Vocalist Frank Edwards piped into the doo wop music scene as a member of the Dovers, but this is a drain that often backs up due to an overwhelming amount of confusing informational sludge. The group called the Dovers that Edwards was in should not be confused with the Harlem group of the same name that eventually grew into the Willows. Nor does it have anything to with the garage rock band called the Dovers that put out records in the '60s. Edwards himself should not be confused with the country blues artist Frank Edwards, who recorded in both the '40s and '70s. The superb biography of producer Joe Davis, Never Sell a Copyright, lists both of these men as the same guy, however, demonstrating how difficult it is keeping track since Davis had actual dealings with both of the Edwards and one of the Dovers. "Sweet as a Flower" may not describe the scent of a stopped-up drain, but that metaphor has nothing do with the success of that particular Dovers' record in the mid-'50s. Edwards and bandmates such as Charles Stapleton and Wyndham Porter were wonderfully talented, charismatic performers at a young age; so young, in fact, that some of the dotted lines in the group's 1954 contract were filled in by their fathers, uncles, older brothers, and what-not. The latter expression -- what-not -- is a good catch-all description of the chaotic events in the music business during this era, but many of the positive notes came courtesy of brilliant sessionmen such as guitarists Everett Barksdale and Wally Richardson, bassist Al Lucas, and drummer Bobby Donaldson. Other listeners find the Dovers of interest not because of instrumental quality or the superb singing of Edwards, but because of something known as the "Sneed Factor." The required presence of a bandmember with this surname is doubly satisfied by James Sneed and Miriam Grate, the group's female vocalist, who fell in love with one of the guys on-stage and became Miriam Sneed. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
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