Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1

    The Checkmates Ltd.


    Perhaps you remember the group with Bobby Stevens and Sonny Charles on lead vocals.
    Here they tell their story in part 1 of the feature, covering the ("Las Vegas") years from 1959 till 1968.


    Best regards

  2. #2
    Yes I remember them. I have a couple of their albums. My favorite song was "Black Pearl" from them. Thanks Heikki!

  3. #3
    Very good job, as usual, Heikki. Can barely wait to see Part 2...Black Pearl was, still is
    a fabulous performance....

  4. #4
    Thank you Marv and Splanky!

    My personal favourite is the one that preceded Black Pearl,
    Love Is All I Have To Give.

    Best regards

  5. #5
    Their "Love Is All we Have To Give" LP has been available on Japanese mini LP and it's great. I think my favourite track is "I Keep Forgettin' ".


  6. #6
    Hi Mysterysinger!

    It's a very good album, although some people have mixed feelings about it - especially the side 2.
    There's more talk about it in the second part of the story, due to be published still this summer. I still have to find a couple of "surprise" releases from that period.

    Best regards

  7. #7
    Good stuff Heikki...

  8. #8
    A few years back, my production partner, Teddie Morrow and I were approached by an LA production company to possibly record the group. I had Sonny Charles send us a tape of their current show. In all honesty we weren't all that impressed and we passed on the deal. The group sounded tired and somewhat worn out. It happens.

  9. #9
    Thank you, Stu!

    Hi Ralph! That must have been "The Sonny Charles Show", because Bobby Stevens left in the late 1970s and only Sonny and Marvin "Sweet Louie" Smith carried on, and Marvin passed in 2007.

    Best regards

  10. #10
    Hiekki, at that time Sweet Louie was still with him.

  11. #11
    Okay, Ralph!
    So that must have been in the 2000s.
    Still in the 1980s there were both Bobby Stevens' and Sonny Charles' shows, but they have remained good friends till today.
    Sonny released a solo CD in 2012.
    But about that all later in the feature...

    Best regards

  12. #12
    I had to think about it for a minute, Heikki, but yes early 2000's.

  13. #13
    I think their LP vesion of "Proud Mary" produced by Phil Spector, inspired the GREAT version by Ike & Tina the following year.

  14. #14
    That's correct Motony.
    In the second part of the feature there's a quote both from Sonny Charles and Tina (from her book) on that song.
    The Checkmates version was released in late 1969 and Ike & Tina's version charted in early '71.

    Best regards


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Ralph Terrana

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