, (PressExposure) July 11, 2008 -- Grant Williams CEO of Memory Lane Concert Cruises today announced. The prestigious Shirley Gunter will be among the twelve groups appearing on the legendary West Coast Doo Wop Cruise. âShirley Gunter was one of the first women in rock & roll and the inspiration for other women to lead their own groups. Like Wanda Jackson, Etta James, LaVerne Baker, Esther Phillips, and Brenda Lee. Shirley was a real pioneer in the music industry.â said Williams
Shirley Gunter born in Coffeyville, Kansas, and migrated to Los Angeles with her family in early 1942. She began her singing career as a solo artist in 1953 when her older brother, Cornelius Gunter a member of a local vocal group called The Flairs. Took Shirley to his label Flair Records a subsidiary of Modern Records. After her first two singles, in the spring of 1954 Shirley put together her own group named the Queens. Shirleyâs vocal group was a bit different because all the members were female. Consisting of Lula Kenney, Lula Mae Suggs Blondeness Taylor, Shirley's best friend at Polytechnic High School. From all creatable reports The Queens were the first all-girl doo-wop group. Etta James has always referred to them as "the first female group where all the girls could sing."
One day the four girls were fooling around on the piano in Shirley's living room. They came up with "Sh-Boom" like ditty song with nonsense lyrics they called "Oop Shoop." When they took it to saxophonist Maxwell Davis, Shirley's mentor at Flair Records. He helped them work up a more polished arrangement. Label chief Joe Bihari liked what he heard, changed their name to Shirley Gunter & the Queens, and released "Oop Shoop" in August 1954. Within two months it entered the R&B charts and rose to number eight. The flip side was "It's You", but all eyes were on the up-tempo number.
Shirley Gunter & The Queens were hot, hot, hot and earned a featured spot in a big review staged by Joe Bihari at L.A.'s Savoy Ballroom. The shows host was Hunter Hancock who featured BB King, Johnny Otis, The Platters, The Lamplighters, and Marvin & Johnny". After their four singles and a couple of tours with The Queens, Shirley Gunter paired up with her brother's group, The Flairs. This calculated move was to revitalize The Flairs, who had lost most of their original members.
Shirley Gunter went on several tours throughout the West Coast with Vernon Green & The Medallions. She was now recording for the Storm Records label. They recorded "Believe Me" and "Crazy Little Baby" but before they could release them, Tender Records Company bought Strom Records. Shirley Gunter now a veteran of four years in the R & B limelight the novelty had long since worn off. Shirley and the Flairs soon went their separate ways and eventually faded into our memory banks.
Shirley left behind several enduring musical memories for us the great jump tunes with The Queens, and fine ballads with The Flairs. Shirley Gunter was a woman ahead of her time. In 1958 Shirley left the music business, returning only periodically. Like when asked in 1969 to record for Ray Charles' on the Tangerine label. Now blind, Shirley Gunter lives in Las Vegas and preserves her interest in music through her work as a gospel singer at her local church. Lula Kenney also moved to Las Vegas and worked as a dancer and sang with The Platters; she's now known as Piper Alvez and moved back to Los Angeles. Blondeness Taylor briefly recorded for Mercury Records with Junior Ryder under the name Sugar & Spice and Lula Mae Suggs have passed away.
Shirley Gunter was one of the first women in rock and roll and led the way for other women to form their own groups. Like Wanda Jackson, Etta James, LaVerne Baker, Esther Phillips, and Brenda Lee. Shirley was a real pioneer in the music industry.
Memory Lane Concert Cruises is musical theme cruise operator. Offering world-class concerts of performing artists in an array of music styles aboard luxury liners. http://www.mlccruises.com Press Release Distribution By PressReleasePoint