The Jewels

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For other uses, see Jewels (disambiguation).

The Jewels (initially The Impalas, later The Four Jewels) were a girl group from Washington, D.C..

The group began singing as The Impalas in 1961;[1] its members had attended Roosevelt High School and sang in Trinity AME Zion Church.[2] Early on the group began performing in Bo Diddley's basement, and Diddley recorded their debut single "I Need You So Much", which was released on Checker Records. The record never caught on, and in 1962 producer Bob Lee changed the group's name to The Four Jewels. The single "Loaded with Goodies" next appeared on Start Records, a local D.C. label, followed by Chess single "That's What They Put Erasers on Pencils For". They also sang backup vocals for member Grace Ruffin's cousin, Billy Stewart. Carrie Mingo left the group around 1963 and was replaced by Martha Harvin; at this time the group became simply The Jewels. The group went on to record for Dynamite, Federal, Tec, and King over the next few years.

In 1964 the group signed to Dimension Records and released the single "Opportunity". Late in 1964 the tune peaked at #64 on the US Billboard Hot 100[3] but climbed all the way to #2 on KRLA 1110.[4] This was followed by the single "But I Do" b/w "Smokey Joe", which missed the national charts and marked the end of their association with Dimension. Beginning in 1965, the group toured across the U.S. as backing vocalists with James Brown. They intended to record at Motown Records when the tour stopped in Detroit, but the studios were closed the day they were in town.[2] Brown produced two more singles for the group, but they did not sell, and the group disbanded in 1968.

Martha Harvin changed her stage name to Martha High and went on to tour with Brown for some thirty years, in addition to releasing a solo disco album in 1979.[2] The original four members reunited in 1985 and released an album of their singles re-recorded, entitled Loaded with Goodies.[1]

Members[edit]

  • Sandra Bears
  • Grace Ruffin
  • Margie Clarke
  • Carrie Mingo (1961-1963)
  • Martha Harvin (1963-1968)

Discography (singles)[edit]

No. Title Label and no. Release
1 "Loaded With Goodies" b/w "Fire"
as The Four Jewels
Start 638 1962
2 "Loaded With Goodies" b/w "Dapper Dan"
as The Four Jewels
Checker 1039 March 1963
3 "Baby It’s You" b/w "She’s Wrong For You Baby"
as The Four Jewels
Tec 3007 1964
4 "Time For Love"
b/w "That's What They Put Erasers On Pencils For"
Checker 1069 1964
5 "Opportunity" b/w "Gotta Find A Way" Dimension 1034 July 1964
6 "But I Do" b/w "Smokey Joe" Dimension 1048 June 1965
7 "Papa Left Mama Holding The Bag" b/w "This Is My Story" Dynamite 2000 1965 or 1966
8 "This Is My Story" b/w "My Song" Federal 12541 1966
9 "Lookie Lookie Lookie" b/w "Smokey Joe's" King 6068 1967
10 "Baby Don't You Know" b/w "Never Find A Love Like Mine"
as The Brownettes
King 6153 1968

[5][6][7][8][9][10]

References[edit]