|Country Of origin:||United States of America|
The Hollywood Saxons were longtime mainstays of the Los Angeles R&B circuit, performing under a series of names during their checkered recording career. According to Marv Goldberg's profile in the September 1977 edition of Yesterday's Memories, the group formed in the wake of mid-1956 pickup basketball game -- lead Stan Beverly, second tenor Bill Brooks, baritone Joe Lewis, and bass Charles Taggart began harmonizing while dressing in the locker room. After browsing an encyclopedia in search of a noble, powerful name, Lewis dubbed the group the Saxons. About nine months into their existence, Brooks exited, and following the addition of second tenor Maudice Giles, the lineup expanded to five when Nathaniel "Buster" Wilson signed on to assume bass duties, freeing Taggart to move to first tenor.
After woodshedding for more than a year, the Saxons finally began playing live, and in 1958 signed to the tiny Our label for "Please Be My Love Tonight." At year's end they signed with the Contender label, already home to a rival Saxons led by the R&B pioneer Jesse Belvin -- producer George Motola simply renamed his newest act the Capris for 1959's "Endless Love," issued on his Tender subsidiary. When the record failed to generate much excitement, the Saxons/Capris again moved on, this time signing to Capitol for "Close to You," credited to the Portraits. As if the waters weren't muddied enough, in September 1960 the trio of Beverly, Lewis, and Taggart convened as the Tuxedos to cut "Trouble" for Motola's Forte label.
When none of the name changes or label moves panned out, Beverly co-founded his own imprint, Entra, and in 1961 the quintet issued "Everyday Is a Holiday," credited to the Hollywood Saxons. Subsequently licensed to L.A. indies including Swingin' and Elf, the record proved by some distance to be their biggest hit, and its follow-up, "It's You," appeared on Elf in late 1962. The Hollywood Saxons returned to Entra the following year for "Diamonds." In 1964, Beverly mounted a new imprint, Action Pack, home to the group's "Loving You." After cutting "Sweet Talking Girl" for True Soul as the Jolly Jesters, the quintet splintered. When Beverly revived Action Pack in 1968, he assembled a clutch of unreleased Hollywood Saxons sides for a pair of EPs, and that same year a resurrected Swingin' issued another unreleased effort, "Laughing Girl."
In 1972, Beverly and Lewis recruited bass Carlton Beck and baritone Richard Botts for "There Goes My Baby," credited to Speed Limit and issued on the Watts label. During the latter half of the decade, Beverly, Lewis, Giles, and original member Bill Brooks made occasional appearances as the Hollywood Saxons, and when Beverly exited to join one of the myriad Ink Spots lineups touring the casino circuit, the remaining trio tapped Melvin Ware as their new lead. As late as 2000, Beverly and Lewis were still performing under the Hollywood Saxons aegis -- their recorded output is best represented by the 1997 compilation Everyday Is a Holiday. ~ Jason Ankeny~ Rovi