,Reginald Prophet Haynes
The story began in 1968, behind the walls of Trenton State Prison, when a young Reginald Haynes
started a singing group.Little did he
know then that the group he
named THE ESCORTS
would become a legend in their own right.
Like countless artist before him, Reginald
sang on street corners, local talent shows and occasionally, in various church choirs.Then suddenly, although still a teenager, he
found himself behind prison walls because of what he
terms, "a stupid and foolish act."There are various ways of doing time in prison, says Reginald
." You let the time do you and become involved with an element worse then the most hellish of acts, or you can decline your surroundings and become involved in doing the time and turning the negatives around you into something positive and playfully fruitful.
first love, singing, Reginald
sought out three other inmates who shared his
view of prison life and his
lust for singing.
was elated at the prospect of turning professional and so their journey into the entertainment history books began.
With Kerr working on the outside and Reginald
and THE ESCORTS
working on the inside they amassed a strong group of supporters and began to collectively hound prison officials for two years until finally; although faced with overwhelming criticism from prison wardens all over America, the warden of Rahway State Prison said yes.
On June 20, 1973 Reginald Haynes
was released from Rahway State Prison.He was anxious to start his life as the founder and lead vocalist of THE ESCORTS.Reginald began a non-stop tour across the country, from east coast to west coast promoting "ALL WE NEED IS ANOTHER CHANCE" and THE ESCORTS on radio, television and various print medias still he found time to visit hospitals, youth detention centers and mental hospitals where he became an image of hope to those who had lost hope.
could come from the depths of hell and make it; maybe, they could make it to.His
message was and is; Believe in GOD for GOD Believes in YOU.
In the spring of 1974 THE ESCORTS
recorded a second album, "3 DOWN & 4 TO GO".The message of the album was that three members of the group were free and four more were still seeking freedom.Like its predecessor, this album was also recorded behind the walls of Rahway State Prison and was equally embraced by audiences screaming for more.Across the country, Reginald
and the two newly released members of THE ESCORTS
continued to mesmerize audiences starting with turn out performances at the world famous Apollo Theatre.
Then in 1975 Reginald
decided to make a dramatic change in his
career.Although THE ESCORTS
were inter-nationally successful and listed as one of the top R&B groups, Reginald
decided to develop a different side of his
embarked upon a solo career.The Escorts
In Los Angeles, CA Feb. 12, 2005
In the midst of promoting and developing his
solo career, fate dealt Reginald
a devastating blow.He
was arrested for a crime he
did not commit and in 1977 he
was sent back to prison with a term of 14 to 19 years.Reginald
began struggling with his
worst nightmare; trying to prove his
innocence while at the same time trying to maintain his
wife Oona'o after endless attempts at trying to regain his
freedom, initiated The Citizens Defense Committee
and wrote a book entitled "I CALL HIM REGGIE, THEY CALL HIM #597461 " in order to bring attention to their plight.The book created controversy and the public reacted via hundreds and hundreds of people signed petitions requesting a new trial, free of the improprieties and outrageous irregularities of the trial and jury that found him guilty.The petitions were denied hence the long hard battle for his
freedom which lasted some seven odd years.The battle finally ended in August 1983 but Reginald
was not the same.
Having survived the holocaust of unjust imprisonment returning back to singing was the last thing on Reginald's' mind.He
was content just to be free at last.But his
family and friends and fans wouldn't let him forget.Everywhere he
was recognized and prodded to return to the stage.Reginald
was unsure as to whether he
was still able/capture his
audiences attention so he
performed locally and to his
was received with open arms and rave reviews from his
fans.The" Prophet of Love and Song" was back and better than ever.He
was offered a chance to record and produce his
own album.In 1988 he
first solo album "ON WINGS OF LOVE"; A collection of love songs dedicated to his
solo career began to blossom, but he
just couldn't forget the group he
gave life to; THE ESCORTS
After being separated for many years George Kerr reentered Reginald's
life and his thoughts echoed Reginald's; lets put the group back together.
began the search for new ESCORTS.But this time he
wanted top professionals who would be loyal to THE ESCORTS legacy, have the principals and abilities necessary to perpetuate and enhance the legacy and most importantly men who believed in and bowed down to the son of GOD.Reginald
began holding auditions and soon found out that finding new ESCORTS would not be an easy task.
Rightly dubbed, 'A man for all seasons', Reginald Prophet Haynes
expounds upon his