The Larks. Biography
The Larks were an American singing group that was active in the early 1950s. They were not to be confused with the Larks (formerly The Meadowlarks) of Los Angeles, nor the Philadelphia-based ensemble The Four Larks. The group consisted of Lashaye singing and Mark playing guitar and singing backup vocals in this combo. They’ve been playing together for well over a decade and have performed at innumerable venues, parties, and weddings across Australia. Mark is a Secondary Music Teacher, and Lashaye studied music at Newcastle Conservatorium. They have the capacity to attract people at any event with their depth of experience and deep tones. ‘Unbelievable’ is one of their most well-known songs.
The Selah Jubilee Singers were created by singer Thermon Ruth in New York City in the late 1920s, and they eventually relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they had a radio show. In the 1940s, they recorded for Decca Records and other smaller labels, and their members included members of other religious singing groups in the area, such as The Southern Harmonaires. Ruth sought to persuade Eugene Mumford of one of these groups, The Four Interns, to join the Selah Jubilee Singers in 1945, but he was accused with attempted rape of a white lady, convicted, and was imprisoned. He was found not guilty of the crime and was later granted a full pardon.
The band traveled to New York to record in 1950. They recorded 17 tracks in one day for four separate labels and under four different aliases. Initially known as the Selah Jubilee Singers, they produced four gospel songs for Jubilee Records before signing with Regal Records in New Jersey as “The Jubilators.” Then they drove to Newark to record four secular blues songs for Savoy Records as “The 4 Barons,” including “Lemon Squeezer.” Finally, they drove back to Manhattan’s Apollo Records, where they recorded four more gospel recordings as The Southern Harmonaires. Bess Berman, the owner of Apollo, was aware of the deception.
The Larks were formed at this point, and their name was inspired by other “bird” bands such as The Ravens and The Orioles. Mumford sang lead vocals on “When I Leave These Prison Walls” and “My Reverie,” the latter recorded after Rowe had left the group due to being inducted into the Army. Bunn’s first chart breakthrough came in 1951, when his blues “Eyesight to the Blind,” with Bunn on lead vocals and guitar, reached # 5 on the R&B charts. Another R&B top ten success, “Little Side Car,” a reworking of Smokey Hogg’s “Too Many Drivers,” followed. The Larks were at their peak during this time, appearing on the Perry Como and Arthur Godfrey television shows, touring with Percy Mayfield, and recording with Mahalia Jackson.
Bunn left for a solo career in early 1952, initially recording blues for Apollo with Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and then signing with Bobby Robinson’s Red Robin label in 1953. Barnes departed The Larks in early 1952 to work as a session guitarist for R&B, jazz, and rock ‘n’ roll. Soon after, McNeil left to join The Dominoes as a replacement for Bill Brown. The Larks as a band virtually ceased to exist after Thermon Ruth returned to North Carolina.
Gene Mumford joined the Golden Gate Quartet, a gospel group, but in 1953 he opted to go back to secular music. He enlisted Orville Brooks and Glenn Burgess of the quartet, as well as singers David “Boots” Bowers and Isaiah Bing of the King Odom Four, to form the new edition of The Larks. Bess Berman, the group’s manager at Apollo, wanted them to grow into a popular pop music act rather than an R&B act, and they recorded a series of singles in that manner. They were included in the film Rhythm & Blues Revue. However, they were unable to achieve commercial success, and the second Larks split in 1955.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Was The Biggest Hit Of The Larks?
Their most popular songs include “Do You Believe in Magic,” “I Saw Her Again,” and “California Girls.
When Was The Jerk By The Larks Released?
The Jerk by The Larks was released in 1966. It is a classic soul song that has been covered by many artists.
Who Were The Larks Lead Singers?
The Larks were a doo-wop group from the early 1950s. Their lead singers were Johnnie Reed and Ovie Alston. They are best known for their hit song “The Great Pretender.