Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Fleetwoods

Artist:The Fleetwoods
Song:Come Softly To Me
Album:Come Softly To Me: The Very Best Of The Fleetwoods

The Fleetwoods' smoothed out version of doo wop topped the charts in 1959 with Come Softly To Me. They had a few other hits but their run was cut short due to circumstances beyond their control. The Fleetwoods were from Olympia, WA. Gretchen Christopher and Barbara Ellis formed the group while in high school. Fleetwood was a popular phone exchange in Olympia. They brought in Gary Troxel to play trumpet but when he started humming Come Softly To Me, they turned the group into a vocal trio. They started performing the song locally and got the attention of Seattle record promoter Bob Reinsdorff. He started Dolphin Records with country music star Bonnie Guitar to promote this record. And Bonnie plays acoustic guitar on the record. There was already a Dolphin Records so Reinsdorff changed it to Dolton. The Ventures were also on Dolton. The Fleetwoods recorded the song a cappella and the backing musicians were added in Los Angeles. Come Softly To Me topped the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #5 on the R & B Singles chart. They had some more hits but then Troxel was drafted into the Navy. He was replaced by Vic Dana but it wasn't the same and The Fleetwoods split up in 1963. Also, Reinsdorff sold Dolton to Liberty Records. You can get The Fleetwods' hits on this comp. Barbara Ellis retired from music. But Gary Troxel and Gretchen Christopher lead different versions of The Fleetwoods on the oldies circuit today. Here are The Fleetwoods performing Come Softly To Me on American Bandstand 1959.

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