Masqueraders, The

Also known as Masqueraders, Raders, The
Members of Masqueraders, The: Charlie Lee Moore, David Sanders, Harold Thomas, Lee W. Jones, Jr., Oberdean Deloney, Robert Wrightsil, Sammie Hutchins
This performer (group) in the Internet: http://www.soulfulkindamusic.net/masqueraders.htm

Discography of Masqueraders, The:

# Release title Total tracks Type of release is Imprint date Label
1 Everybody Wanna Live On 8 Audio 1975
2 Love Anonymous 8 Audio 1977
3 Your Sweet Love Is A Blessing / Please Don't Try 2 Audio 1975 ABC Records
4 I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else 2 Audio 1968 Bell Records
5 Love Anonymous 8 Audio 1977 ABC Records
6 (Call Me) The Travelling Man / Sweet Sweetning 2 Audio 1975
7 Love Anonymous 8 Audio 1977
8 I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else - I Got It 2 Audio 1968 Bell Records
9 I'm Just An Average Guy / I Ain't Gonna Stop 2 Audio 1968 AGP Records
10 I Don't Want Nobody To Lead Me On / Let's Face Facts 2 Audio 1967 Wand
11 Do You Love Me Baby / Lost 2 Audio Stardust Records
12 That's The Same Thing / How Big Is Big 2 Audio 2005 Grapevine 2000
13 Starry Love 2 Audio 1980 Bang Records
14 Wheels / I'm Just An Average Guy 2 Audio Good Old Gold
15 Love, Peace And Understanding / Tell Me You Love Me 2 Audio 1969 AGP Records
16 The Grass Was Green 2 Audio 1968 AGP Records
17 Love, Peace And Understanding 4 Audio 1970 Now!
18 Only Ment To Wet My Feet / I'm Just An Average Guy 2 Audio 1968 AGP Records
19 Your Sweet Love Is A Blessing 2 Audio 1975
20 I Want You Back / I'm Just An Average Guy 2 Audio 1972 Cobra (8)
21 I Want You Back / I'm Just An Average Guy 2 Audio Good Old Gold
22 Baby It's You / Listen 2 Audio 1975 ABC Records
23 I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else 2 Audio 1968-11-00 Stateside
24 How Big Is Big 2 Audio 1968 Bell Records
25 (Call Me) The Traveling Man / Sweet Sweetning 2 Audio 1975
26 One More Chance / Together That's The Only Way 2 Audio 1967 La Beat Records (2)
27 Love Anonymous 8 Audio 1977
28 Listen 2 Audio 1975 ABC Records
29 Desire 2 Audio 1980 Bang Records
30 A Family 2 Audio 1966 Tower
31 Tell Me You Love Me / Love, Peace And Understanding 2 Audio 1969 AGP Records
32 Let Me Show The World/ Masqueraders Theme 2 Audio 1971 Stairway (2)
33 Everybody Wanna Live On 8 Audio 1976
34 Desire 2 Audio 1980 Epic
35 A Family - Pt. 1 2 Audio La Beat Records (2)
36 How 2 Audio 1967 La Beat Records (2)
37 (Call Me) The Traveling Man 2 Audio 1975
38 Everybody Wanna Live On 8 Audio 1975
39 Baby It's You 2 Audio 1975 ABC Records
40 Let's Stay Together Again / I'm Just An Average Guy 2 Audio Good Old Gold
41 Love Anonymous 8 Audio 1977 ABC Records
42 The Grass Was Green 2 Audio 1968 AGP Records
43 Wake Up Fool / Now That I've Found You 2 Audio 1974 Hi Records
44 Starry Love 2 Audio 1980 Bang Records
45 Everybody Wanna Live On 8 Audio 2014 Stax


Lee Hatim, Robert Wrights II, David Sanders, Harold Thomas, Sammie Hutchins

The Masqueraders were one of the longest-lived yet little-known groups in soul music history.

According to an interview with soul collector and historian Greg Tormo, their origins date back to Dallas, Texas in 1958 -- middle-schoolers Charlie Moore (lead vocals) and Robert Tex Wrightsil (first tenor) formed the earliest incarnation of the group, then dubbed "the Stairs," with brothers Johnny and Lawrence Davis in the second and third tenor slots and "Little" Charlie Gibson singing bass.

