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The Springers

The Springers from Cleveland, OH (there was a Philadelphia group with the same name) started recording in the mid-sixties but had a dated sound. Their first (@Way Out Records) single "I Know Why," was a minor R&B hit in 1964; the slow, dripping doo- wop was the labels' biggest record and earned the Springers a week long gig at New York's famed Apollo Theater. Lester Johnson and Ike Perry, of Ike Perry & the Lyrics, produced the harmonic ballad written by Johnson, and Tyrone Henry, one of the Springers. The other members were Jeff Crutchfield, who became Jeff Dale with the Springers, James Dodson (Sahibs, Crown Imperials), James McClain, and another member nobody can recall. They resided in Cleveland's Wade Park area, Crutchfield was born in Memphis, TN but moved to Cleveland with family when he was 12. Way Out issued a second single, similar to the first, "Why," written by Henry & McClain, in 1965; A third and final single appeared later in '65, but "It's Been A Long Time" b/w "You Can Laugh," didn't generate much action and no more singles were issued. The Springers kept going, gigging at places like the Spaghetti Inn on Wade Park, the Red Carpet, the Circle Ballroom, and occasional treks to a club in Lorain, OH. There are some unreleased tracks laying around somewhere, a female who lived on Ansel Road, wrote songs that the Springers recorded but that remains unreleased. Where are they now? Jeff Crutchfield was murdered, Dodson worked (he may be retired now) for Ford; the whereabouts of Henry, McClain and the mystery member is unknown. Crutchfield operated a barbecue joint on the corner of 79th & Holton called Jeff & Al's, in the late sixties for a short time. It's unclear whether Al was the mystery member. Crutchfield's uncle Walter Crutchfield sang with the Futuretones, the group that spawned Charles Hatcher (Edwin Starr), and the late Russell Evans, the O'Jays' guitarist. Andrew Hamilton

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