Galleries – Awards

The ‘EarlyRnB.com Honor Roll’

Bobby Hendricks, Former Lead Singer of The Drifters Honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

by KIrk Lang

Bobby Hendricks, a former lead singer of The Drifters in the 1950s, was honored with an EarlyRnB.com Lifetime Achievement Award on March 14, 2022.

Hendricks was diagnosed with Alzeheimer’s in 2016 and retired from singing two years later. The EarlyRnB.com Lifetime Achievement Award was his first honor in retirement, according to his wife.

“We have it in the family room, where it can be seen, and when everyone comes in, they’ll look at it and his face brightens up,” said Ruth, who added, “It makes him feel good because he knows they’re talking about him. It’s really nice. I really, really appreciate it and I know that he does.”

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Kirk Lang (EarlyR&B.com) and Fred Parris

Five Satins’ Lead Singer/Founder Fred Parris Honored with Original Artwork and “Living Legend” Award

by KIrk Lang

There were many great early R&B/doo-wop artists in the 1950s and 1960s but Fred Parris, founder and lead singer of The Five Satins, has proven himself to be amongst the elite.

From his work with his pre-Satins group The Scarlets – “Dear One” – to the absolute gems recorded under Fred Parris and the Restless Hearts in the 1960s, never mind quality cuts in the 70s recorded with other group names, Parris has a body of work that can stack up against anyone.

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Richie Freeman, a New Haven native who joined The Five Satins in 1958 – just six months after graduating high school – was honored with an EarlyRnB.com Lifetime Achievement Award Monday afternoon, September 14, 2020.

“I was very surprised and happy,” said Freeman one day after making the trek from New York to his old stomping grounds.  “It was the first time I received something like that. It was real thoughtful.”

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Tony Middleton, former lead singer of The Willows, a Harlem-based R&B/doo-wop group, was honored with an EarlyRnB.com Living Legend Award Friday afternoon, November 20, 2020.

Along with a certificate, Middleton was given a microphone trophy.

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