Circa 1959, the Stairs recorded at least three singles for the local South Town label -- "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," "Caveman Love," and "Flossie Mae" -- before the Davis brothers left the group and Gibson enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Moore and Wrightsil scrambled to find replacements, with Moore eventually moving to baritone to accommodate new lead vocalist Lee Wesley Jones; tenor Harold Thomas, and bass David Sanders filled out the new lineup, which toured relentlessly throughout Texas.

They often appeared in small towns under the guise of national chart groups, easily emulating the style of any act they so chose -- as a result, they officially renamed themselves the Masqueraders, making their recorded debut under that name with 1963's "A Man's Temptation."

After cutting 1965's "Talk About a Woman" for the Houston label Soultown, the Masqueraders traveled to Detroit to audition for Motown -- informed that their style and approach were too similar to that of the Temptations, the group found themselves stuck in the Motor City with no money to return home, hatching a plan to perform at the local Twenty Grand Club to earn enough cash for return fare.

En route they stumbled on a recording studio owned by La Beat label owner Lou Beatty, who would go on to release five Masqueraders singles ("The Family," "I'm Gonna Make It," "Together That's the Only Way," "Be Happy for Me" and "I Got the Power") spread across 1966 and 1967.

None of their La Beat singles made a commercial impact, however, and the Masqueraders next traveled to Memphis to audition for producer Chips Moman.

The group would proceed to record a total of eight singles at Moman's American Studios beginning with 1967's "I Don't Want Nobody to Lead Me On" -- licensed to the New York label Wand, the song was a minor regional hit, and was later recorded by both former NFL star Rosey Grier and the Gentlemen Four.

To avoid contractual snafus, Moman credited the Masqueraders as Lee Jones & the Sounds of Soul for the 1968 follow-up "This Heart Is Haunted," which he licensed to the Amy label.

After "Do You Love Me Baby" failed to generate much interest, Wand dropped the Masqueraders, and Moman negotiated a new deal with Amy's parent label, Bell -- the three singles that resulted (the minor hit "I Ain't Got Nobody Else," "How Big Is Big," and "Steamroller") represent the creative zenith of the group's career, boasting a gospel-influenced deep soul sound gilded by American Studios' crack session crew.

During this time, the Masqueraders also contributed backing vocals to sessions by blue-eyed soul combo the Box Tops.

Their next single as headliners, 1968's "I'm Just an Average Guy," was their first true national hit -- released via Moman's AGP label, the record reached the number 24 spot on the national R&B charts. "The Grass Is Green" closed out the year, and in 1969 the Masqueraders swelled to a six-piece with the addition of vocalist Sammie Hutchins; when Lee Evans failed to show up for performances, Hutchins assumed his lead vocal spot, a position he assumed full-time when Evans ultimately left the group altogether.

After one final AGP single, "Love, Peace and Understanding," the Masqueraders finally left Memphis and returned home to Dallas, establishing their own Stairway label to release 1971's "Let Me Show the World I Love You"; with little promotion and no national distribution deals to speak of, neither the single nor its 1972 follow-up "The Truth Is Free" attracted any notice outside of Texas, and in 1973 the group returned to Memphis, this time landing with Willie Mitchell's famed Hi label.

After two Darryl Carter-produced singles -- "Let the Love Bells Ring" and "Wake Up, Fool" -- Hi terminated the Masqueraders contract; after a quarter century with the group, he co-founded, Charlie Moore decided he'd had enough and resigned in 1974, paving the way for Lee Evans to return.

In 1975 they signed with Isaac Hayes' HBS label, soon releasing their first-ever full-length album, Everybody Wanna Live On.

Love Anonymous appeared later that same year, but HBS then declared bankruptcy and the Masqueraders spent the remainder of the decade without a recording contract, although they cut a series of still-unreleased demo sessions in addition to maintaining a relentless touring schedule.

After signing with the Atlanta-based Bang label, in 1980 the Masqueraders released a self-titled LP that remains their final recorded work to date; Moore eventually returned to the lineup, however, and as of this writing, the group remains a going concern some four decades beyond its inception.


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