The Raelettes

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Ray Charles & The Raelettes
Origin United States
Genres R&B, pop, soul
Occupation(s) Girl group
Years active 1950s–2000s
Labels Tangerine/ABC-Paramount
Associated acts Ray Charles
Past members

Shalaine Adams
Mabel Armed
Fritz Basket
Dorothy Berry (Durr)
Gwendolyn Berry
Tangy Biggers
Anita Brooks
Alexandra Brown
Helen Bryant
Dottie Clark
Merry Clayton
Chrylynn Cobb
Trudy Cohran
Kathy Collier
Sharon Creighton
Pamela Diggs - King
Berlando Drake
Karen Evans
Verlyn Flenaugh
Lillian Fort
Valerie Geason
Renee Georges
Deborah Gleese
Rita Graham
Susaye Greene
Katrina Harper - Cooke
Avis Harrell
Margaret Hendricks
Peggy Hutcherson
Denise Jackson
Doretta James
Mable John
Ann Johnson
Ledoria Johnson
Cydie King
Beverly Ann Lesure
Pat Lion
Priscilla Lyles
Kathy Mackey
Tammy McCann
Marilyn McCoo
Gladezz McCoy
Darlene McCrea
Tonette McKinney
Paula Michelle
Janice Mitchell
Mae Mosely-Lyles
Vernita Moss
Paula Moye
Kay Nickerson
Pat Peterson
Bobbie Pierce
Madelyn Quebec
Patricia Richards
Minnie Riperton
Ruby Rae Roberson
Vermetea Royster
Mae Saunders
Cynthia Scott
Linda Sims
Bettye Smith
Gwendolyn Smith
Joy Styles
Barbara Nell Terrault
Brianna Perry-Tucker
Andromeda Turre
Lalomie Washburn
Tracey Whitney
Elaine Woodard
Angela Workman
Edna Wright

Estella Yarbrough

The Raelettes (or occasionally The Raelets or The Raeletts) were an American girl group from the 1950s to the 1990s, formed, as the name suggests, to provide backing vocals for Ray Charles. Separate from Charles, the Raelettes had a number of pop and R&B hits, although they never gained fame for their singles. Several members later went on to solo careers.

History[edit]

Before becoming the Raelettes, the group was known as the Cookies. Its membership originally consisted of Darlene McCrea, Margie Hendrix (also known as Margie Hendricks), Patricia Lyles, and Gwendolyn Berry. Of Hendricks, Ray Charles said, "Aretha, Gladys, Etta James—these gals are all bad, but on any given night, Margie will scare you to death."

Later members included Mable John, Merry Clayton, Clydie King, Minnie Riperton, Susaye Greene, Dorothy Berry, Beverly LeSure and Rita Graham. Graham recorded the album Rita Graham Vibrations, produced by Ray Charles for his Tangerine label, the only major recording production Charles produced for a single female artist on that label. The 1970s Raelettes included Cynthia Scott.

The 1980s Raelettes included Avis Harrell, Madelyn Quebec, Estella Yarbrough, Trudy Cohran, Janice Mitchell, Pat Peterson and Alexandra "Alex" Brown, who had a minor hit with the single "(Come On,) Shout", which was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

The 1990s Raelettes included Paula Moye, Angela Workman, Tangy Biggers, Pamela Diggs - King, Karen Evans, Rene Georges, Katrina Harper - Cooke, Kathy Mackey, Tonnette McKinney, Lalomie Washburn, and Tracey Whitney.

The longest spanning career as a Raelette was had by Madelyn Quebec totaling 14 years (1973-1987), however, the longest uninterrupted career was accomplished by Angela Workman, touring for over 11 years continuously (1987 - 1999).[1] The shortest career as a Raelette was had by Tracey Whitney (1991).

