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  1. #1
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    Barbara Randolph trivia

    I noticed that DFTMC now idenifies Vance Wilson of the Recaps and a co-composer of 'Oh How I'd Miss You' as the demo voice on CD 2, track 19 of "marvin gaye & tammi terrell The Complete Duets". While researching Vance Wilson, I came upon this at Marv Goldberg's R & B Notebook:

    Around April 1958, the Red Caps added two female singers, but this time with a twist. One of them was Lillian Randolph, who had played "Madam Queen" on Amos N Andy, "Birdie", the maid, on The Great Gildersleeve, and Beulah. [[She was the younger sister of actress Amanda Randolph.) According to Jay Price, Lillian sang somewhat risqué Sophie Tucker-type songs. The other singer was 15-year-old Barbara Ann Sanders, who had been in the movie Bright Road with Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. The twist is that Barbara was Lillian's adopted daughter. While they only remained with the Red Caps for a couple of months [[Lillian's name only appears in two Red Caps ads - for Andy's Log Cabin - on May 28 and 29, 1958), Barbara went on to greater fame as "Barbara Randolph". In 1964, she replaced Zola Taylor in the Platters [[and led "Hard Hearted Hannah", the last song the Platters ever recorded for Mercury). After that, she became a Motown soloist, although she would periodically return to the Red Caps.

    Note that it's common to read that Steve Gibson and Lillian Randolph were siblings and that Steve is Barbara's uncle. However, Steve and Lillian weren't related at all. Jay Price says that they always joked around and referred to each other as "brother" and "sister". [[And, affectionately, Barbara would call Steve "uncle".) Presumably this all started with a little blurb in Major Robinson's gossip column in Jet magazine [[December 31, 1953) that said Lillian Randolph received a gift of a Jaguar automobile from her brother, Steve Gibson. The most important thing to remember here is that Major Robinson would print anything that was given to him [[or even hinted at) without any verification whatsoever. [[Steven Argusta Gibson's death record shows that he was born October 12, 1914. In 1910, Lillian's mother was around 50, far too old to have given birth to Steve in 1914.) In late 1940, both the 4 Toppers and Lillian Randolph appeared at the Jade Cabaret in Hollywood; it's possible that's where they met. Actually, Steve did have a sister: Maude Gibson. According to Jay, Maude, who was unmarried, traveled around with the Red Caps.

  2. #2
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    Tammi Terrell is also mentioned in the same article as singing with the Modern Redcaps [[which included Vance Wilson) after tax problems cause a division of the group.

  3. #3
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    Yes, Barbara was adopted by the great Lillian Randolph. I didn't know about her tenure with this group. [Barbara also tried her own hand at acting in a small role in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.]

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