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Biography

Doo wop quintet the Beavers formed in New York City in early 1949. According to an article on Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks website (http://home.att.net/~marvy42/index.html), the lineup was assembled by voice coach Joe Thomas and comprised lead tenor Freddy Hamilton, tenor Dick Palmer, lead baritone John Wilson, bass Raymond Johnson and pianist/arranger Howard Biggs, who previously served in the same capacity with early R&B hitmakers the Ravens. In late June, the Beavers cut their first session for RCA. At least two songs were recorded, but nothing ever saw official release. As the summer drew to a close, the group backed Herb Lance on his rendition of "That Lucky Old Sun", issued on the Sittin' In With label. The single reached the number six spot on the national R&B charts but the label credits made no mention of the Beavers's contribution. Thomas then helped the group land a deal with Decca's Coral subsidiary, also penning their debut single "If You See Tears in My Eyes" – issued in late 1949. The record went nowhere, but Decca nevertheless brought the Beavers back into the studio to handle vocal duties on Lionel Hampton's rendition of Ed Ames' "Rag Mop," a Top Five R&B hit in early 1950. Coral issued their second and final official single "I'd Rather Be Wrong Than Blue" in March, although that summer they assumed vocal chores on "Dreamin' Is My Business," credited to pianist Roy Ross. The group dissolved by year's end, with Johnson and Palmer joining the Blenders. The former also issued a pair of solo singles ("Calypso Blues" on Aladdin and "I'll Never Let You Go" on Mercury) before signing on with the Ink Spots.

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