Meet Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels, the group that will headline our Doo Wop Explosion II at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, on Saturday evening March 4.
The group that is now Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels started out as an acappella group from Washington DC called the Fellows. In 1998, the Fellows opened up for Diz Russell’s Orioles at a celebration of the Orioles’ 50th anniversary as a singing group. In the audience was Pookie Hudson, the lead singer of the legendary Spaniels. Pookie was at the time without a Spaniels group, but was scheduled to sing at Ronnie I’s United in Group Harmony Association. After hearing the Fellows sing the Spaniels’ “Lovely Way To Spend An Evening” acappella, Pookie was so impressed he asked the group to become his new Spaniels. Their first appearance with him was at UGHA in 1998, an organization they would sing at several times..
This Spaniels group continued with Pookie Hudson until his passing in 2007. They appear with him on a number of videos, including the PBS concert, Doo Wop 50. One of their final appearances was on Long Island TV’s Island Hop Doo Wop with host Ed Salek. There the group renders a spectacular version of “Danny Boy” acappella.
After Pookie Hudson’s passing in 2007, his group continued on as Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels. So who are Pookie Hudosn’ Spaniels?
Wellington “Bay” Robinson grew up in the same Washington DC neighborhood as the Dynamic Superiors. He began singing doo wop under the streetlights, idolizing groups like the Spaniels. After singing with a group called the Daytons, he joined the group Maskman & the Agents at age 15. With them he performed for a week at the Apollo Theatre in NYC along with Wilson Pickett and Moms Mabley. Bay also served as Pookie Hudson’s manager.
Steven Wade sang with William DeVaughn (“Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” – Remember “… diamond in the back, sunroof top, digging the scene with a gangster lean…”)
James Faison was previously a member of the group, the Counts who recorded “Your My Only Love” / “Peaches Baby,” a great Northern Soul record on the Shrine label. James also sang with the funk/harmony group Five Miles High (“Should Have Been Satisfied” on the Spooky label) and with Glenn Leonard’s Temptations Review.
Rounding out the group are James Ivey, the group’s lead singer, and Lester Wade.
Though all the original Spaniels are now gone, Pookie Hudson’s Spaniels are carrying on the group’s tradition of spectacular R&B vocal harmony. Listen to a 2006 video of Pookie Hudosn & the Spaniels singing “Danny Boy” acappella. Pay particular attention to the flawless harmony. We’ll have the same group (minus Pookie) on March 4.