CHARTS: Greatest Hits
Article properties: CHARTS: Greatest Hits
|Charts - Greatest Hits CD 1|
|02||All Because Of Love|
|03||Why Do You Cry|
|05||I Told You So|
|07||You're The Reason|
|08||I've Been Wondering|
|09||Baby Be Mine|
Naming their group after the listings that they wanted to climb actually worked for The Charts. Their debut single, Deserie, actually became a national hit.
Yet another quintet from Harlem (around 115th and Lenox) ranging in age from 13 to 17 when they coalesced in 1956, lead tenor Joe Grier, tenors Steven Brown and Glenmore Jackson, baritone Leroy Binns, and bass Ross Buford started out as The Thrilltones. They asked Empires lead singer Les Cooper to be their manager. He turned thumbs down on their name, and The Charts were officially born. Cooper brought his protégés to see Danny Robinson, younger brother of label owner Bobby Robinson; Danny had his own Holiday label, and was launching a new subsidiary, Everlast Records. The Charts would be the stars of Everlast's inaugural single.
Cooper and Robinson A&R associate Clarence Johnson were credited with penning the yearning ballad Deserie (Johnson had also been in on penning The Bop-Chords' Castle In The Sky on Holiday, which is on our previous compilation). It's a sublime piece of New York street corner doo-wop, the 17-year-old Grier's falsetto intro drifting over a meandering rhythm section before he pledges eternal devotion to his girl. Paired with the rocking Zoop, another Cooper/Johnson copyright, Deserie came out in May of '57. It dented 'Billboard's' pop hit parade twice, first in July and again in October, peaking at #88. The Charts were on the charts
The Charts' Everlast encore, coupling the ballad Why Do You Cry (opening with a falsetto blast similar to that on Deserie) and Cooper's rollicking Dance Girl, didn't restore the group to their namesake surveys. Neither did the atmospheric ballad You're The Reason b/w the bopping I've Been Wondering in the spring of '58, nor a calypso-tinged All Because Of Love b/w the storming I Told You So or a Deserie-sounding My Diane b/w the upbeat Baby Be Mine, all out before year's end.
Grier joined the Army in 1958 (he'd take up the tenor sax and contribute a barrage of yakety licks to Wiggle Wobble, Cooper's '62 hit instrumental for Everlast). Binns and Brown kept The Charts going with new members. They updated Deserie for Wand in 1966 and ventured in more of a soul direction on Livin' The Nightlife.
- Bill Dahl -
Various Street - Corner Symphonies 1957 Vol.9
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