Named for The Impressions landmark 1969 album The Young Mods’ Forgotten Story, Dayton’s Young Mods were mustering out of Vietnam just as the storied Chicago trio were hitting their socio-political stride. “People always said to me, ‘You sound like a combination of Curtis Mayfield and Frankie Lymon’,” leader and vocalist Tommie Henderson later reflected. “I resented that. But after the name started catching on everybody had already heard about the Young Mods.” Formed in July 1969, the vocal quartet of Henderson, Carl Dronaugh, Raymond Smith, and Ronnie Ditto made their way to a long-forgotten Kettering, Ohio, studio under the tutelage of manager Henry Morton. “Henry, what are we supposed to do in this rinky-dink eight track studio?” Henderson remembered saying of the cramped confines. Nevertheless, the group and their backing band of future major label funkers Lakeside and Slave made quick work of their originals “Gloria” and “You Brought The Sunshine.” The Mayfield love didn’t end with the naming convention, as “Gloria” is a “synthetic imagination” of the Five Stairsteps 1966 Curtis-produced hit “You Waited Too Long.”
The 45 was issued on Morton’s stunning Gang Land label, with his “Syndicated Sound” promise emblazoned for the world to ponder. The June 1970 single propelled The Young Mods into a statewide tour opening for the Delfonics, O’Jays, and Intruders that summer, which ended up being the group’s peak. A 1971 follow up appeared on Everblack label, trailed five years later for a third and final 45 for Phil Mehaffey’s Dayton-based Pork concern.
- Young Mods Gloria
- Young Mods You Brought The Sunshine