Members and Chronology[2][edit]

Adams, Shalaine - Raelette (2005 - )
Armed, Mabel - Raelette (1969 )
Basket, Fritz - Raelette (1964, 1965 )
Berry (Durr), Dorothy - Raelette (1971 - 1980)
Berry, Gwen(dolyn) ("Squatty Roo") - Raelette (1960 - 1968)
Biggers, Tangy - Raelette (1999)
Brooks, Anita (Nika) - Raelette (1989 )
Brown, Alex(andra) - Raelette (1966 - 1968)
Bryant, Helen - Raelette (1964 )
Clark, Dottie - Raelette (c 1964?)
Clayton, Merry - Raelette (1966 - 1968)
Cobb, Chrylynn - Raelette (1978 )
Cohran(-Hunter), Trudy - Raelette (1977 - 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991)
Collier, Kathy (Kathryn) - Raelette (c1973, ?1989?)
Creighton, Sharon - Raelette (1986 - 1987)
Diggs - King, Pamela - Raelette (1992 )
Drake, Berlando - Raelette ( - )
Evans, Karen - Raelette (1996 - 1999)
Flenaugh, Verlyn - Raelette (1968)
Fort, Lillie (Lillian) - Raelette (July 1964 - 1965)
Geason, Valerie - Raelette (?)
Georges, Renee - Raelette (1994 - 1996, 2000 - 2003)
Gleese, Deborah - Raelette (1977)
Graham, Rita - Raelette (1968 - 1969 )
Greene, Susaye - Raelette (1968 - 1975)
Harper - Cooke, Katrina - Raelette (1997)
Harrell, Avis - Raelette (1979 - 1982 or 1983)
Hendricks (Hendrix), Margie (Marjorie, Margaret) - Cookie & Raelette (1955 - July 1964)
Hutcherson, Peggy - Raelette (c 1966)
Jackson, Denise - Raelette (1973)
James, Doretta - Raelette (1957)
John, Mable - Raelette (1966 - 1978, 1998)
Johnson, Ann [= Ledoria?] - Raelette (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
Johnson, Ledoria [=Ann?] - Raelette (c 1981)
King, Clydie - Raelette (1966 - 1968)
Lesure, Beverly Ann - Raelette (1968)
Lion, Pat - Raelette (1957)
Lyles, Pat (Priscilla) - Cookie & Raelette (1954 - 1965)
Mackey, Kathy - Raelette (1997)
McCann, Tammy - Raelette (2001)
McCoo, Marilyn - Raelette (1965)
McCoy, Gladezz - Raelette ( - )
McCrea, Darlene (Ethel) - Raelette (1956 - 1958, 1963, 1964)
McKinney, Tonette - Raelette (1994 - 2003)
Michelle, Paula - Raelette (1991)
Mitchell (Trees), Janice (Afreeka) - Raelette (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
Mosely-Lyles, Mae - Raelette (1959, 1960)
Moss, Vernita - Raelette (1969 - 1975)
Moye, Paula - Raelette (1991, 1992)
Nickerson, Kay - Raelette (1st soprano) (1990)
Peterson, Pat - Raelette (1980 - 1989)
Pierce, Bobbie - Raelette (1964 )
Quebec, Madelyn - Raelette (1973, 1975, 1979 - 1987)
Richards, Patricia - Raelette (1963)
Riperton, Minnie - Raelette (1967 - )
Roberson, Ruby Rae - Raelette (1959 - 1960)
Royster, Vermetea - Raelette (1965 - 1966)
Saunders, Mae - Raelette (1960 - 1961)
Scott, Cynthia - Raelette (1972 - 1974)
Sims, Linda - Raelette (1975, 1977, 1978 )
Smith, Bettye - Raelette (1960 - )
Smith, Gwen(dolyn) (Wendy) - Raelette (1988, 1991)
Styles, Joy - Raelette (2005)
Terrault, Barbara Nell - Raelette (1968 - )
Tucker, Brianna - Raelette (2001 - 2002 )
Turre, Andromeda - Raelette (2003 - 2005)
Washburn, Lalomie (Lomie) - Raelette (1990)
Whitney, Tracey - Raelette (1991)
Woodard (Ross), Elaine - Raelette (1983 - 1987)
Workman, Angela (Angie) - Raelette (1987 - 1999)
Wright, Edna (a.k.a. Sandy Wynns) - Raelette (1966)
Yarbrough, Estella - Raelette (1969 - 1999)

Singles[edit]

  • "One Hurt Deserves Another / One Room Paradise" (#76 Pop / #24 R&B))
  • "I Want To (Do Everything for You)" (#96 Pop / #39 R&B)
  • "Bad Water" (#58 Pop / #40 R&B)
  • "I've Been Gett'n Long Alright" (#23 R&B)
  • "I Want to Thank You" (#47 R&B)
  • "Leave My Man Alone"

References[edit]

External links[edit]