About The Tornadoes
Charles Sutton, a founding member of the Royals -- who changed to the Midnighters to avoid confusion with the Five Royales -- formed the Tornados when the Midnighters barred his re-entry in the group after a lengthy illness. Attempting to create a lineup as potent as the Midnighters, Sutton recruited Stanley Mitchell (tenor), William Weatherspoon (tenor), and Ben Knight (bass).
A session for Chess Records produced five sides of which Chess issued one single "Four O' Clock in the Morning" b/w "Would You, Could You," aka "Hey You," (both sides written by their manager Alonzo Tucker) in 1956. The label credit read Stanley Mitchell & the Tornados and it got home state play (Michigan) but little anywhere else; the three other sides were never released, nor was anything cut at a 1957 or a 1958 session after they fired Tucker. 1956 wasn't all bad for Sutton, he co-wrote the Moonglows' hit "See Saw" with Roquel "Billy" Davis and Harry Pratt.
A hitch with Bob West in 1959 resulted in "Love in Your Life," written by Sutton and sometimes-Tornado Robert Spencer, and "Geni [sic] in a Jug," written by Sutton and Weatherspoon. West had a family of labels that included Lupine, Flick, Kudo, Contour, and Bumblebee; the Tornados' single came out on the latter. It seemed a natural move as West's A&R Director was ex-Royal/Midnighter Sonny Woods, Sutton's old road dog. But the Bumblebee deal only lasted one record. They next recorded some sides for Winley Records, notably "Clap Your Hand and Skate," written by Dave Clowney, bka Dave "Baby" Cortez, and Paul Winley, but neither it, nor the other sides ever saw the light of day and the Tornados disbanded.
Sutton attempted an unsuccessful songwriting career with Correct Tone Records. Weatherspoon made a splash with Motown in the '60s as a songwriter/producer, scoring mightily with Jimmy Ruffin via "What's Become of the Brokenhearted," co-written with James Dean and arranger Paul Riser. He also contributed to Holland-Dozier-Holland's Invictus/Hot Wax labels in the '70s. Mitchell and Knight blended into the nine to five world and were never heard from again. ~ Andrew Hamilton