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jesse belvin

Jesse Belvin

b. Jesse Lorenzo Belvin, 15th December 1932, Texarkana, Texas, U.S.A.

d. 6th February 1960, Hope, Arkansas, U.S.A.

Born in Texarkana in Texas, Jesse Belvin's shortlived career influenced many Soul Singers that were to follow in his footsteps.

When he was five years old, his family relocated to Los Angeles, and two years later, as with many Soul singers, he was singing in his local church.

By 1950, Jesse had been picked up by Big Jay McNeely and became part of the group Three Dots and a Dash.

He was the featured vocalist on Big Jay's song 'All The Wine Is Gone'.

Jesse Belvin

Jesse also sang on the song 'Sad Story', being credited alongside Big Jay on the single sleeve.

He relocated to the Speciality imprint and recorded a few sides, before he was drafted into the army.

Whilst in the army, he and two other recruits penned the song 'Earth Angel', which was recorded by the group 'The Penguins.

Jesse also recorded songs with the songwriter Marvin Phillips, under the name of Jesse and Marvin, although it was rumoured that Jesse was taken advantage at the time, regarding his writings, and sold several songs for a very few dollars.

Jesse Belvin

eugene church and jesse belvin - the cliques

By 1956, Jesse had signed to the Modern imprint, where he recorded under several pseudonyms including 'The Cliques' alongside Eugene Church, although Jesse received the qudos.

Perhaps Jesse's biggest success at the label came with the song 'Goodnight My Love', a song penned several years previously by George Mottola, but remained unfinished during that period.

By 1958, he had relocated to other labels, which included the Knight, Class, Aladdin and Jamie labels.

The Shields

the shields

Jesse the joined the group the Shields, recording for the Tender label.

The group also included Johnny Guitar Watson in it's line-up.

The Shields recorded 'You Cheated', which charted in 1958.

Jesse's wife, called Jo Anne, then took over the reigns of his career, a woman who was a competent songwriter in her own right.

Jesse BelvinJesse Belvin

just jesse belvin - 1959 / the casual jesse belvin - 1959

Jo Anne relocated Jesse to RCA Records, and in 1959 he charted with the song 'Guess Who'.

His first album 'Just Jesse' was completed that year, and RCA had plans to turn Jesse into the next Nat King Cole or Billy Eckstine, to make him more acceptable to White audiences.

Mr Easy

mr easy - 1960

Jesse went under the nickname of 'Mr Easy', releasing an album of the same name, however, Jesse was not to see this release of his final finished product.

Jesse Belvin

jo ann and jesse belvin

Tragedy struck in February 1960, when Jesse and Jo Anne were killed, shortly after finishing a performance in Hope, Arkansas, following a performance on a bill with Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and Marv Johnson, in a head on car accident.

'Mr Easy' came out later that year.

Jesse Belvin

Real Player


The Casual Jesse Belvin (Crown Records 1959)

The Unforgettable Jesse Belvin (Crown Records 1959)

Just Jesse Belvin (RCA Victor Records 1959)

Mr Easy (RCA Victor Records 1960)

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