The Innocents (US band)
The members of the group grew up in the same neighborhood, attended the same schools. They shared a love for harmony and music in general. They were discovered and signed to a contract with Andex Records by Herb Alpert where they recorded under the name the Echoes.
After leaving Andex Records they changed their name and signed with Indigo Records as The Innocents. The trio were all members of a car club named The Innocents, hence the name of the group. Their first hit single, "Honest I Do" was released in 1960 on Indigo label. "Honest I Do", which hit #28 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, was produced by Gary Paxton of Skip and Flip and Hollywood Argyles fame & Kim Fowley who was later associated with and produced "The Runaways," and other groups. "Honest I Do", was followed with a second solo single, "Gee Whiz", it also made the Cashbox and Billboard charts topping out in the ‘teens. The 1961 album release Innocently Yours, featured the trio staring out through prison bars. This cover is featured in the book, 1000 Album Covers. (Taschen) At this time a new, young, female singer named Kathy Young was signed to Indigo label and the Innocents were asked to provide the background vocals for these recordings. An agreement was reached with Indigo Records to use The Innocents photo’s and name to gain publicity and thereby air play for the recordings made with Kathy Young. They are listed on "A Thousand Stars", as well as all other music, as Kathy Young with The Innocents. "A Thousand Stars" became a hit, reached #3 in the Hot 100.
In June 1961, the British music magazine, NME, reported that the Innocents were part of Alan Freed's road show, that also included Brenda Lee, The Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Etta James, Gene McDaniels, The Ventures, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, The Fleetwoods, Kathy Young and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Innocents released seven singles after "Gee Whiz" on Trans World Records, Reprise, Decca, and Warner, but none of them charted, though they continued to score hits backing up Kathy Young.
The group disbanded in 1964. James West went on as a solo artist; Al Candelaria became a session musician. The group reunited in the 1990s for reunion shows.
- James West First Tenor, Lead Vocals
- Darron Stankey Second tenor
- Al Candelaria Baritone
- Billboard Singles, Allmusic.com
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 95. CN 5585.