The Combinations

“(Too Long) I’ve been Waiting”

Label:  Soul Direction Records
Catalog: SD -1001
Release Date:  November 2021  
Format: 7’ Vinyl 

The Combinations were a male vocal group whose line up included Willie C. Collins of Will Collins and Willpower “Anything You Can Do” fame, and three other guys all from British Honduras. Hubert Usher, Lenny Bailey and a guy only remembered as Gerald. Under the auspices of David Braithwaite and Ernest Kelley they recorded a solitary 45 release “(Too Long) I’ve Been Waiting/Please Don’t Leave Me” (Soul “O” Sonic), this being the earlier New York based version of Ernest Kelley’s label. 

Ernest Kelly was very instrumental in Willie Collins early career, it was he who encouraged Willie to persue a solo career with Willie recording his first solo outing on Ernest’s Geneva label again the earlier New York variant, of Ernest’s label which he would later reactivate in Detroit during the 1970’s). 

Lenny Bailey was instrumental in the forming of The Combinations at the tender age of 18 which was around 1964.Quite quickly after recording “(Too Long) I’ve Been Waiting / Please Don’t Leave me” They had some success with the release, becoming a bit of a hit in New York with radio station plays from WBLS, WLIB & WWRL amongst others.Lenny then went on to work at R&R and Ren-Rome Records In New York with Rena Feeney who was also known as Rena Romano. The Labels were probably named after her “Rena Romano” TV show which featured interviews with various Disco artists. Rena Feeney, who was working with her publishing partner Billy Nichols. He had wrote such hits for B.T. Express “Do It Till You’re Satisfied” and worked on some of Rena’s own releases. Lenny wrote, recorded, arranged and produced songs with the short lived label such as:

Lenny Bailey Orchestra – Do It With Me Joe Rivers – Everybody Let’s Party These had some local success around New York through various radio stations.

Lenny is alive and well at the age of 76 and without him this would not have been possible.Some of this article’s information courtesy of Dave Welding.

Licensing courtesy of Lenny Bailey and IQ Music Ltd.

Alan Kitchen