The Magnificents

An intriguing '50s R&B/doo wop group, the Magnificents patterned itself after the softer, more stylized singing of such groups as the Hi-Lo's and Four Lads. They began as the Tams, but were changed to the Magnificents by Chicago disc jockey "The Magnificent" Montague. Johnny Keyes, Thurman "Ray" Ramsey, Fred Rakestraw, and Willie Myles were the original lineup. Barbara Arrington later came aboard, and L.C. Cooke, brother of Sam Cooke, replaced Ramsey. This was the lineup that made their one great record, "Up on the Mountain," in 1956 for Vee-Jay. They had other nice singles, but none enjoyed similar impact. ~ Ron Wynn

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