UPDATED: 5-4-2001

This Watts group began as The Mellotears, but when they made their first single for Modern Records, owner Jules Bihari changed their name to The Native Boys.

Freddie Romain and Vince Weaver were the primariy leads, backed up by George Le Brune, bass singer Edward "Sack" Saunders and Charles Mathis. Harry Rosemond was a member on the Modern sides, but he left before they signd with Jake Porter's Combo label. Danny Kristian (real name Arthur Murray) may have been with the group at the very end of their Combo period.

Kristian and Romain went to Lee Rupe's Ebb Records in early 1957 with new, much older background singers and recorded that label's first single as The Ebbtones, a name that did not exist outside the record. Vince and Freddie later joined the Flares and sang on the group's 1961 Felsted hit, "Foot Stomping-Part 1." In 1963 guitarist Buddy Harper and disk jockey Chuck Mann recorded Freddie Romain for their tiny Spindletop label.

The Native Boys' "Strange Love" was a minor hit around the country after getting heavy airplay from Alan Freed on WINS in New York in the early winter of 1956, and among doo-wop fans and collectors it remains the song they're known for. But The Native Boys were a relatively polished group that made several great recordings.

These days Freddie Romain lives in Suisun in Northern California and Vince Weaver lives in Inglewood.

Photo by Ray Regalado


Modern 939 Native Girl+/It Won't Take Long** 1954
Combo 113 Strange Love*/Cherrlyn** (small print) 1955
Combo 113 Strange Love*/Cherrlyn** (large print) 1955
Combo 115 Tears*/When I Met You*** (red wax) 1956
Combo 115 Tears*/When I Met You*** (black wax) 1956
Combo 119 Laughing Love**/Valley of Lovers++ 1956
Combo 120 Oh, Let Me Dream+++/I've Got a Feeling* 1956
*Freddie Romain sang lead
**Vince Weaver sang lead
***Edward Saunders sang lead
+Harry Rosemond sang lead
++George Le Brune sang lead
+++dual lead with Vince Weaver & Edward Saunders
As The Ebbtones (Freddie Romain, Danny Kristian, others):
Ebb 100 I've Got a Feeling*/Danny's Blues** 1957
Ebb 102+ Trinidad Woman/**Jamaica Town* 1957
*Freddie Romain sang lead
**Danny Kristian sang lead
+Single was planned for issue but never released (see CDs).
  Romain believes "Trinidad Woman" came a from a separate Danny Kristian session.
As by Freddie Romain (With Brenda Holloway, Brenda's sister and Brenda's female cousin):
Spindletop x Be My Girl/Be My Girl (instrumental track) 1963
Spindletop x* Be My Girl/I've Got a Feeling 1963
*This is probably a bootleg. "I've Got a Feeling" was either the Combo or Ebb track.
  Romain recalls only recording "Be My Girl" for Spindletop.
Combo 1000 The Best of The Native Boys (bootleg)
Relic 5069 The Best of Combo Records
(contains "I've Got a Feeling," "Strange Love" and "When I Met You")
Relic 5070 The Best of Combo Records, Vol. 2
(contains "Tears," "Cherrlyn," "Oh, Let Me Dream" and "Laughing Love")
Relic 5076 The Best of Combo Records, Vol 3
(contains "Valley of Lovers")
All eight Combo sides are available on Relic's three 1980s albums. The bootleg Combo album
contains all 8 Combo sides, plus the two Modern sides and two released Ebb sides.
Ace 212 The Fifties: R&B Vocal Groups
(contains alternate takes of The Native Boys' two Modern sides)
Ace 524 The Ebb Story
(contains The Ebbtones' "I've Got a Feeling")
Ace 599 Combo Vocal Groups
(contains The Native Boys' "I've Got a Feeling," "Strange Love" and "Tears")
Ace 603 The Ebb Story, Vol. 2
(contains the Ebbtones' "Trinidad Woman" and "Danny's Blues")
Ace 698 Modern Vocal Groups, Vol. 1
(contains both sides of The Native Boys' Modern single)

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