Meet the Guys Behind "The Brothers"

Apr 18, 2018

Michael Rivest, who writes for the TU and does a ton of great things in the community, talked with a couple of friends - Earl Thorpe (who currently sings with The Heavenly Echoes) and Persell McDowell. The two were at the core foundation of "The Brothers," a Civil Rights, activist group formed in Albany in the mid-1960s. Hear about that, and Earl's earlier group The Fidelity's, a doo wop group from the late 50's.

In April 1966 Earl Thorpe and Persell McDowell, along with 15 or so other brave souls, met at Albany’s old Trinity Institute to start The Brothers, the Albany-Based Civil Rights group that preceded The Black Panthers in Oakland, CA by six months. They wanted access to union employment, better housing opportunities, trash collection, the end to the $5 vote and an end to police brutality. Before they were through, they accomplished all of those goals. Thorpe and McDowell are heroes. There should be an Albany monument dedicated to them. Listen in as Michael Rivest asks them about those electrifying days.

In addition to founding The Brothers, Thorpe also founded The Fidelities, the late 1950s doo-wop group that charted many national hits and appeared on American Bandstand three times. Michael Rivest asks him about his remarkable history with the group. Check this out!