1958 without much success. The songs are "Dreamworld" and "Five, Seven, Or Nine" on #579, and "My Love Song" and "Horror Pictures"on #580. This was the apparent end of the short history of The Calvanes. Lorenzo Adams joined a group called the Hitmakers who had a record for Original Sound in 1958 ( label # 1) with "Chapel Of Love" and "Cool School". "I Can't Take It Anymore" and "Too Cool" was recorded by the group for AngleTone (#1104) the next year, but it is not known if Adams was part of the group at that time. The remaining members of the Calvanes reportedly became The Nuggets who recorded two sides for the RCA Victor label in 1961 - "Before We Say Goodnight" / "Angel On The Dance Floor" on #7930, and "Just A Friend" and "Cat Napper" on #8031.

The Calvanes are therefore another of the many vocal groups passing through the time frame of the nineteen fifties, and seem to remain only as an after thought in the minds of most peoplewho lived in that wonderful era. But that brief shining moment in our memories is what makes these sounds so special. The one enduring memory of this West Coast group is the wonderful tune "Crazy Over You" which seemed to symbolize the sound of Southern California during the fall of 1955, a decade before the time of the surf sounds and the car songs. The Calvanes were part of the real West Coast sound.

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