The Carpets (3)

The Carpets (3)

Kansas City, Missouri-based doo wop group The Carpets (3) formed in 1954. Tenor James Gadson and his baritone brother Thomas Gadson lived across the street from bass Lonnie Triplett, and with the additions of tenor Elmer Powell (the oldest member at 15) and his cousin Herbert Anthony, also a tenor, the original lineup was complete. Initially calling themselves the Velvetones, the quintet soon learned of a rival group with the same name and adopted the Carpets moniker in response. By late 1955, both Triplett and Anthony resigned, with their responsibilities assumed by bass John King and tenor Charley Tillman. In early 1956 their manager, local radio personality Jimmy Jones, scored the Carpets an audition with Federal Records A&R exec Ralph Bass, who immediately extended a contract offer. "Why Do I," featuring James Gadson on lead, appeared that February at virtually the same time as James Brown's "Please, Please, Please," which proved the recipient of all of Federal's marketing muscle. "Lonely Me" followed in the spring, and when it too went nowhere, Federal terminated the Carpets' contract.

In 1957, Powell joined the U.S. Marines, King abruptly quit, and James Gadson mounted a solo career before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. When Gadson returned to civilian life four years later, he reunited with brother Thomas on guitar in a new incarnation of the Carpets that also featured saxophonist Walter Chisolm, bassist Harold Rice, and drummer Harry Wilkins. Prior to cutting its 1962 single "Any Old Way" (issued on Nat King Cole's KC Records), the group adopted a new name, The Derbys (3). Since they had abandoned the name "Carpets," another local Kansas City group approached Tom Gadson for permission to use it. That group The Carpets went to Chicago and had releases on ViJ and Show Me.


The Carpets (3) Discography Tracks

Singles & EPs

45-12269 The Carpets (3) Lonely Me / Chicken Backs(7") Federal Records (2) 45-12269 US 1956 Sell This Version