CLASSIC SOUL brought to you by THE FELLAS
The Fellas were formed in the summer of 1991. The group consisted of founding members, Joe Rivera III (lead vocals/1st tenor), Ricardo Wright (lead vocals/1st tenor) and Andrew 'Drew' Rhoden (lead vocals/2nd tenor) and Anthony Cooper, Jr. (lead vocals/baritone/bass), who proved to be a perfect addition to the group in July 1991.
The Fellas are patterned after the Temptations, whose style allows anyone to step out front and sing lead, without compromising the harmony. Not wanting to be known as an "oldies" group, The Fellas are also armed with original material catered to the adult audience. Artists that influenced The Fellas (besides Motown acts) are The O'Jays, The Manhattans and The Spinners.
Today in 2017, original member Joe Rivera III continues to perpetuate Classic Soul music, along with JoQuae DeVonish, a member of the latter lineup of the Fellas, Roman Barksdale and Donald "Baby Ray" Moyer. Classic Soul returns from New York City.
ROMAN BARKSDALE - Roman got his break in the industry as a member of Black & Latino Rap group THE MEAN MACHINE out of New York City. They were signed to the same record label as THE SUGARHILL GANG in the late 1970's. Roman brought his crooning skills to THE MEAN MACHINE. In 1984 he and Joe Rivera III co-founded R&B band PERFECTION. PERFECTION was the houseband on the record 'Don't Let Them Starve' produced by Arthur Crier, Eugene Thompkins and Jay Siegel (lead singer of THE TOKENS of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' fame). Roman sings lead, 1st tenor and 2nd tenor background vocals.
JoQUAE DeVONISH - JoQuae began singing at a very early age. At the age of 10 he sang with the group Soul Direction and had his first stage perfomance.As a young man, in the early 90's JoQuae met Joe Rivera III through mutual friend, Anthony Warr in 1993. This was when he began to sing with the Fellas. Soon afterwards the members of the group went on to lead their lives and in 2009 The Fellas reconnected. JoQuae currently sings lead & first tenor.
DONALD 'Baby' RAY MOYER - Growing up on a farm in North Carolina, Baby Ray loved singing.By high school he joined the choir and his love for singing and performing. After touring in Japan, he relocated to NYC. It was there, he was drawn to sultry sounds of doowop, leading him to sing with groups such as The Paragons and The Jarmels, whose songs included one of the 10 ten Billboard hits, 'A Little Bit Of Soap. It was original member Ray Smith who dubbed Moyer, 'Baby Ray'. As a member of The Jarmels, "Baby Ray' appeared on a PBS Doowop Special. The Fellas are excited to have him on board. 'Baby Ray' sings lead, baritone, 2nd tenor and 1st tenor background vocals..
JOE RIVERA III - Joe started his career in high school where he co founded an acapella group. After high school he played keyboards and sang lead in a few local R&B bands. In 1991, Joe cofounded The Fellas with Ricardo Wright. The group disbanded in 1993. Afterwards Joe went on to sing with NYC doowop group Earl Lewis & The Channels from 1995 to 2009.In 2005 Joe appeared on a PBS Doowop Special as a member of Earl Lewis & The Channels. In November 2009, the Fellas regrouped with Joe doing leads and singing 1st tenor, 2nd tenor and baritone backup vocals. He also scores out all music for the group. Joe was inducted into the DooWopp Hall of Fame in 2007 as a member of Earl Lewis & The Channels
· Albert ‘Ceasar' Berry – founding member of the Original Tymes
· Joe Bataan - The King of Latin Soul
· Billy Bannister – Road Manager for the Temptations
· Onaje Allan Gumbs – Grammy nominated Jazz pianist