UPDATED: 6-24-2012
Gaynel Hodge

Gaynel Hodge is one of the great doo-wop voices from Los Angeles.

Gaynel Hodge circa 1951
Born there on January 4, 1937, and raised in a musical family--his brother Alex (1935-1982) was a founder of The Platters--Gaynel began singing professionally with a vocal group at Jefferson High School.

In 1953 he and baritone singer Curtis Williams joined The Hollywood Flames, with whom Gaynel wrote and sang several songs, including "I Know," which later evolved into the doo-wop classic, "Earth Angel" (whose listed composers are Gaynel Hodge, Curtis Williams and Jesse Belvin).

In 1954 Curtis Williams went off to form The Penguins and Gaynel left to put together The Turks. "We called ourselves The Turks because we were cocky, we thought of ourselves as young Turks," he says. "During my time with The Turks we started wearing fezzes as a joke, but Muslims started coming up to us and the fezzes became a political issue."

The Turks PR photo

Gaynel Hodge left The Turks in 1956, but he and Jesse Belvin briefly put together new personnel in 1958 for several recordings. In the 1960s he worked primarily as a pianist and arranger for The Olympics, Preston Epps and others. He played on The Hollywood Argyles' 1960 hit, "Alley-Oop," as well as on The Rivingtons' 1962 classic, "Pappa-Oom-Mow-Mow."

These days Gaynel Hodge lives and performs regularly in Phoenix. He has appeared at several Doo-Wop Society shows, the latest being Show #29 on February 20, 1999. He never fails to charm the audience with both his amazing singing talent and his quirky personality.

Richard Berry et al. 2/23/92
Tony Allen, Richard Berry, Gaynel Hodge and Eugene Church harmonize at Show #12 at the Lakewood Hop on February 23, 1992.   Photo by Judy Ann Blake.

Gaynel Hodge Discography

As by The Hollywood Flames
Swingtime 347 Let's Talk It Over/I Know 1953
Lucky 006 Peggy/Ooh La La 1954
Decca 29284 Peggy/Ooh La La 1955
Lucky 009 I Know/Let's Talk It Over 1955
Decca 48331 I Know/Let's Talk It Over 1958
(Hodge did not sing lead on "Let's Talk It Over," and he sang only the opening verse of "Ooh La La.")
As by The Tangiers
Decca 29971 Remember Me/Oh Baby 1956
(Hodge did not sing lead on "Oh Baby.")
It Can't Be True

As by The Turks
Money 211 Emily/(flipside by another group) 1955
Money 215 I'm a Fool/I've Been Accused 1955
Cash 1042 It Can't Be True/Wagon Wheels
                (SHOWN ABOVE)
Knight 2005 It Can't Be True/I'm a Fool 1958
Keen 4016 Fathertime/Okay 1958
Class 256 Rockville U.S.A./Hully Gully 1959
Ball 101 Emily/(flipside by another group) 1960
Imperial 5783 I'm a Fool/It Can't Be True 1961
(The Turks on "Wagon Wheels" were actually The Hollywood Flames; the lead singer was Bobby Day. Turks personnel on the other Money and Cash sides were Alex Hodge, Jody Jefferson, and Carl Green or Delmer Wilburn. The Turks on the Keen sides were Jesse Belvin, Alex Hodge and Tommy "Buster" Williams.)
This Heart of Mine

As by The Turks Featuring Gaynel Hodge
Bally 1017 This Heart of Mine/Why Did You
                (SHOWN ABOVE)
(Backing Hodge were Jesse Belvin, Alex Hodge and Tommy "Buster" Williams.)
As by The Roosters
Shar-Dee 704 Funhouse (instr.)/Chicken Hop (instr.) 1959
Felsted 8652 Funhouse (instr.)/Chicken Hop (instr.) 1959
(Both sides feature Hodge on piano. H.B. Barnum produced.)
As by Gaynel Hodge
RCA 7964 The Door Is Still Open/Bachelor in Paradise 1961
Mack-4 113 Shoulder Motion (instr.)/Berler (instr.) 1962
As by Gaynel Hodge & His Turks
Preserve 100 Heartbreak/What Now 1990s
Famous F-501 Rockin' Slumber Party 1959
(Contains "Okay.")
Earth Angel 903 The Hollywood Flames: The John Dolphin Sessions 1989
(This Swedish LP contains all of Hodge's Hollywood Flames and Turks material released on Lucky, Money and Cash.)
Specialty 2173-2 Doo Wop From Dolphin's of Hollywood, Vol. 1 1991
(Contains "It Can't Be True" and an unreleased Turks song, "Honey Bun," plus two unreleased songs, "How to Be a Lover" and "Love You Right" by Gaynel Hodge & The Blue-Aires.)
Specialty 2174-2 Doo Wop From Dolphin's of Hollywood, Vol. 2 1991
(Contains "Emily.")
Dynamite DGS 103 Dynamite Group Sounds, Vol. 3 1995
(Contains "Fathertime.")
Night Train 7019 Swingtime Doo Wop 1996
(Contains the released version of The Hollywood Flames' "I Know" plus two rehearsal versions of the song, with Hodge singing and playing piano. Hodge also sings "Marie" with the group.)
Rhino 72868 Brown-Eyed Soul: The Sound of East L.A., Vol 1 1998
(Contains "I'm a Fool.")
Night Train 7097 Jesse Belvin: So Fine 1998
(Contains six Gaynel Hodge demos, vocals with piano: "Fathertime," "This Heart of Mine," and four songs never issued: "Trudi My Love," "Don't Worry About That," "It's Mighty Funny" and "Time Is Coming Close to Christmas.")

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