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The Legendary Escorts

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The Escorts have one distinction (which some consider somewhat dubious), of all the sweet and satin-voiced groups to grace the R&B charts in the early to mid 1970’s, to being the one and only group to have started their recording career behind bars! Any discussion of the seven-man group has inevitably focused on that fact, but beyond the circumstances of their recording situation, The Escorts actually merit considerable acclaim and praise. The Escorts, aided by renowned Producer George Kerr, made some fine music, from covers of tunes popularized primarily by The Miracles such as “Ooh Baby Baby”, “We’ve Come Too Far To End It Now” and “I Can’t Stand To See You Cry” (the latter two post-Smokey charted singles), to such original songs such as “All We Need Is Another Chance” and “Disrespect Can Wreck”. In a rare 1974 interview for Britain’s “Blues & Soul” Magazine after a weeklong stint at the famed Apollo Theater in New York, original group member Reggie Haynes recalled, “It started when I was transferred to Rahway Prison in New Jersey. While all the other guys were playing basketball or baseball, a group of us use to get together and sing all the time”. The change in The Escorts’ fortunes began two years later when Producer George Kerr came to the prison. Kerr had been invited to check out an annual Inmates Variety show in the facility by singer Linda Jones, whose brother was also incarcerated at the time.

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