Something Here In My Heart (Keeps A-Tellin' Me No)


Paper Dolls

  Female trio; lead vocalist: Susie Mathis

The 'Girl Group' sound was almost exclusively an American phenomenon. Although the UK did produce their own 'Girl Groups', the most successful of which were probably the Beverley Sisters, Americans were more likely to be found in the singles chart.

This record marks one of several exceptions. It was written by Tony Macaulay and John Macloud whose writing skills had secured the consecutive #1's 'Baby Now That I've Found You' (Foundations) and 'Let The Heartaches Begin' (Long John Baldry) only a few months before this record reached the #11 spot.

Sadly, this particular trio of blondes were never to achieve further chart success although they tried with several more singles including a version of the Angels' 'My Boyfriend's Back'. Susie Mathis later became a successful broadcaster in local radio.

Tonight You Belong To Me


Patience & Prudence

  Patience McIntyre and Prudence McIntyre

When this song was first heard on the radio few listeners would have been aware of the tender age of the two singers. Patience and Prudence were 11 and 14 year old sisters. They were the daughters of orchestra leader 'Mack' McIntyre who had encouraged their singing and recording. Indeed, the B-sides of their two hits were co-written by Mack himself.

This record reached #28 in the UK and its follow-up, 'Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now', reached #22 in March 1957.

Patience and Prudence enjoyed no further chart success. However, it is claimed by some people that their influence can be heard on the Caravelles hit from 1963, 'You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry'; a record that carries a similar lilting 'innocence' to Patience and Prudence. The Caravelles were a UK duo who had only the one hit, but continued to act as backing vocalists in later years.

Please Mr. Postman



  Originally Gladys Horton, Georgia Dobbins, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Grant, Katherine Anderson

This record never entered the UK chart, but was sufficiently noted by the Beatles for them to frequently include the song in their repertoire. The Beatles were fond of including 'Girl Group' material in their album releases.

'Please Mr Postman' did not chart in the UK until the Carpenters remake in 1975. However, the original enjoyed enormous success in the U.S. where it provided Berry Gordy's new Motown label with its first #1.

The Marvelettes were to have a further nine hits in the U.S. but only managed to enter the UK chart once. That was with 'When You Are Young And In Love' in 1967, which actually managed a higher British placing than it did at home.

The group suffered a great deal from changes in their line-up and spent most of its life as a trio. Georgia Dobbins was replaced by Wanda Young before the recording of this first record. The disc's poor UK sales coupled with interest from Beatles, Carpenters and girl group collectors makes this a very sought after piece of UK vinyl. {Note the misspelling of the group's name on the label}

Angel Baby


Rosie & The Originals

  Rosie Hamlin born July 21st 1945 in Oregon

'Angel Baby' is widely regarded as a 'classic' oldie, but like the Marvelettes first release failed to have any impact on the UK chart.

Rosie Hamlin's early years were spent in Alaska but she moved with her parents to San Diego while she was around ten years old. It was there at the age of 15 that she met up with a group of four male musicians. Together in a studio converted from an aircraft hangar they recorded this song which Rosie had written herself (despite strange credits appearing on some labels later).

Whether it is Rosie's slightly strained vocalising or the drummer losing the beat midway through the piece, this record has a very unusual appeal. It has become regarded as 'must have' in rock and roll circles although it is very difficult to now find the original UK single.

Well I Told You


The Chantels

  Annette Smith, Sonia Goring, Rene Minus, Jackie Landry

The Chantels were one of the most important of the Girl Groups to make the transition from the 1950s to the 1960s. In common with most of the records featured here their UK record sales did not keep measure with their influence.

Unfortunately, I do not possess an original copy (HLU 8561) of the Chantel's famous classic 'Maybe'. The earlier of the Chantel's recordings featured the lead vocal of Arlene Smith. As Arlene left the group in 1959 to go solo this record has Annette Smith, previously with a group called the Veneers, on lead.

The Chantels were managed by Richard Barrett, who wrote much of their material including the song featured here, and achieved four US chart hits; 'Well I Told You' was the last.

Arlene Smith had no success as a solo artist and later became a school teacher in the Bronx. Richard Barrett was an accomplished performer in his own right and he went on to manage and produce the Three Degrees in the 1970s and 1980s.

(The Best Part of) Breakin' Up


The Ronettes

Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett born August 10th 1943 in New York
Estelle Bennett born July 22nd 1944 in New York
Nedra Talley born January 17th 1946 in New York

The Ronettes began their careers dancing as the 'Dolly Sisters' and found a regular engagement at the Peppermint Lounge which became known for popularizing the 'twist'. They soon turned to singing, but their first record releases were unsuccessful.

However, they began a chance association with record producer Phil Spector. Their first release was 'Be My Baby' which reached #2 in the U.S. and #4 in the UK chart. They were to have a further three hits in Britain with the record featured here the least successful climbing only to #43.

Spector became infatuated with Ronnie and the couple married. Although the singles that Phil Spector produced at this time featuring Ronnie are of his best work, arguably some of the finest pop records ever made, they did not meet with commercial success.

The Ronettes are probably the most significant of the girl groups that Spector produced and their recordings are archetypal of the Girl Group genre.

Jimmy Mack


Martha And The Vandellas

  Martha Reeves born July 18th, 1941 in Alabama

Martha Reeves joined newly formed Motown during 1961, and despite previous singing experience she was employed chiefly in a secretarial role. However she would also sing backing vocals for other artistes and was offered an opportunity to record.

With her group the Vandellas, Martha's biggest success was 'Dancing In The Street' which reached #2 in the U.S. and was her first chart showing in the UK.

The record featured here was typical of her output and was one of six UK hits during the sixties. However, her popularity carried on

into the 1970s and many of her earlier recordings were re-issued and reached the chart for a second time. For example, 'Dancing In The Street' managed #28 on its first showing in 1964, but its re-release in 1969 reached #4.

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