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Fabulous Five Flames / Fabulous Flames / Fabulous Five

Cleveland, 1957-61

The Fabulous Five Flames were a vocal group from Cleveland. The group included  J. C. Tatum, Otis Carter, David McFadden, Ernest Smith, and Harvey Hall. 

The group was known as the Fabulous Flames, but added the Five to prevent confusion with other groups with that name. The group started while some of the members were students at East Technical High School.

The group performed at local clubs, and in Detroit.

The Flames recorded three 45s. The first one was a local production, done for the short lived Rex label. Bill Jacocks, a local entrepreneur, wrote the songs and helped get the record released, he was not a member of the group. Jacocks later became known as Cleveland's first African-American TV news anchor, along with producting some records in the mid 1970s.

Their second 45 was recorded for King, although cut in Cleveland. The song "Janie Made A Monster" is a classic R&B Halloween record. The group's name was changed to Fabulous Five.

The group released a third 45 on the NYC Time label. Richard Fisher replaced J. C. Tatum. The group was credited as the Fabulous Five Flames. Richard Fisher was the brother of Jesse Fisher. He wasn't with the group for long as he left for New York where he ended up joining the Jive Five. Art Blakey replaced him, not long before the group disbanded,

Harvey Hall - later known as Harvey Nickerson-Hall - went on to lead Harvey and the Phenomenals.


Josephine / My Joan - Rex 3000 - 1958
Janie Made A Monster / Gettin' Old - King 5220
Lonely Lover / No More Tears - Time 1023 - 1960