Jacks / Cadets / Flares - 3 of a Mind ©JCMarion1999


The Cadets/Jacks were Aaron Collins (the brother of Betty and Rosie Collins who recorded as The Teen Queens), Willie Davis, Austin "Ted" Taylor, baritone Lloyd McGraw and bass singer Will "Dub" Jones. Ted Taylor, who left the group in early 1956 for a solo career, was replaced first by Prentice Moreland (who attended only one session and delivered the line "Great googa-mooga, let me outtahere," on "Stranded in the Jungle") and then by Pete Fox from The Flairs. Joe Bihari the boss man of the Modern Records empire in Los Angeles came up with the idea of having one group with a split personality, envisioning The Jacks as a ballad harmony group utilizing the writing talents of Aaron Collins, and The Cadets as an uptempo and novelty song quintet. As a rule, Dub Jones or Aaron Collins sang lead on the Cadets recordings, while tenor Willie Davis fronted the Jacks. Ted Taylor was also featured on three early songs. The band on most of the group's sessions was lead by tenor saxophonist Maxwell Davis. The Jacks/Cadets also backed up other artists, notably Young Jessie on "Mary Lou" and Richard Berry on "Jelly Roll" and "God Gave Me You."

The Jacks first side was a cover of a tune by The Feathers called "Why Don't You Write Me". It proved to be a national hit record and introduced the sound of the group to a wide audience. The flip side, Charlie Calhoun's "Smack Dab In The Middle" was recorded as by The Cadets originally in keeping with the 'two groups in one' philosophy. When the ballad side began to break big in the pop field, a second pressing was hastily issued with a ballad now on the flip side - "My Darling". Two sides with the group backing up singer Donna Hightower were failures, as was their next single, but surprisingly the bouncy "How Soon" got some airplay and sales and the next ballad release "Why Did I Fall In Love" did well across the country but was not nearly as successful as the first recording by the group. By this time Bihari and Modern had given up on the Jacks part of the equation, and from that point on the group was exclusively known as The Cadets.

The quintet's identity as The Cadets started as the musical cover group for the Modern label. Their first outing was a version of Nappy Brown's "Don't Be Angry", and the second release was a cover of The Marigolds "Rolling Stone". Then followed backup for Young Jesse and Dolly Cooper, an late blooming "Annie" song ("Annie Met Henry") and a double cover of Elvis ("Heartbreak Hotel") and The Willows ("Church Bells May Ring"). The next release was also a cover, but this time things were different. The cover of The Jayhawks "Stranded In The Jungle" took off like a rocket and went to the top of the R & B charts and also scored big on the pop charts. The Cadets never again achieved this measure of success issuing a string of covers such as Peppermint Harris "I Got Loaded" and "I'll Be Spinning" originally by Johnnie & Joe. By the turn of the new decade the Cadets had been ready to call it a career, but a new lineup of two members of the Cadets and two members of the Flairs became a new vocal group called The Flares (note the different spelling).

The Flares were Aaron Collins, Willie Davis, Thomas Miller, and George Hollis and they signed to record for the Felsted label, a New York based label headed by Walt McGuire. "Loving You" and "Jump And Bump" were the first two releases and they went nowhere. The third recording was a charm - "Foot Stomping (parts one and two)" on Felsted #8624. This was a typical early sixties dance record with an energetic sound and it was a great seller getting into the top twenty pop records of the country. They followed it up with another two part record called "Rock And Roll Heaven" on a new label named Press, but that record failed to chart as did all subsequent releases by the group. There were six more recordings by The Flares on Press and none of them went anywhere. It was 1964 and the English Invasion was on and the end of the road for The Jacks / Cadets / Flares was at hand. So ended the story of the group that had a multi faceted appeal and saw some limited success during their years as a recording unit. They were certainly unique during their time as representatives of the music of America.

Prentice Moreland, Aaron Collins, Ted Taylor and Lloyd McGraw are deceased. Willie Davis is considering a new version of The Jacks / Cadets possibly including Pete Fox. Dub Jones still lives in Los Angeles but, at last report, was not interested in returning to the stage.

