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Jimmy Springs, 75; Lead Singer of Red Caps

October 09, 1987

Jimmy Springs, lead singer of the vocal group the Red Caps, died Sunday in Philadelphia. He was 75.

Springs, who attracted audiences early in his career with his imitation of a trumpet, was particularly well-known for his exceptionally high tenor voice.

As a teen-ager, he formed the Dixie Cotton Pickers, who performed Mills Brothers tunes on the radio and toured with a vaudeville show. Gene Autry put the band on his "National Barn Dance" radioshow and toured with them. It was with that group that Autry introduced the song "Blueberry Hill," which later became a smash hit for Fats Domino.

In the late 1930s, Springs' group moved to California, where it was first known as the Jones Boys and later as the Four Toppers, before becoming the Red Caps. The group appeared in many musical films, including "Mystery in Swing," "Hollywood Handicap" and "Double or Nothing."

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