Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Escorts

Reginald Haynes formed the vocal group in 1968 while incarcerated in Trenton State Prison. A former church choir and street corner local talent, he recruited three other inmates the names of whom,even through my  best efforts are unfortunately unknown to me. (any assist would be appreciated) Two years later, the quartet were invited to perform as part of an entertainment package at Rahway State Prison,where they had been transferred.

In the audience was Linda Jones, who had a top 10 hit at the time entitled "Hypnotized".She was visiting her brother at the prison and was accompanied by her manager/producer George Kerr, who himself had formerly worked for Berry Gordy at Motown in that capacity.Impressed by the group's performance, he petitioned the prison officials for permission to record an album inside the prison. This was met with the expected resistance ,but their perserverance finally bore fruit two years hence,and sessions for The Escorts' first album, "All We Need Is Another Chance" were underway. The product was shipped in May of 1973 and by June that same year sold approximately 100,000 copies.
Haynes had been released from Rahway June 20th,1973. About a year later, a second album,"Three Down And Four Go", a reference to the remaning incarcerated group members ,was recorded like the first,from within the prison. After a brief solo career , yielding one release,"On The Wings Of Love", Haynes re-formed the Escorts , this time as a trio, with William Martin and LaGrant Carlos Harris. They toured under the name,"The Legendary Escorts" for a number of years and in 1993 recorded what was to be their final album, (or more correctly at this point,CD) titled, "Back To Love" . They are as of this writing still performing .

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