Singles by The Jacks

RPM - 428 Why Don't You Write Me/Smack Dab In The Middle 1955

RPM - 428 Why Don't You Write Me/My Darling 1955 (second pressing)1955

RPM - 432 Love Me Again / Doggone It 1955 (Donna Hightower)

RPM - 433 I'm Confessin'/Since My Baby's Been Gone 1955

RPM - 439 Bob - O - Link / Since You 1955 (Donna Hightower)

RPM - 444 This Empty Heart/My Clumsy Heart 1955

RPM - 454 How Soon/So Wrong 1956

RPM - 458 Why Did I Fall In Love/Sugar Baby 1956

RPM - 467 Dream A Little Longer/Let's Make Up 1957

RPM 472 - I Confess / Blau Wile Devest Fontane 1957(Paul Anka)

Kent - 344 Why Don't You Write Me?/This Empty Heart 1960

Modern - 1019 Pretty Evey/Rum Jamaica Rum 1957 (as by Aaron Collins & The Jacks)

Singles by The Cadets

Modern 956 - Don't Be Angry/I Cry 1955

Modern 960 - Rollin' Stone/Fine Lookin' Baby 1955

Modern 963 - I Cry/Fine Lookin' Baby 1955

Modern 965 - Ay La Ba / My Man (Dolly Cooper)1955

Modern 969 - Annie Met Henry/So Will I 1955

Modern 971 - Do You Wanna Rock?/If It Is Wrong 1955

Modern 985 - Heartbreak Hotel/Church Bells May Ring 1956

Modern 994 - Stranded In The Jungle/I Want You 1956

Modern - 1000 - I Got Loaded/Dancin' Dan 1956

Modern - 1006 - I'll Be Spinning/Fools Rush In 1956

Modern - 1012 - Love Bandit/Heaven Help Me 1957

Modern - 1017 - You Belong To Me/Wiggie Waggie Woo 1957

Modern - 1024 - Hands Across The Table/Love Can Do Most Anything 1957(as by Dub Jones & The Cadets)

Modern - 1026 - Ring Chimes/Baby Ya Know 1957

Sherwood 211 - I'm Looking For A Job/You Must Be An Angel 1960

Jan-Lar 102 - Car Crash/Don't 1960

Firefly 328 - Car Crash/Don't 1960

Albums by The Jacks and Cadets

Modern 1215 : Rock and Rollin' With the Cadets 1957

RPM 3006 ;Jumpin' With the Jacks 1957

Crown CLP :5015 Rockin' N Rollin' (reissue of 1215) 1957

5021 : Jumpin With the Jacks (reissue of 3006) 1957

CST-370 : The Cadets (also numbered 5370) 1963

United US-7799 : The Cadets: Rock N Roll Hits of the 50s 1960s

Crown CST-372 : The Jacks 1963

CST-5372 : The Jacks (reissue)

Relic 5023 : The Jacks Greatest Hits 1980

Relic 5025 : The Cadets Greatest Hits 1980

Ace CH 196 : The Cadets Meet The Jacks 1987

Ace CHD 540 : The Cadets Meet The Jacks (CD) 1994

Ace CHD 556 : The Jacks Meet The Cadets (CD) 1995

Flares Discography (featuring Aaron Collins and Willie Davis)

Singles by The Flares

Felsted 8604 - Loving You / Hotcha Cha-Cha Brown 1960

Felsted 8607 - Jump and Bump/What Do You Want If You Don't Want Love 1960

Felsted 8624 - Foot Stompin' (Part 1 & 2) 1961

Press 2800 - Rock and Roll Heaven Part 1 & 2 1962

Press 2802 - Doing the Hully Gully/Truck and Trailer 1962

Press 2803 - Mad House/Make It Be Me 1962

Press 2807 - Do It With Me/Yon He Go 1962

Press 2808 - Hand Clappin'/Shimmy and Stomp 1963

Press 2810 - Do It If You Wanna/The Monkey Walk 1963

Press 2814 - I Didn't Lose a Doggone Thing/Write a Song About Me 1964 (as by Cookie Jackson & The Flares)

Album by The Flares

Press 83001 Encore of Foot Stompin' Hits 1961

parts of the discography were supplied by the Doo Wop Society of Southern California web site

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