Soul Fantasy

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Arthur Rollins Jr. - I Loved You Long Before We Met





In fact Arthur Rollins Jr. became known to the collectors in 2010, when the record 45" entitled "Wherever You Go / Loved You Long Before We Met" on Lavender Lady Records appeared on ebay. Immediately I started to look for info concerning this singer, unknown to me at that moment. 
Arthur Rollins Jr. is a singer from the Bahamas. He was a member of the group Esquires LTD. The group started in 1969 in the Bahamas. They moved to New York in 1972 to continue their career. The members of the group at that time were Wilbur Fawkes, Carlton (Doc) Edwards, Donnie Fox, Arthur Rollins Jr. and Joe Fox. They worked with the Bahamian singer, songwriter and musician Frank Penn. The Esquires LTD released several records on Frank Penn's label called Penn's Records. They sang the song "The Bahamas" which was written by Frank Penn and was released on Penn's RecordsIn 1973 all of them released an album under the name Frank Penn And With The Esquires LTD.


In this album, Arthur Rollins Jr. sang three songs entitled "Theme From Shaft", "The Long And Winding Road" and "Quando, Quando, Quando".
That was the moment that Arthur Rollins left from the group to follow a solo career. Arthur Rollins Jr. continued to appear in various clubs and hotels. In 1974 he did appearances at the club Kiki Rouge with the band Willpower and Steve McEwan. At the same time he continued to collaborate with Frank Penn.
When Rollins moved to New York with The Esquires, he met the guitarist, singer, producer and composer Jimmy Briggs. So he collaborated with  Jimmy Briggs. Jimmy as a singer has cut a few 45". He also became known as a musical director of Johnny Mathis and Aretha Franklin in the mid 70's. He had also created a label production named Briggsville in the early 70's.  At that time, Jimmy Briggs worked with the singer Lea Roberts on United Artists Records.
As I told you, Jimmy and Arthur collaborated for several years. They released at least two singles. The first single was released on the Frank Penn's label, Penn's Records. This record 45" includes the songs "Walking On My Heart" and the flip side "I Loved You Long Before We Met".


Jimmy Briggs did everything. Both songs were written by himself. Produced, arranged and conducted by Jimmy Briggs.



During the next years, Arthur released another record 45" on Lavender Records. Except for Jimmy Briggs, Arthur was helped by Mary Washington as producer.


This record 45" includes the songs "I Loved You Long Before We Met" which was previously included on the Penn's Records and the song "Wherever You Go". Both songs were written by Jimmy Briggs. Jimmy was also arranger. 



I tried to find more information but it was very difficult. However, I found some information after 2000.
In the decade of 2000 he appeared in various great hotels like at the MGM Grand and Harrah’s in Las Vegas as well as in Atlantic City and Freeport in the Bahamas.



In 2006 the Esquires LTD reunited with the name Foxxfire. In 1973 when Arthur Rollins left from the Esquires LTD, he was replaced on lead vocals by Wendel Johnson. In 1975 Wilbur (Foxy) Fawkes left the group. Joe (Kinky) Fox became the leader of the group and renamed the group, Foxxfire. So in 2006 they were reunited for some appearances. They were Kevin Fox, Joe (Kinky) Fox, Arthur Rollins Jr., and Honory (H) Young.


They appeared for two nights weekly at Jokers Wild! In 2008 he also did a special musical appearance at Junkanoo Beach Club.

Note: The above posted singles are not played in full.

3 comments:

Emilio Bueno Salazar said...

I played the piano with Arthur Rollins in 1979 in Taxco (Mexico). He was great singing and had a spectacular voice. The public adored him.He had much experience to handle the musicians. Emilio Bueno

Jeffrey R. Davis Teacher/ Designer. said...

I knew each of these talented warm exciting young men in their prime. Thwy had vision and professional appeal. Love heir music.

Mary Washington said...

I am Sheila Washington daughter of Mary Washington. I am in touch with Arthur Rollins Jr. All inquiry:
sheilawashington@hotmail.com