WADE FLEMONS

Born Wade Herbert Flemons, 25 September 1940, Coffeyville, Kansas
Died 13 October 1993, Battle Creek, Michigan

Raised in Kansas but moving to Michigan as a teenager, Wade Flemons fomed an R&B group at age 15 called The Newcomers. In 1958 he was signed as a solo artist by Vee-Jay Records in Chicago and scored several hits for the label, both pop and R&B. The first of these was his own composition "Here I Stand" (1958), which was successfully revived by the Rip Chords in 1963. But the highest peaking single (# 10 R&B, # 70 pop) was "Easy Lovin'" in 1960. Flemons continued to record for Vee-Jay until 1965, but after a cover of Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone To Love" (1961), there were no more hits. In 1967, Flemons joined Vee-Jay session vocalist Maurice White in the soul group The Salty Peppers, which by 1970 had evolved into Earth, Wind and Fire. Flemons was a member of this highly successful group from 1970 until 1973, as vocalist, (electric) pianist and vibraphonist. After releasing two albums on Warner Bros, the leader of the group, Maurice White, fired most of the group in 1973, including Flemons. He was also a songwriter and co-wrote the biggest hit of the Dells (# 10, 1968), "Stay In My Corner". Wade Flemons died of cancer at the age of 53.

 
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