- Released: July 15, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
The Hearts were the first vocal group to be managed and recorded by Zelma "Zell" Sanders. Formed in 1954, the original trio of Harlem-born girls were composed of Joyce West, Forestine Barns and Hazel Crutchfield Anderson. Ms Sanders, an aspiring songwriter, heard the girls at an Apollo Theater talent show and showed interest in their group. The girls were at the time between 12 and 15 years old. She recruited a fourth member, Louise Harris, who was only eight years old. Zell Sanders also began to work with a young pianist, Rex Garvin, who would be an integral part of her future musical endeavors as an arranger and songwriter for many of her artists.
Prior to forming her own record company, J&S, Zell Sanders signed the Hearts to the Baton label. One of the first recordings was a cover of the Ink Spots' hit "Until The Real Thing Comes Along," written in 1936 by Saul Chaplin.
By 1957, The Hearts recordings were released on J&S, Zell's company. The one constant in The Hearts' recording career was that Zell Sanders made all the decisions. She hired and fired members at will. One new member whose talent excelled above the others was Justine "Baby" Washington. Although her style and vocal sound was much different than former lead singer Joyce West, no one who liked Rhythm and Blues music seemed to mind. The records made with both singers were emotional and compelling. Although "Baby" Washington's tenure with The Hearts was short, she continued recording with J&S as a solo artist until 1959.
The next lead vocalist of The Hearts was Lezli Valentine. Lezli would achieve fame as the focal member of the Jaynetts, whose song "Sally Go Round The Roses," would be one of Zell Sanders greatest commercial successes. It is her lead voice on The Hearts' tune "There's No Love At All."
Betty Harris, who would have a solo career recording in the 1960s for Allen Toussaint's Sansu Records, was also a member of The Hearts at this time (1957-1958).
The Hearts continued recording into the 1960s. One 1960 45 release "A Thousand Years From Today" backed with "I Feel So Good," featured Ruth Artis as lead vocalist.
Another new member, Cynthia Cox (Felder), not only sang lead on the last Hearts single to be released on J&S, "I Couldn't Let You See Me Crying," from 1961, but also wrote the song.
In 1970, many of The Hearts' singles and other assorted tracks were released on an album entitled "I Feel So Good." This album was released on the Zell's label, and is a highly sought after R&B collectable in its original pressing.
Even though they changed members frequently, the Hearts made some excellent recordings in their time. Zell Sanders had an undeniable ear for talent, and should be more highly considered in the history of Rock and Roll as one of its true pioneers.
- 1.All My Love Belongs To You
- 2.Until The Real Thing Comes Along
- 3.I Want Your Love Tonight
- 4.Like, Later For You Baby
- 5.Dancing In A Dream World
- 6.You Needn't Tell Me
- 7.So Long Baby
- 8.You Say You Love Me
- 9.Where Are You Tonight
- 10.I Wanted To Be Free
- 11.There Is No Love At All
- 12.Goodbye, Baby
- 13.Thousand Years From Today
- 14.There Are So Many Ways Valentino
- 15.You Or Me Have Got To Go
- 16.My Love Has Gone
- 17.You Weren't Home
- 18.I Couldn't Let You See Me Crying
- 19.I Feel So Good
- 20.Do You Remember
- 21.Don't Let Me Down
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Liner Note Author: Al Fichera.
In the 1950s, the doo wop and close harmony group scene was dominated by men. The Hearts, an all-girl quartet, were an exception to the rule. The Hearts scored their first hit in 1955, and were heralded for their sweet vocal blend and irrepressible tunes. Although THE VERY BEST OF THE HEARTS omits the group's hits "Lonely Nights" and "Dear Abby," it features 21 vintage girl-group gems, including "So Long Baby," "All My Love Belongs to You," and "Until the Real Thing Comes Along." Girl group aficionados and lovers of classic doo wop will want to give this compilation a spin.
- Sales Rank: 20,804
- UPC: 090431788721
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item