EST. 1940's

The Four Dots

The Four Dots formed in 1947, consisting of students from Randall Junior High School who sang in the glee club.* Even though D.C. Public Schools were segregated at that time, their experience in glee club was beneficial to their development as vocalists. Their sound was reminiscent of The Ink Spots, who rose to fame in the 1930’s and are widely renowned as the predecessors of doo-wop. In many ways, The Four Dots reflected the cultural and local music scene in post WWII Washington, D.C.

The Four Dots' members lived in neighborhoods across the city. One member, Rudolph Harris, lived at 16th and Swann Streets N.W. while the other members resided near the Maine Avenue/Waterfront area, close to 3rd St S.W. Floyd Brown lived on I St., Wilbert Beal on K St. and George Davis on F St. (It's notable that this is the same S.W. neighborhood where a vocal group named The Syncopators formed two years earlier.) In addition to singing, both Floyd Brown and Wilbert Beal were also guitar players. Vocalist Lawrence Green joined the group sometime later, making the Four Dots a five-man group.
The Four Dots' career got a boost on March 3, 1951, when they won an amateur talent contest sponsored by local radio station, WWDC. (Many vocal groups aimed to win such contests in order to gain wider exposure.) As the story goes, Randy Woods, co-owner of Dot Records in Tennessee, heard the group's winning performance and signed them to a contract. (Dot Records was one of the most successful independent record labels of the 1950s and 1960s.)

The Four Dots' singles recordings include "Pleading for Your Love," "Once More," and "Kiss Me Sugar Plum" and "Peace of Mind." Their tender ballad "My Dear", which was penned by the entire group, and its opposite side, a bluesy cover of the 1940 recording "You Won't Let Me Go", featured backing from The Griffin Brothers (also known as Griffin Brothers Orchestra), one of Dot Records' mainstay R&B bands. (The Griffin Brothers - who hailed from Norfolk, VA - had ties to DC as they played in local clubs and got signed to Dot Records thanks to Lillian Claiborne of DC Records.)

The Four Dots’ members Lawrence Green and George Davis went on to sing with another DC group, The Heartbreakers.

*The Four Dots of Washington, DC, are not to be confused with the 1950s Pittsburgh-based group who were signed to Bullseye Records.

The Four Dots

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All five of The Four Dots (courtesy of Jay Bruder)

"One day you'll find that our love was really true. Then I'll only hope, we can start life anew"

- My Dear

The Four Dots