|Lead Singer: Shirley Owens born June 10th, 1941 in Passaic, New Jersey
The Shirelles were one of the greatest girl groups of all time. They formed a group while still at school and had moderate success with several minor U.S. Hits from 1958.
However, it was this Goffin and King penned number that made the really big time. With Carol King, herself playing drums this song got to #4 in the UK. A position not bettered by a girl group until the Supremes appeared in 1963.
Shirley Owens was reluctant to record 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' because she thought it to be a country number, and unsuitable material for the girls. However the record reached #1 in the U.S. and established the Shirelles as a top group on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Shirelles were a huge influence on the British groups that were to follow. Their songs were covered extensively, notably by the Beatles, Manfred Mann and the Merseybeats.
|Eden Kane born in Delhi, India; March 25th, 1942
Eden Kane's real name was Richard Sarstedt. But he entered popular music at a time when it was believed that a name had to sound 'correct' to be successful.
Indeed, Richard was more successful than most solo singers at a time when popular music was about to be overwhelmed by the 'Group' sound. He had four top ten hits, including this one which reached the top spot. His last chart success was 'Boys Cry' in 1964.
However, the name of Sarstedt was probably no real handicap. His younger brothers both managed to have major chart successes without changing their names.
Peter Sarstedt got there in 1969 with 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely' (another #1) and 'Frozen Orange Juice'; and in 1976, Robin Sarstedt succeeded with 'My Resistance Is Low'.
|Gene Chandler born July 6th 1937 in Chicago
By 1961, the earlier styles of Rock and Roll were already beginning to fade. Some variants, like Doo Wop , had never caught on in the UK as they had in the USA. However, this record shows that the genre was far from dead.
'Duke Of Earl' was a true Doo Wop tune with its almost constant 'dook-dook-dook' background harmony. It had a great deal of UK airplay, and became a very familiar sound in Britain, but never quite managed to reach the charts.
In contrast to the British reaction to it, the record was an enormous hit in America and even gave rise to more than one female version ('Duchess of Earl').
However, the record's success in the USA assured Gene Chandler's musical career and he managed to achieve British chart success years later in the guise of a soul singer. Despite that, he is probably still best remembered in the UK for the very collectable but uncharted 'Duke'.
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