Baby Huey & the Babysitters

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Baby Huey & the Babysitters
Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters 1967.JPG
Background information
Origin Gary, Indiana, U.S.
Genres R&B
Soul music
Labels Shann, USA
Associated acts Baby Huey, Johnny Ross, Melvyn "Deacon" Jones
Past members James Ramey
Johnny Ross
Melvyn "Deacon" Jones
Dennis Moore
Larry Sales

Baby Huey & the Babysitters was a soul band hailing from Gary, Indiana. The band, founded in 1963, was the idea of organist / trumpeter Melvyn Jones and guitarist Johnny Ross. James Ramey was their front man, and he adopted the stage name of "Baby Huey" (after the Baby Huey duck character). They were well known on the club scene in Chicago.[1]

Background and formation[edit]

The group came into being as a result of Johnny Ross; Melvyn Jones (later to be known as Melvyn "Deacon" Jones); and James Ramey getting together. In the beginning they would practice in the sound-proof room at the home of Melvyn Jones. The room was built for Melvyn and his drummer brother, Harold Jones, to practice in.

Early recording career (1960s)[edit]

During their early career they recorded four songs released on singles between 1964 to 1966: "Monkey Man," "Messin' with the Kid," "Just Being Careful," and "Beg Me."[2] They went to Paris, France to play at the coming out party for the daughter of the Baron de Rothschild.[3] In 1966 they were added to the client roster of Capitol Booking.[4]

Billboard Magazine, in its May 17, 1969 issue, reported that the band was due to appear on the Merv Griffin Show (May 21).[5]

The 1970s[edit]

By 1970, most of the original Babysitter members had left and had been replaced by new personnel. Melvyn Jones was one of the last original founding members to leave.

Ramey died on October 28, 1970.[6] He was in the midst of recording the band's debut album for the Curtom label. The album that was released posthumously only featured some songs by the Babysitters. The rest were with Curtom session musicians.

The Babysitters re-formed, briefly, to play at Ramey's funeral. Manager Marv Stuart would later take some former members, including Dave Cook, to form Goliath with Chaka Khan.[7]

Post Baby Huey & The Babysitters[edit]

Melvyn Jones joined The Impressions touring band, and became A&R man for Curtom Records.[8] He also worked with Freddie King[9] and John Lee Hooker.[10] He later came to be known as Melvyn "Deacon" Jones.

Johnny Ross recorded some singles [11][12] and had his own cable television show.[13]

Dennis Moore, the original drummer, killed himself after coming back from Vietnam, having lost his ability to play drums. Because he had dropped out of school to go to Paris with the band, he had lost his draft exempt status, and had been drafted [14]

Johnny Ross died in 2006 from a heart condition related to an appendicitis attack.[15]

Past members[edit]

Original line up early - mid 60s[edit]

  • James Ramey: lead vocals
  • Johnny Ross: lead guitar
  • Melvyn Jones: trumpet and organ
  • Larry Sales: bass guitar
  • Dennis Moore: drums

Added later

  • Byron Watkins: saxophone
  • Charles Clark: saxophone

Late 60s members[edit]

  • James Ramey (Baby Huey): lead vocals
  • Melvyn Jones: keyboards
  • Othello Anderson: flute
  • Rene Smith: percussion
  • Byron Watkins: tenor saxophone
  • Rick Marcotte: trumpet
  • Alton Littles: trumpet
  • Danny O'Neil: guitar
  • Dave Cook: organ
  • Dan Alfano: bass guitar
  • Plato Jones: bongos

Additional personnel

  • Jack Renee: unknown instrument
  • Philip Henry: unknown instrument
  • Moose (nickname): unknown instrument

Releases[edit]

  • Just Being Careful / Messin' With the Kid .... Shann 73924
  • Just Being Careful / Messin' With the Kid ....USA 801
  • Monkey Man / Messin' With the Kid .... Satellite 2013
  • Monkey Man / Messin' With the Kid .... St. Lawrence 1002
  • Monkey Man / Beg Me ....St. Lawrence 1002 (blue label) [2]
  • Mighty Mighty Children Pt I / Mighty Mighty Children Pt II .... Curtom CR 1939

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Chicago Music Scene: 1960s and 1970s By Dean Milano Page 47
  2. ^ a b Garage Hangover Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters
  3. ^ "The encyclopedia of rock & roll"; Page 23; Rolling Stone publishers.
  4. ^ Billboard 26 Nov 1966 Page 50 International News Reports, New York
  5. ^ Billboard 17 May 1969 Baby Huey and the Babysitters; Page 25; Talent Section; Billboard Magazine; New York; May 17, 1969.
  6. ^ Jet - 7 Oct 1971 - Page 52
  7. ^ The Baby Huey Story; Sequel Records; CD NEECD 405; liner notes; by Peter Burns; Jan 1999
  8. ^ Headfeathers MUSIC IN THE COURTYARD AT HEADFEATHERS - SUMMER 2009 - DEACON JONES
  9. ^ Blue List LA Deacon Jones - Bluesman and Author to speak in LA !
  10. ^ Melvyn “Deacon” Jones; at larkspurblues.com
  11. ^ Discogs Electric City (3) Featuring Johnny Ross - Gemini / We're Gonna Make
  12. ^ Discogs Various - Northern Soul Story 4
  13. ^ nwi.com "Johnny Ross, Jr. was a musician and mentor to fledgling artists"; obituary article' NWI Times; retrieved ?
  14. ^ "40 Years With The Blues Legends"; by Deacon Jones;
  15. ^ 2006 January to June; Dead Rock Stars Club.