Pop Archives

The Vibrants - The Letter Song (1967)

(Joe Tex)
Australia Australia
#37 Melbourne #15 Adelaide #38 Perth

Single on Columbia, produced by David Mackay.

Adelaide band that evolved from Bobby James and the Vibrants after Bobby James formed the Bobby James Syndicate. They moved to Melbourne in 1966 and recorded their best-known songs, Something About You Baby and My Prayer. The Vibrants survived major personnel changes in 1968, and had a minor hit in 1970 with I Can't Let Go Of Your Love (by Buddy England, then a band member) before breaking up at the end of 1971.

In 1965, before he joined The Vibrants, lead singer John Rupert Perry had three charting singles in Adelaide as John Perry:
  Unchained Melody (#4, co-charted with The Righteous Brothers' #1 US hit);
  Sleepy Lagoon (#7, the often-recorded 1942 Harry James hit song, with words by Jack Lawrence to Eric Coates's By The Sleepy Lagoon); and
   Evergreen (#21, a Roy Orbison song written by Nashville guitarist-producer-arranger-songwriter Joe Tanner).

See also Danger Zone.

Further reading: Vibrants page at Milesago.
Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

Joe Tex - S.Y.S.L.J.F.M. (The Letter Song) (1966)

(Joe Tex)
Original version
#39 USA

Single on Dial (distributed by Atlantic).

S.Y.S.L.J.F.M. = Save your sweet love just for me

Joe Tex (Joe Arrington Jr, 1933-1982) was a Texan R&B-soul singer and songwriter. He was an associate of soul greats Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Arthur Conley, Ben E. King and Don Covay, all of whom were, at various times, with Tex in the Soul Clan collective. As Dave Marsh puts it, Tex was arguably, the most underrated of all the 60s soul performers associated with Atlantic Records (All Music).

Tex had nine Billboard Top 40 hits, beginning with the slow and tender Hold What You've Got (1965, #5 USA). His biggest hit was I Gotcha (1972, #2 USA), followed in 1977 by his last, a disco novelty song that got to #12 in the US but was a quite a hit in Australia: Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman) charted #2 in Sydney, our biggest market, and #4 Melbourne, #4 Brisbane, #2 Adelaide, #7 Perth. Although he was well-known down here as part of the late-1960s wave of soul music, the only other Joe Tex record that charted in Australia was Show Me (1967, #34 Melbourne). In New Zealand he had one charting single, Don't Cry Over Spilt Milk (1979, #27 NZ).

Reference, further reading: 1. Dave Marsh's biography of Joe Tex at AllMusic. 2. The Soul Clan at wikipedia.

Q-Tips - S.Y.S.L.J.F.M. (The Letter Song) (1980)

(Joe Tex)
Later version

Single on Chrysalis by English soul revival band whose lead singer Paul Young became a solo star later in the 80s.