1982 Cliff Richard – Daddy’s Home
Albert Crump, Wally Roker, Vernon Sievers, and Robbie Tatum of Queens, New York, formed a doo-wop group they called the Hearts in 1953. When a group using that name had a local hit in New York with a song called Lonely Nights in 1955, they changed their name to the Heartbeats. The other Hearts changed their name as well, to Lee Andrews and the Hearts, and they had an even bigger hit with Long, Lonely Nights.
James “Shep” Sheppard joined the group as their lead singer and The Heartbeats signed with Hull Records. The group began recording songs in 1955 that were co-written by Shep and William Miller, an A&R man for Hull Records, and published by Kahl Music. Their most successful single came when they moved to Rama Records and recorded A Thousand Miles Away. The single reached #52 on the Hot 100 in 1957. Shep wrote the lyrics to the song told the after his girlfriend moved away to Texas. It began the first song cycle in the rock era, and their story continued in the song 500 Miles To Go.
The group continued recording for several labels in the late fifties, but failed to chart in any significant way. The group disbanded in 1959. Shep recruited Clarence Bassett from the Five Sharps and Charles Baskerville from the Videos and they formed Shane Sheppard And The Limelites. After one record on a subsidiary ABC label, the group moved to Hull Records. They released Daddy’s Home in 1961. The single continued the story begun in A Thousand Miles Away and peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1962. Shep, Clarence, and Charles got credit as the songwriters and Kell Music published the song.Shep continued his story cycle with additional singles from Shep and The Limelites: Three Steps from the Altar, Our Anniversary, and What Did Daddy Do?
William, who owned Kahl Music, received no credit or money for the new singles, and sued everybody in sight, claiming copyright infringement with A Thousand Miles Away. His suit was successful, and that led to the destruction of Hull Records and the dissolution of Shep and the Limelites in 1966.
Shep died under suspicious circumstances that imply somebody murdered him in 1970.
Wally became an A&R man for Scepter Records and wrote several songs for the Shirelles. He also became the manager and producer of the Tower Of Power. He later helped establish the Doo-Wop Music Hall of Fame in Los Angeles.
The original members of The Heartbeats reformed after Shep’s death and appeared periodically in oldies shows.
Daddy’s Home has been covered successfully several times. Jermaine Jackson’s version reached #9 in 1973. Cliff Richard had his last top forty single on the Hot 100 in 1982 with his version of the song.
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