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The Flamingos


1926

Jake Carey of the Flamingos is born.

1932

Nate Nelson of the Flamingos is born.

1933

Zeke Carey of the Flamingos is born.

1933

Tommy Hunt of the Flamingos is born.

1933

Sollie McElroy of the Flamingos is born.

1934

Johnnie Carter of the Flamingos is born.

1935

Paul Wilson of the Flamingos is born.

1935

Terry Johnson of the Flamingos is born.

1952

The Flamingos form in Chicago as a quintet comprising cousins Jake and Zeke Carey (who sing bass and tenor, respectively), Paul Wilson (baritone), Johnny Carter (tenor) and lead singer Earl Lewis (who is quickly replaced by Sollie McElroy).

1953

The Flamingos release their first single, “Someday, Someway” b/w “If I Can’t Have You,” on Chance Records.

1953

The Flamingos’ classic “Golden Teardrops” is released on the Chance label.

1955

The Flamingos debut a new lead singer, Nate Nelson, who replaces Sollie McElvoy.

1956

“I’ll Be Home,” the Flamingos third single for the Checker label - after brief stints at Chance and Parrot Records - is released. It becomes their first national hit, peaking at #5 on the R&B chart and #10 on the Best Seller chart.

1959

“I’ve Only Got Eyes for You,” the Flamingos’ biggest hit (#3 R&B, #11 pop), enters the charts. It is among the most sublime performances of the doo-wop era.

1959

After having not released a 12-inch LP for the entirety of the Fifties, the Flamingos saw two appear in a single year

1970

The Flamingos’ “Buffalo Soldier” enters the R&B singles chart. It is their last charting single.

1984

Nate Nelson, who’d become the lead singer of the Flamingos three decades earlier, dies of a heart attack.

1988

Paul Wilson of the Flamingos dies.

1995

Sollie McElroy of the Flamingos dies.

1997

Jake Carey of the Flamingos dies.

1999

Zeke Carey of the Flamingos dies.

2001

The Flamingos are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the sixteenth annual induction dinner. Dion is their presenter.

2009

Johnnie Carter passes away.

The Flamingos