Baby Huey & the Babysitters

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Baby Huey & the Babysitters
Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters 1967.JPG
Background information
OriginGary, Indiana, U.S.
LabelsShann, USA
Associated actsBaby Huey, Johnny Ross, Melvyn "Deacon" Jones
Past membersBaby Huey
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 cartoon/comic book character Baby Huey). 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 and 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, 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By 1970, most of the original Babysitter members had left and had been replaced by new personnel.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. He died at the age of 73 in Hollywood, California.[11]

Johnny Ross recorded some singles,[12][13] and had his own cable television show.[14]

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.[15]

Johnny Ross died in 2006 from a heart condition related to an appendicitis attack.[16]

Past members[edit]

Original line up early-mid 1960s[edit]

  • Baby Huey aka James Ramey : lead singer
  • 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 1960s 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): Drums

Discography (partial)[edit]

  • "Just Being Careful" / "Messin' with the Kid" .... Shann 73924 (1965)
  • "Just Being Careful" / "Messin' with the Kid" ....USA 801 (1965)
  • "Monkey Man" / Messin' with the Kid" .... St. Lawrence 1002 (1965, white label only)
  • "Monkey Man" / "Beg Me" ....St. Lawrence 1002 (1965, issued on both blue and white label)[2]
  • "Monkey Man" / "Messin' with the Kid" .... Satellite 2013 (1967)
  • "Mighty Mighty Children Pt I" / "Mighty Mighty Children Pt II" .... Curtom CR 1939 (1971)


  1. ^ Dean Milano (2009). The Chicago Music Scene: 1960s and 1970s. p. 47. ISBN 9780738577296. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  2. ^ a b Chris Bishop (2005-06-02). "Baby Huey and the Baby Sitters". Garage Hangover. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  3. ^ Jon Pareles (2001-11-20). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll. ISBN 9780671434571. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1966-11-26). Billboard. p. 50. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  5. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (1969-05-17). Billboard. p. 25. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  6. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1971-10-07). Jet. p. 52. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  7. ^ The Baby Huey Story; Sequel Records; CD NEECD 405; liner notes; by Peter Burns; Jan 1999
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2011-01-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-01-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Melvyn "Deacon" Jones" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  11. ^ Mike Emery (8 July 2017). "Blues legend from Richmond dies in California". Retrieved 8 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Electric City (3) Featuring Johnny Ross (2) - Gemini / We're Gonna Make It (Vinyl)". Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  13. ^ "Various - The Northern Soul Story 4 (Vinyl, LP)". Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  14. ^ "Johnny Ross, Jr. was a musician and mentor to fledgling artists | Obituaries". 2006-02-14. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  15. ^ Siciliano, Stephen (2007-10-11). "highwayscribery: Book Report: "40 Years With The Blues Legends" By Deacon Jones". Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  16. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2006 January To June". Retrieved 2017-07-09.