Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day: 1971 Donnie Elbert – Where Did Our Love Go?

1971 Donnie Elbert – Where Did Our Love Go?

Donnie Elbert was born in New Orleans in the mid-thirties. His family moved to Buffalo, New York when he was only three years old. He grew up playing the piano and guitar and formed the doo-wop group The Vibraharps in 1955. Besides playing guitar and singing backup vocals in the group, he also wrote and arranged some of their songs.

Donnie began a solo career in 1957 when he signed with King Records. His first solo hit featured his falsetto. What Can I Do? reached #12 on the R&B chart but peaked at only #61 on the Hot 100.

Donnie recorded several other singles that failed to chart. His career was interrupted for a few years by a stretch in the military. More singles followed, and he moved to the UK in 1966. He got married, signed with a new label, and then found the charts again in 1970. He wrote and co-produced Can’t Get Over Losing You, and the single made it to #26 on the R&B chart and touched #98 on the Hot 100.

In 1971 he recorded a cover version of the Supremes hit, Where Did Our Love Go. The single was a top ten record in the UK and reached #15 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the R&B chart.

He followed that success with another single that did not do well. The single after that covered the Four Tops song I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). His cover reached #11 in the UK, #22 on the Hot 100, and #11 on the R&B chart in 1972.

Donnie never reached the Hot 100 again. A re-issue of his 1965 recording, A Little Piece Of Leather, caught on as part of the Northern Soul movement in the UK and reached #27 in the UK in 1972.

Donnie stopped performing in the mid-eighties and went to work for Polygram as the director of A&R for their Canadian division.

Donnie wrote over a hundred songs during his career. He was only 52 years old when he had a massive stroke and died in 1989.


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