George Cummings The Original Flares & Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
George Cummings (Born July 28, 1938, Meridian, Mississippi) is a guitarist and songwriter based in Bayonne, New Jersey and in recent years, Nashville, Tennessee.
The Chocolate Papers
Darryl Vincent and the Flares was formed in Meridian in 1956, and Cummings joined the group in 1959. In the 1960s, Cummings was a member of the Chocolate Papers, along with Ray Sawyer, Bill Francis, Bobby Dimingus, Popeye Phillips and Jimmy "Wolf Cub" Allen. The Chocolate Papers toured clubs in Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina, before settling in Biloxi as the house band at the popular 800-seat Gus Stevens Restaurant, the first Gulf Coast supper club to offer upscale entertainment with such headliners as Elvis Presley, Andy Griffith, Mel Torme, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren. The Chocolate Papers moved to Chicago, but Cummings soon decided to form his own band in the New York area.
Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Cummings found fame with Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, the group he named and co-founded in Union City, New Jersey in 1968. Several members of the Chocolate Papers joined the new group. They recorded their debut album for CBS/Columbia in 1970, and sold a million copies of their single, "Sylvia's Mother," when it was re-released in July, 1972. The group was caricatured on the cover of Rolling Stone. Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show was the recipient of more than sixty gold and platinum albums, gaining No. 1 chart status in more than 42 different countries. The band produced solid gold hits like "Sylvia's Mother" which reached No. 5 on the American Billboard Hot 100, "Sharing The Night Together" which reached No. 6 and "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman" also reaching No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group scored with a string of hits all around the world during the '70s and early '80. For health reasons, George Cummings left the Dr. Hook group in August, 1975, moving from San Francisco to Nashville, where he collaborated on songs with guitar legend Lonnie Mack while performing with The Raven and other Nashville country and rock bands.
George Cummings - Picture from Legends - Mississippi Arts & Entertainment
In 1978, at the Muscle Shoals Studios, he collaborated with the legendary Delta bluesman Big Joe Williams on one of the singer's last albums, The Final Years: Big Joe Williams. Produced by Cummings, Joe B. Stewart and Ken Hatley, this album was released in 1993 by Gitanes Jazz/Verve.
In 2003, Cummings worked with Ken Hatley on the soundtrack for Florida City, a film drama about advance knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack. In the spring of 2004, the Flares were reborn in Lebanon, Tennessee when Cummings joined original members, guitarist Jim Pasquale and drummer Norman "Knobby" Lowell, along with Nashville singer-songwriters Scotty Cothran, Harold Hutchcraft, Jack Bond and Forest Borders, to cut the comeback album, It Is What It Is. In September, 2005, Cummings began recording a solo CD, working with Pasquale and Hutchcraft.