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September 11, 2001... May We Never Forget...


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Dedicated to our biggest fan... Charlsey!!!






In our travels, we are proud to say that we have run into a lot of talented singing groups and down-right nice people!  Here are a few of some that we've had the pleasure to perform with and to know!


In deepest sympathy...Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families and loved ones to some great legends and friends that have passed away too soon. 
 Jerry Skokandich will truly be missed.  His unexpected heart attack was a great shock to us all.  We  send our deepest regrets to his wife and family.  Can't remember not seeing Jerry right out in the front table or right by the stage snapping away while we all performed!  God Bless you Jerry.  You'll   always be right there with us always!  
We are so sorry to hear of the passing of our friend Frank Bartholomew.  Frank has worked with the video for UGHA for so many years and was such a caring person!  Just a week before his passing, he was asking me (Tommy Lockhart) about my health and welfare.  I, along with everyone (I am sure) will truly miss him and his humor.  Our sincere condolences to Gail and the family.
The passing of Arthur Crier is truly sad news.  Such a gentleman and a great personality.  We will miss joking around with him backstage, and our hearts and condolences go out to his family.  Thank God we have his music for us to remember him by.  His legacy will continue through all of us to keep the music alive.
We were very sadden to hear of the passing of Johnny Braggs.  We will always remember being honored to back him up at a Hall Of Fame Show a few years ago.  In the short time we spent together rehearsing for the show and performing, it felt he was a man we have known all our lives!  He was such a fantastic person inward and outward and quite humble for a person that went through everything he went through.  We'll never forget him and he'll always be close to us in spirit.  His personality should be an example and inspiration to all of us.  Our condolences to his daughter and the rest of his family.
Marsha Grant was always a delight when she would meet and greet us at parties in Scranton and Northampton College concerts.  She will sorely be missed.  We'd like to believe she is now having a great time with great company such as her idol Rudy West.  We will miss her and will always be in our hearts until we all meet again.

Ray Wooten will be sorely missed and remembered by us all.  His passing was a great blow to us as we were hoping to get back on the stage with him again.  Our condolences go out to his wife Sandra and to all the rest of his family.  We are glad he left his legacy behind in song and to us he'll go down in history as one of the most unique singers of his time.

With a heavy heart, we were sorry to learn about the passing of Alfonso (Bo) Lewis, former original tenor of The Sheps. It is our understanding that he passed over the summer in the month of July due to complications with his illness of Sickle Sell Anemia. Bo was discovered at a UGHA Hall of Fame Induction presentation. At that time, he was singing tenor with Bobby Thomas and the Orioles. The year was 1992. Richie and I were in the process of forming the Sheps. We were in the audience and we both agreed, after hearing his voice, that Al would become the tenor of the group. After the performance, we spoke with him backstage and he said would love to be apart of something new. The rest is history. Al is featured on our first CD, "Me My Tears and A Jukebox", leading "Darling" originally recorded by the Larks. Al also led and loved to sing an original song penned by Tommie A. Shider entitled "Please Always Love Me". We know that Al, like so many others that have passed on, is now "Singing In The Sky". His presence and voice will surely be missed. Let's all remember him in our prayers.

The last two years (2005 ~ 2006) have been tough years for the music industry.  Within these two years, many black performers have passed.  Some we didn't get a chance to meet...some we met briefly in passing...some we knew very well.  Shared the stage with several and some we wish we would have.  We were probably one of the last group to back-up Pookie Hudson onstage and we will always cherish that!  Met Lou Rawls briefly backstage and he was a nice enough gentleman.  Same thing for the "Godfather Of Soul!"  The one and only James Brown!  Sorry we never got to meet the icons Barry White or Luther Vandross...  Never got the chance to meet the ever energetic "Wicked" Wilson Pickett... The sudden passing of Gerald Lavert left everyone devastated, stunned and empty!  The lovely Doris Troy, Betty Everett and Ruth Brown left us all too soon also, but left a lifelong legacy for us to marvel and be proud at.  The great Johnny Taylor too will be missed but never forgotten.  Sorry to say, but you'd hardly know about this unless you listened to black radio stations.  The point I'm getting to is that a multi-talented artist like the late and great Eugene Record, former leader and songwriter for most of the Chi-lites hits passed and I heard about it on TV for all of 2 minutes.  We never met you Eugene, but believe us!  You and your music set a great example to us and many other singing groups.  We would like  for everyone to click here and let you know that we do remember you!

~Ronnie I~

Our condolences to his lovely wife Sandi and the rest of the family...

You are gone...but we'll never forget you!

You've done a lot for the music and for us!

RIP my friend.

Sadly, we heard the news of the passing of our friend Malowe Murray, who died of lung cancer on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008.  He was a great pioneer whose career spanned six decades singing with the Harptones and the Fi-Tones.  Lowe always had this welcoming smile and a personality that went right along with it!  Our condolences go out to his family, friends and the Harptones.
All of these men and women will be sorely missed but will always be remembered by fans, friends and family for their great contribution to the music industry, and also to those for the excellence as pioneers which led the way for others to follow.



 A Tribute to the Five Blue Flames... "My Love Is Gone"

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or by phone!


 Tommie: (908) 561-7403 

Charlie: (973) 523-0760  

     Tommy: (845) 426-0526     

Richie:  (908) 810-5744   

Johnnie: (973) 538-8471


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