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Episode #719 – The Hollywood Flames

Air Week: February 12-18, 2024

The Hollywood Flames

The Hollywood Flames recorded for nearly 20 different record labels and had numerous personnel changes over their 18 year history, but they always remained popular in their native Southern California. Formed in 1949 at a local talent show, David Ford was the only member of the group to remain for its entire existence. Bobby Byrd, who was there from the beginning, remained until he began to have solo hits as Bobby Day. Other notable R&B names, Curtis Williams, Earl Nelson and Gaynel Hodge, passed through the Hollywood Flames revolving door of vocalists and helped round out their sound. The name of the group changed almost as many times as the record labels and personnel, but there was a constant quality to the records they made. Though they only touched the national chart in a big way with “Buzz-Buzz-Buzz” in 1957 for Ebb records, the Hollywood Flames cut some fantastic sides for Specialty (as the Four Flames), 7-11 (as the Jets), Money (as The Turks) and Class (as Bob & Earl and Bobby Day & The Satellites). This week, Matt The Cat tries to make sense of this group’s very confusing and convoluted history and along the way, discovers some of the best West Coast R&B Vocal Group records every made.

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