Monday, February 04, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Lee Andrews & The Hearts
Artist:Lee Andrews & The Hearts
Song:Long Lonely Nights
Album:The Doo Wop Box
I know you've heard this song but don't know anything about the group. And I love doo wop anyway and The Doo Wop Box. Lee Andrews & The Hearts had three big hits in 1957-58 and then poof. Lee Andrews was born Arthur Lee Andrew Thompson in 1938 in Goldsboro, NC. His father was a member of the gospel group The Dixie Hummingbirds and the family moved to Philadelphia when Arthur was two. So he grew up singing in church. Like a lot of doo wop groups, he formed a group in high school with Roy Calhoun, Butch Curry, Jimmy McCalister & John Young. They called themselves The Dreams and then The Dreamers. In 1954 they went to the radio station WHAT and auditioned for DJ Kae Williams. He took them to New York to sign with Rainbow Records. There was already a group called The Dreamers so the name had to be changed. Since Arthur Thompson was to be the lead singer, they wanted to have his name in the group. But they didn't like the name much and settled on his middle names. Lee Andrews & The Hearts was born. They released some singles that didn't do much. McCalister went into The Navy and was replaced by Ted Weems. After floundering for a couple of years, New York DJ Jocko Henderson signed them to his Mainline label. John Young left and was replaced by Wendell Calhoun. They released Long Lonely Nights in 1958 but Atlantic issued a cover of the song by Clyde McPhatter. There was also another cover by The Kings. The Hearts version with Lee Andrews beautiful vocal did best on the charts and is the most memorable version. The group had a couple more hits and moved to the larger United Artists label. Andrews left to go solo but never had much success. Lee Andrews still occasionally works the oldies circuit and owns a dress shop in Philadelphia. Here's a video of Lee Andrews & The Hearts performing I've Had It courtesy of British doo wop maven Lee Levine.