Four friends formed a group they named the Domingos in Junior High school in a suburb of Detroit. They continued singing together even after finishing High School although that meant only singing together on weekends. One of the members wandered off and was replaced.
In 1966 they reworked/finished a song that Edwin Starr began work on while in the military. Producer John Rhys helped complete their version of Oh How Happy and convinced them to change their name to The Shades of Blue. He also took their recording to Impact Records and got them to release the single.
The record quickly rose to #12 on the charts and the group abandoned their normal lives to tour and promote the record. They also made a number of appearances on various television shows. Years before Cher danced around on a Navy ship, the Shades of Blue made a video singing on the US carrier USS Forrestal.
Edwin Starr is the only one listed in the credits for writing the song. In 1969 he and Blinky recorded the song and released it as a single that barely got into the Hot 100. The next year he cut a number one record with the song War (which he did not write).
The group recorded a few more singles and completed an album but without any additional success. By 1969 the group disbanded. One member (Nick Marinelli) joined a The Valadiers, a Motown group. The Valadiers also toured as The Shades of Blue.