Born June 25, 1935, Montgomery, Alabama
Born March 18,1941, Prattville, Alabama
This R&B vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, USA helped define soul music in the early 60's. The great legacy of music left by the Falcons unfortunately has been obscured by its reputation as the genesis of so many great talents. The group has at one time claimed as members Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Joe Stubbs brother of Four Tops' Levi Stubbs and later a member of the Contours and then the Originals, Mack Rice, the original singer of "Mustang Sally", and guitarists Lance Finnie and Robert Ward successively, whose bluesy guitar work helped immeasurably to raise the reputation of the group. The Falcons' chart success was surprisingly slim, only five releases; the best known being "You're So Fine", a proto-soul number led by Stubbs that went to number 2 R&B (number 17 pop) in 1959, and "I Found A Love", the incredibly torrid secular gospel number led by Wilson Pickett that went to number 6 R&B (number 75 pop) in 1962.
The original Falcons formed in 1955 and comprised lead Eddie Floyd, Bob Manardo, Arnett Robinson, Tom Shetler, and Willie Schofield. In 1956 they met Detroit producer Robert West and for the next three years he put out releases of the Falcons on several labels, including his own Flick label, but without achieving any national success. After Joe Stubbs and Mack Rice replace Shetler, Manardo, and Robinson in 1957 and guitarist Lance Finnie joined the group, the classic group of Falcons were together blending gospel fervor to rhythm and blues harmony as reflected in their "You're So Fine" hit of 1959. They managed two more hits with Stubbs as lead with "Just For Your Love" (number 26 R&B 1959) and "The Teacher" (number 18 R&B 1960), before Wilson Pickett replaced Stubbs in 1960. The memorable "I Found A Love" and several other Falcons records featured as backing the Dayton group, the Ohio Untouchables, centered on the great of Robert Ward. In the 70's the Ohio Untouchables had emerged as the premier funk group, the Ohio Players, and Ward re-emerged from 25 years retirement in 1991 to release a well-received blues album.
The Falcons disbanded in 1963, but the name continued with another Detroit ensemble consisting of Carlis Sonny Monroe, James Gibson, Johnny Alvin and Alton Hollowell. This group got on the R&B chart in 1966 with "Standing On Guard".
The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music Vol. 1
Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Steeped in the history of Rhythm and Blues & Soul Music, Detroit (forget all about Motown for a while) has given us some of the finest purveyors of the music of our choice. One of the groups that is rich in the history of Detroit Soul is the Falcons, who in turn has given Soul Music some of the finest luminaries in the field of Soul Music, Eddie Floyd & Wilson Pickett two of the most renown.