The HICO Label:
The Hico label was started on the West Coast in the late 1950's by members
of the vocal group, the Hiliters.
The Hiliters had originated in New York City in the late
1940's as the Deep Tones (Savoy & Coral labels) and had changed
their name to the Hiliters when they recorded for the Celeste label in
1956. Shortly after that the group relocated to Portland, OR and then to
Los Angeles, CA.
By the time the Hiliters started their own record label (Hiliters
Company = HiCo), their group consisted of George Vereen, Wiseman Moon,
Calvin Williams, Furman Haynes and Claude Chandler. Vereen had
previously sung with the Four Knights, Moon had led the Victorians (Specialty
label), Haynes had been with Brook Benton in the Sandmen and Claude Chandler
had been with the Cabineers. In the 1960's the Hiliters would evolve
into the Stereos (Robin Nest label). Williams and Haynes would
later sing with the Four Knights and Johnny Smith's Ink Spots. Calvin
Williams would also spend 14 years in Europe singing with the Golden Gate
All records on Hico are fine R&B vocal group records.
All are now extremely scarce and considered collector's items. Only four
records are known on Hico. Hico # 2432 and # 2433 are by the Hi-Liters.
Hico #2432 and #2433 exist both in black wax and orange vinyl, the colored
wax only noticeable when the record is held up to a strong light.
Hico #2434 has different singers on each side, both listing
the Hi-liters as providing backup. Calvin Williams, however, does not
remember either side and does not think the Hi-liters are the actual backup
group. It's possible the backup group may contain only some or even none
of the Hi-Liters. Johnny Hamilton may be a member of the Hamiltones
(band) that is listed on Hico # 2433 and Hico # 2435. Al Hickey is
listed as a co-writer of # 2435.
Each side of Hico #2435 lists a Hi-Liters member and the
Hamiltones. Calvin Williams confirms that the group on both sides is the
Hi-Liters and not the Hamiltones. The Hamiltones must be the band.
Hico 2431 - Unissued?
Hico 2432 - Hi-Liters - Let Me Be True To You / In The Night
Hico 2433 - Hi-Liters - Over The Rainbow / Baby Please Be True
Hico 2434 - Johnny Hamilton & the Hiliters - Sabada /
- Al Hickey & the Hiliters - Later Baby
Hico 2435 - George Vereen (Hi-Liters) - You Are My Lovely One
- Wiseman Moon (Hi-Liters) - Rock A Billy Hop
Special Thanks to Calvin Williams and Furman Haynes, to Bill Proctor
whose research made this page possible and to Greg Surek for label scans of
Hico # 2433 and 2434.
Copyright © 2008, Classic Urban Harmony LLC. All