R&B Vocal Groups  

Information on these pages is provided for the purpose of promoting greater understanding and appreciation for vocal group harmony. Copyright 1998-2006. All Rights Reserved. Property of Nikki Gustafson & Jim Dunn. Not to be duplicated, reproduced or otherwise used without permission. 

Elgins Banner

original article 10/1997 - last updated 8/06/2006

(Clockwise from lower left)  Kenny Sinclair, William DeVase,  Darryl Lewis,

Jimmy Smith, (Oscar McDonald is not pictured)

The Elgins - - Jimmy Smith, William Devase, Darryl Lewis, Kenny Sinclair, and Oscar McDonald - - were formed in 1959. They were very much like the R&B groups of that era, featuring a bass, tenor lead, and doo-wop harmony in the background.

Elgins Picture

Oscar and Jimmy attended high school together in Beaumont, Texas. Jimmy, on occasion, laments the fact that he came in second place in several talent contests in Texas to Johnny Nash, of "I Can See Clearly Now" fame.

Darryl, Kenny and William attended high school in southern California. Darryl and Kenny were original members of the Six Teens, of "A Casual Look" fame, along with Darryl's cousin Trudy Williams. After leaving the Six Teens, Kenny hooked up with William to sing in various groups while in high school.

Cappie, as Darryl is affectionately called by close friends, reunited with Kenny, his brother Carl, and William. He brought Jimmy into the group to sing lead. This quintet recorded "Lonely Hearts Club" b/w  "Bad Man" for the Titan label in 1960 under the name of the Elements. They also recorded "My Illness" as the Elements for Titan, but this was to go unreleased at the time.

Lonely Hearts Club

Soon thereafter, Carl left the group to devote more time to pursuing an acting career. Jimmy brought Oscar McDonald into the group and the Elgins were born. Along with a change in personnel was a label change to Flip. This was a return to familiar shores. Flip had been the recording home for the Six Teens. Jimmy Smith had also recorded "I Cry And Cry Every Night" b/w "Night Time" for Flip  in 1959 backed by the Lockettes. The Elgins recording on Flip of "Uncle Sam’s Man" b/w "Casey Cop" was released in 1960 and established the group on the west coast.  The success of "Uncle Sam’s Man" certainly caught the attention of  George Brown at Titan records. Rembering that he still had an  unreleased recording by the group (prior to the name change) still in the vaults,  Brown decided to  capitalize on their recent success and issued "My Illness" b/w "Extra Extra"  in 1961 under the name Elgins rather than  the Elements .  1962 saw the record reissued with the title of "My Illness" changed to "Heartaches Heartbreak", a somewhat less somber  name for the tune.


1962 saw yet another label change for the group, this time to Lummie Fowler's Lummtone label. Their first release, Lummtone 109 was "Finally" b/w "A Winner Never Quits". Barbara Lewis, who had replaced Devase in the group at the time, is heard on  "Finally", behind the lead of Darryl Lewis. Their next release, also in '62 was "Johnny I'm Sorry" b/w "A Winner Never Quits", and was also issued as Lummtone  109. "Johnny I'm Sorry" took on new life when it was issued again as Lummtone 110 this time b/w "You Got Your Magnet On Me Baby". Devase was back in the group for their next outing on Lummtone which was "I Left My Heart In The Big City" b/w "Finally", which was resurrected from their previous release.

Daniels This record was also released on the Lantam label as by the Daniels. The Elgins final recording for Lummtone in 1963 was "Your Lovely Ways" b/w "Finding A Sweetheart".

In 1965, the Elgins released a more POP sounding record "Street Scene" b/w "You Found Yourself Another Fool" for the Valiant label.


Sinclair, Devase and McDonald recorded again between 1968-1970 as the Bagdads, putting out three singles, most notable of which was "Bring Back Those Doo-Wops" b/w "Green Power" for the Double Shot label.

The Elgins decided to reunite in the mid 1990s because of popular demand. They were one of the few oldies groups with all original members. Unfortunately we must add that  in March 2003 Kenny Sinclair passed away.





Record Releases

Titan 1708           Elements    Lonely Hearts Club / Bad Man                                1960

Titan 1724            Elgins         Extra Extra /  My Illness                                          1961

Titan 1724            Elgins         Extra Extra / Heartache Heartbreak                       1962

Flip 353                Elgins         Uncle Sam's Man / Casey Cop                                  1960

Lummtone 109     Elgins        A Winner Never Quits / Finally                                  1962

Lummtone 109      Elgins       A Winner Never Quits / Johnny I'm Sorry                1962

Lummtone 110      Elgins     Johnny I'm Sorry  / You Got Your Magnet On Me     1962

Lummtone 112      Elgins      Lost My Love In The Big City  / Finally                     1963

Lummtone 113      Elgins      Your Lovely Ways / Finding A Sweetheart                  1963

Lantam 01             Daniels     Big City  / Finally                                                          196?

Valiant 752            Elgins       Street Scene / You Found Yourself Another Fool       1965

DoubleShot 128    Bagdads   Livin In Fear / Let's Talk About The Bad Times       1968

DoubleShot 133    Bagdads   Bring Back Those Doo-Wops / Green Power             1968

DoubleShot 151    Bagdads   Keep Those Mini Skirts Up / Let's Talk About The Bad Times  1970

On the Saturday following the UGHA concert (Sept 26, 1997),  we had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with Darryl Lewis and Jimmy Smith (pictured above). We found them to be very gracious and truly appreciative of the enthusiasm of the crowd the previous night, as well as the interest of fans like ourselves in learning more about the Elgins history. They were quite open and eager to share whatever information they could. The group is hoping to get back in the studio to do some more recording. They also promised us that if they come back to UGHA again, they will be even better. We look forward to both future events.

Nikki & Jim

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