The Story and Music of The Falcons


Introduction to The Falcons

The Falcons were an R&B vocal group, famed for their single “You’re So Fine”, released on Mercury Records in 1959. They were formed in Detroit, Michigan in 1955, and originally consisted of Eddie Floyd, Bob Manardo, James Hamler, Arnett Robinson, Tom Shelter and and Willie Schofield. At that time that “You’re So Fine” became a hit, the members were now Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Sir Mack Rice and Joe Stubbs, who sang the lead of their biggest hit single. Under producer Robert West, the transition of the group’s style veered more toward gospel. They also scored another Top 10 R&B hit “I Found A Love” (sung by Pickett) which clearly manifested West’s production style. When Pickett left to strike out on his own, it signaled the separation among the band members. West replaced the Falcons with a new group the Fabulous Playboys who were less successful than their predecessors.

The Life and music of The Falcons

The Falcons were one of the rhythm and blues artists who helped define the music genre with their 1959 smash hit “You’re So Fine.” The American R&B vocal group were formed in 1955 and hailed in Detroit, Michigan, consisting of Eddie Floyd, Sir Mack Rice, Wilson Pickett, Robert Ward and Joe Stubbs (of the Detroit-based vocal group 100 Proof Aged in Soul) as the most steady lineup. The other members who had been with the group were Lance Finnie (1957-1963), Carlis (Sonny) Munro (1963-2008), Francisco (Frank) Garcia (2005-2008), Calvin “Dhaak” Stephenson (2005-2008) and Charnissa Stephenson (2006-2008).

The Falcons’ recording journey

In 1955, The Falcons were subsequently signed to Mercury Records and on the following year they had been into personnel changes and and switched to Lupine Records.  The group cut their first single for the label entitled “Just For Your Love” in 1959, which did not chart. However, their sophomore single “You’re So Fine” became a million-selling hit later that year, peaking at #17 and #2 on the pop and R&B charts respectively. The successful song was followed by two unnoticeable singles  “You’re Mine” (1959) and “The Teacher” (1960). Stubbs sang for the two singles (“Just for Your Love” and “The Teacher”) before he was replaced by Wilson Pickett in 1960.

In 1962, The Falcons once again visited the pop and R&B charts with “I Found a Love” which peaked modestly at #75 and #6. They also became a gospel group when they were handled by Robert West, owner of the Flick label. The song “You’re So Fine” was first recorded for Flick after  became a national hit on Unart label (United Artists subsidiary).

With the new formation in 1963 which consisted of Munro, James Gibson, Johnny Alvin and Alton Hallowell, they changed “The Falcons” into “The Fabulous Playboys.” They had an R&B hit in 1966 called “Standing On Guard.” In 2005, Munro regathered The Falcons with Garcia, Calvin Stephenson and Charnissa Stephenson.

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