Soulful Kinda Music

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1001 - DeWight (Spider) Turner and The Stereophonics - You're Alone / Happy Story - 1964
1002 - The Stereophonics Band - The Bell Hops - Run On Little Girl / I Want to Shout - 1964

Dear Dave

My Name is Howard Thompson. 

I just happened onto your website a few minutes ago and was happily surprised to run across the write up on Spyder Turner, The Stereophonics and The Bell Hops Band. Well, I was a member of the Bell Hops on the two recordings you list: 

Chatok 1001 - You're Alone / Happy Story - 196? (Backed By The Ster-Phonics & The Bell Hops Band) 

We also recorded a single for The Stereophonics called "Run On Little Girl" recorded around the same time as Spyder's sessions.  

We all belonged to a musical troop headed by Charles Stokes back in the early '60s. In that troop, we had several singing groups, all of whom were backed up by the Bell Hops Band. Some of those singers were:

    - Spyder Turner
    - The Stereophonics

            Charlette (Lead Vocals)
            Connie Stokes
   - Jobe Stokes (Not sure of the spelling)
   - Michael Stokes (Vocals and Keyboards)

   - The Bell Hops Band

            Mrs. Cleo Sharp (Manager)
            Curtis Sharp (Drums)
            Howard Thompson (Rhythm Guitar)
            Rudy Thomas (Sax)
            Zachery Slater (Bongos)~
            Albert (Doc) Holiday (Congas)
            Fred Shockley (Trumpet)
            Charles (Chicken Charlie) Herndon (Lead Guitar)

We played many of the local venues in and around Metro Detroit including the old Walled Lake Casino and The 20 Grand Ballroom. We alslo played for many "sock-hops" for the Windsor Canada radio station CKLW and DJs like Robin (Rockin' Robin) Seymore and WJLB's "Frantic" Ernie Durham. 

Several members of the Bell Hops Band went on to join other groups that fared well in the music business. Of course you know about the sucesses of Michael Stokes and his cousin Jobe Stokes (of the group Enchantment fame). Zackery (I heard went on to play drums with George Clinton's "Funk-a-delic" for a while. I heard Charlie Herndon was doing something with his guitar as well.  

I went into the Navy and found myself in Vietnam for a single tour of duty there. Afterwards, I went on to work in the computer and communications field for the federal government and recently retired. One day I happened to run into Marlene (Stereophonics) who was working at the same facility I worked. She worked in the Computer Room doing something. Fred Shockley went into the Air Force and later on to work in the Information Technology field. I still run into him every once in a while. Rudy Thomas zipped up the management ladder in the criminal justice field and at one point was being considered for Chief of Police. Albert (Doc) Holiday passed away back in the '80s and Curtis Sharp went on to play drums with many local groups like Rudy Robinson and the Hungry Five, and with a blues band headed by Little Sonny. Mrs. Sharp (our manager) is still alive and well, and living in Detroit.