The Fabulous Flamingos


If there’s a vocal group that bridges the doo-wop era of the 1950s with the soul of Motown and the early 1960s, it would be the Flamingos. The group formed in Chicago in 1952 and based their ballad sound on the Ink Spots. They recorded for Chance, Parrot and Checker before being featured in Alan Freed’s movie Rock, Rock, Rock in 1956. Then the group recorded for Decca (1957) and moved to New York to record for George Goldner’s End Records (1958-’59), where they released I Only Have Eyes for You, their biggest hit in 1959. They went on to record for Roulette in the early 1960s. Here are my favorite Flamingos singles:

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Here
are the Flamingos on American Bandstand singing I Only Have Eyes for You in July 1959. While many people thought the lead singer was a woman, it was Nate Nelson…

Here’s Would I Be Crying from Alan Freed’s movie Rock, Rock, Rock in 1956…

Here’s Mio Amore in 1959…

Here’s I’m in the Mood for Love in 1959…

Here’s That’s My Desire in 1953…

Here’s Never in This World in 1960…

Here’s Time Was in 1961…

Here’s Tenderly in 1960…

Here’s Every Time I Think of You in 1960…

Here are the Flamingos performing Jump Children in Alan Freed’s movie Go Johnny Go! in 1959…

Here’s I Was Such a Fool to Fall in Love With You in 1959…

And finally, here’s the stereo version of I Only Have Eyes for You in 1959…

For more on the Flamingos, check out Marv Goldberg’s R&B Notebook here.