Medallions PR photo

Vernon Green & The Medallions

The Medallions, featuring the bluesy lead vocals of Vernon Green, was the first doo-wop group to record for one of Los Angeles's premiere doo-wop labels, Dootone Records. Owner Dootsie Williams was impressed with Green and asked him to put together a vocal group. The first release, "Buick 59" (based on Todd Rhodes' double-entendre R&B hit "Rocket 69"), backed with a ballad called "The Letter," was a double-sided West Coast hit. Green's famous recitation on "The Letter" contained the nonsense lyric, "the pulpitudes of love," which was later picked up by Steve Miller as "the pompitudes of love"--which became the title of a 1990s film.

Vernon Green rarely went into the studio with the same Medallions, and once or twice the Medallions recorded without him.

The original lineup was Vernon on lead, Randolph Bryant at tenor, Willie Graham at 2nd tenor, Rudolph Brown at baritone and a bass remembered only as Chuck, who was quickly replaced by Ira Foley. Among other early members were Donald Woods and Vernon's brother Jimmy on tenor, second tenors Charles Gardner and Albert Johnson, Billy Foster, bass singers Bubba Carter and Joe Williams, and so many others. At one point The Dootones stood in for The Medallions; at another time Vernon was backed by Don Julian & The Meadowlarks, even though their recordings were credited to The Medallions; The Medallions even became The Bel-Aires on Donald Woods' Flip singles.

Shortly after performing at the Doo-Wop Society's "Tribute to Hunter Hancock" show on March 4, 2000, Vernon Green suffered a debilitating stroke and never recovered. He died on Christmas Eve, 2000. His brother Jimmy Green and Billy Foster have continued The Medallions without him.

The Medallions Today

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Dootone 347 Buick 59 / The Letter Sep 1954
Dootone 357 The Telegram / Coupe DeVille Baby Jan 1955
Dootone 364 Speedin' / Edna* June 1955
Dootone 365 Craving / Only For You
(As by The Cameos**)
Dootone 373 My Pretty Baby / I'll Never Love
(As by Johnny Twovoice***; Medallions uncredited.)
Dootone 379 Dear Darling / Don't Shoot Baby Oct 1955
Dootone 393 I Want a Love+ / Dance and Swing+ Apr 1956
Specialty 581 Sweet Breeze / The Old Willow Tree
(As by Vernon Green & The Phantoms)
May 1956
Dooto 400 Shedding Tears++ / Push Button Automobile++
(As by Vernon Green)
Sep 1956
Dooto 407 Did You Have Fun++ / My Mary Lou
(As by Vernon Green & The Medallions)
Nov 1956
Dooto 419 For Better or For Worse / I Wonder Wonder Wonder
(As by Vernon Green & The Medallons)
July 1957
Dooto 419 For Better or For Worse / I Wonder Wonder Wonder
(As by Vernon Green & The Medallons)
July 1957
Dooto 425 Lovers Prayer / Unseen Oct 1957
Dooto 443 You Came Along / Teenty Weenty
(As by Vernon [Green] & Cliff [Chambers])
Dooto 446 59 Volvo / Magic Mountain 1959
Dooto 454 Behind the Door / Rocket Ship 1960
Pan American 1000 Deep, So Deep / Shimmy Shimmy Shake Mar 1962
Pan American 71 Dear Ann / Shimmy Shimmy Shake 1962
Minit 32034 Look At Me / Am I Ever Gonna See My Baby 1964
Dooto 479 Can You Talk / You Don't Know 1973
Dooto 480 You're a Super Star / Riding on the Beach
(Above five singles as by Vernon Green & The Medallions)
Classic Artists 103+++ So Bad / Accept Me For What I Am 1989
Classic Artists 127++++ Drinkin' Wine / For Your Precious Love 19__
*Lead singer on "Edna" was Randy Bryant
**The Cameos were Vernon Green (lead), Kenneth Williams and Frank Marshall
***Johnny Twovoice was Johnny Morisette
+Vernon Green not present on these Medallions cuts; group may have actually been The Dootones.
++Group behind Vernon was Don Julian & The Meadowlarks
+++Vocal background by Don Julian, Walter Canady and Ted Walters
++++Demo single; has not yet been pressed for sale. Each side is available on Doo Wop Diner Vol. 1 (Collectables 5588) and Doo Wop Diner Vol. 2 (5589).
Dootone 202 The Medallions June 1956
Dootone 456 xxxxx
(Contains "Give Me the Right" and "You're the One." Two other songs by The Penguins.)
August 1960
Dootone 204 Best Vocal Groups in R&B 1956
Dootone 857 Vernon Green and The Medallions 1973
Ace CDCHD 536 The Medallions, Featuring Vernon Green
(Contains all 12 Dootone Medallions singles, plus one unreleased track.)
Ace CDCHD 578 Dootone Doo-Wop Vol. 1
(Contains "Rocket Ship," both Cameos sides, and the Johnny Twovoice A-Side.)
Ace CDCHD 588 Dootone Doo-Wop Vol. 2
(Contains "Speedin'" and the Johnny Twovoice B-side.)
Specialty SPCD-7049-2 Hardcore Doo-Wop
(Contains Vernon's two sides with The Phantoms.)

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Text © Copyright 1999-2000 Jim Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

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