During 1969, songwriter Wally Holmes had the idea to form a black vocal trio. His original idea was to call the group the Children of Howard Hughes, in reference to the reclusive millionaire. Not unexpectedly, legal issues meant the Howard Hughes name couldn’t be incorporated into the group’s name. Holmes put on his thinking cap and came up with a good compromise - the Hues Corporation. The group’s original line-up comprised a friend of Holmes, Bernard Henderson, female vocalist H. Ann Kelly (who they discovered at a Los Angeles talent show), and Karl Russell who responded to notices that Holmes had placed in southern California record bars. The vocal chemistry wasn’t quite right, so Russell was soon replaced by Fleming Williams, and the Hues Corporation was open for business.
Initial tenures at various Los Angeles clubs failed to attract much notice, but the group gained a profile and following during a stint of shows in the lounge of the Circus Circus Club in Las Vegas. Word of mouth led to record label talent scouts checking out the balance sheet of the Hues Corporation, and RCA liked the numbers they saw, signing the trio to a recording contract.
The follow up album ‘Love Corporation’ (US#147/ R&B#40) failed to build on the profit’s generated by ‘Rock The Boat’, but did yield a #15 R&B hit with the title track. 1975’s ‘Rockin’ Soul’ album (R&B#20) yielded a Hot 100 top 20 hit with the title track (#18/R&B#6/ OZ#71/UK#24) but the fortunes of the Hues Corporation were quickly dwindling. They made one final incursion into the Hot 100 with 1977’s ‘I Caught Your Act’ (US#92), but it seemed few were willing to catch the trio’s act anymore. With the movement they helped kick start, disco, in full swing and generating dance group after dance group, there was no room in the mix for the Hues Corporation, and the trio disbanded late in ‘77.