1975 Carol Douglas – Doctor’s Orders
Carol Douglas grew up in Brooklyn in a musical family. Her mother was a jazz musician who was the inspiration for Cab Calloway’s Minnie The Moocher. One of her cousins was Sam Cooke. She was a contestant on Name That Tune and won the program when she was only ten years old.
Carol recorded a single as Carol Cooke when she turned fifteen in 1965, but her record label dropped her when she became pregnant. She recorded a few jingles and also did some voiceover work for commercials before concentrating on an acting career.
The Chantels had several top twenty hits in 1958 and 1961. The original lead singer, Arlene Smith, reformed the group with new members in 1970, including Carol. While Carol was with the Chantels, the group toured on the oldies circuit and recorded the single Some Tears Fall Dry, but it failed to chart.
Yvonne Wheatman and Heather Wheatman performed as Sue and Sunny in the UK in the late sixties. They found work as session singers and were two of the members that joined Roger Greenaway in The Brotherhood Of Man in 1970. After that group splintered, Roger’s writing partner Roger Cook produced Sunny singing a song the two Rogers had written, Doctor’s Orders. Her single peaked at #7 in the UK in 1974.
Midland International Records in the US ran an ad in Showbiz Magazine seeking a singer to cover Sunny’s record. After all the auditions they ran, they selected Carol as the winner. Meco Monardo had recently produced Gloria Gaynor’s cover of the Jackson Five hit, Never Can Say Good-Bye, and they chose him to produce Carol’s single. The two records came into the US Hot 100 in October and November 1974.
Gloria’s single reached #7 on the Hot 100 in January 1975. Carol’s single peaked at #11 on the Hot 100, #9 on the R&B chart, and #2 on the US Dance chart (which was renamed the Disco Chart in 1978). Those two singles are often credited with launching the disco craze in the US.
Carol was unable to chart any higher than #81 with her next three singles. In 1976, she covered the French hit Ma jeunesse au fond de l’eau with English lyrics and the resulting single, Midnight Love Affair, topped the US Dance Chart. She had four hits on the dance chart, but never got near the Hot 100 again.
While she did not appear in the film Saturday Night Fever, her name was on the marquee of the disco where a lot of the dancing took place and you can hear a snippet of Midnight Love Affair can in the background during one scene of the film.
Carol continued recording through 1983 and appeared live in shows performing disco music through much of the nineties. She had one unusual public appearance in 2003: she won a suit against another disco diva (Sharon Brown) when they appeared on The People’s Court. Each of the singers got to sing a portion of one of their songs; Carol, naturally, sang part of Doctor’s Orders.
After his brush with the birth of disco, Meco produced the 1977 single Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band and a few other disco recreations of other movie themes.
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