soul groups of the 70s with a long string
of hits on the Atlantic label that included
"I'll Be Around" and "Rubberband Man."
but it would be a streeetch for me to say that all
great Spinners recordings were made in the 70s.
In fact, my favorite Spinners record was waxed
in the mid 60s when the group was still on the
roster at Motown. “Truly Yours” was a top 20
hit on the pop chart and a jukebox giant at
the Shady Dell, ranked high on my list
of the Dell's 200 Greatest Hits.
for the mailman to pick-up. Don't believe
me? Think I'm making this up? Google it!
mind for use this post is "The Letter,"
the debut single and biggest hit by
the Memphis blue-eyed soul band
starts playing you'll see the kids
on American Bandstand flock to
the floor giving us a glimpse of
the fashions and dance steps
that were "in" at the time.
Bobby Vee, the one time teen idol who gave us
many excellent pop, rock 'n' roll and rockabilly
recordings. In keeping with our letter theme,
here's a fun Bobby Vee ditty entitled "A Letter
From Betty." (Could it be Betty Anderson of
of "Be True To Yourself," "A Letter From Betty"
charted in the summer of 1963. The song's
scenario is familiar. Betty, an old flame,
the love of his life, sends Mr. Vee
a dreaded "Dear Bobby" letter.
members, there were The Valadiers, the first
white group signed to Berry Gordy's label.
The Valadiers were the ones who wrote
and first recorded "Greetings (This Is
Uncle Sam)." Released in 1961, the
single made only a slight dent in the
pop chart. In 1966, a black Motown
group called The Monitors covered
the song with greater success, their
version coming close to the top 20
on the R&B Singles chart. Listen
now to the seldom heard
The Valadiers (Nov./Dec. 1961,
highest chart pos. #89)
wound up as TV's Julia, the role eventually
landed by Diahann Carroll. For five seasons
Ketty was a main cast member on Little House
On The Prairie. Earlier, during her career as a
traditional pop and R&B vocalist, Ketty scored
her biggest hit with a cover of "Love Letters,"
the title song of a 1945 film starring Jennifer
Jones and Joseph Cotten successfully recorded
that year by Dick Haymes. I love the drop-dead
slow pace of Ketty's ballad, her intimate vocals
and perfect diction. Released in 1962, Ketty's
updated version of "Love Letters" was a top 5
hit on the pop chart and went all the way
to #2 on the R&B chart.
a record being eclipsed by the killer bee. Released
near the end of 1967 by the veteran R&B group
The Dells, "O-O, I Love You" is the A side of
of a single backed with the up tempo song
"There Is." "O-O" brushed the R&B top 20,
but radio stations and listeners liked
"There Is" even more and the fab flip
brushed the top 10. Listen now to my
next featured letter song, The Dells
ballad with a letter theme -
"O-O, I Love You."
from 1968 album There Is)
would be complete without this one,
the debut single and #1 smash hit by
Motown's marvelous Marvelettes,
#1 Hot 100/#1 R&B, from Nov. 1961
album Please Mr. Postman)
by the Tennessee barbershop quartet The Four Voices.
the shyness and the natural reticence of most
teens back then. Being on television was a big
deal, much more than it is today. Did you hear
in that Dells' song I played earlier the words
"Because we're shy when we're young"?
Not so anymore! YouTube and other
forms of social media are turning
many of today's young people
into brazen exhibitionists.
I posted a few of the comments I found
beneath this video on YouTube:
rap lyrics of today."
and remember "the way we were.")
signed, sealed and delivered. :)