The Joytones

joytones.jpg (226171 bytes)
Joytones circa 1958  (From top clockwise)
Lynn Middleton, Vicki Burgess and Margaret Moore
Photo courtesy Vicki Burgess

The Joytones consisted of Lucille "Vicky" Burgess (lead), Barbara Brown, and Margaret Moore.

Vicki Burgess grew up near 119th and Eight Avenue in Harlem section of New York City.   At seventeen she joined the Charmers. After the Charmers signed with Central Records, Burges sang lead on "The Beating of My Heart" and "Tony My Darling." She then left the Charmers and joined the Solirettes. There she recorded "I Call To You" on Old Town Records and later worked with the Dell-Tones.

One evening Burgess was intoduced to Raul Cita backstage at the Appollo. who had heard her sing and wanted to meet her. After sing Glory of Love at her audition for Cita she was invited to join the Royale Cita Chorus. One of the other Cita groups she ecorded with were the Joytones.

There were actually three different configurations of the Joytones with Burgess and Margaret Moore belonging to all of them. The first with Estelle Harper recorded "All My Love Belongs To you." Barbara Brown replaced Estelle for the next single "Gee What a Boy." Then on the next single :My Foolish Heart" a pregnant Barbara Brown was replaced by Lynn Middleton. They recorded three different singles on George Goldner's Rama label.

The Joytones are perhaps best known for "My Foolish Heart"  which was recorded in October 1956 with Lynn Middleton replacing Barbara Brown and was released in November 1956. They appeared at the Apollo to standing room crowds. One of the shows featured along with the Joytones, The Teenagers, Cleftones, Valentines and Harptones. "My Foolish Heart" was recorded in October 1956 with Lynn Middleton replacing Barbara Brown and was released in November 1956.

After the Joytones' singles they concentrated on personal appearances and studio work. Like many other groups, the Joytones never were able to find the second successful single that was needed to put them on top so the group disbanded.

Vikkki went on to do back-up work and sing commercial jingles. Later with her husband Eddie Barnes, Viki would perform as a solo act in and around New York. With the coming of disco in the late 70s she gave up singing taking a job outside the music business. Later the Joytones would regroup when they appeared at the United In Harmony Association's concert in 1992.

Lynn Middleton performed world-wide with Ramon Loper's Platters during the late 60s and 70s. Known as Sugar Grier she performed in Harlem clubs in the 80s and joined The Harptones in the early 90s. She passed away in 1994.

Margaret Moore moved away from New York, but later returned to work again with Cita's group Feelings in 1970 Moore passed away in 1996.

The Joytones came from the upper Manhattan and the Bronx in New York City. They recorded "All My Love Belongs To You," 'Gee What a Boy," and "Jimbo Jangle" in 1956 for Rama Records. They were backed by a male quartet known as the Lyrics on their records. The Lyrics were part of the Raoul Cita chorus and it was Cita that trained the Joytones.

"My Foolish Heart" was recorded in October 1956 with Lynn Middleton replacing Barbara Brown and was released in November 1956.