1961 The Chantels – Look In My Eyes
The Chantels scored a million-selling record with their second single (Maybe), but struggled after that. Their next two singles reached the top twenty on the R&B chart, but the best they could manage on the Hot 100 was a week at #39.
After seven more failed records, one singer left the group to return to college in 1959. Even worse, their lead singer left the group and their record label dropped them.
Richard Barrett had signed the group to their first label and produced their first record. In 1959, he recorded a song he had written with the Chantels as background singers. Gone Records released Summer’s Love by Richard Barrett and the Chantels and the single peaked at #29 on the R&B chart (but stalled at #93 on the Hot 100).
After another single failed, Annette Smith joined as the group’s new lead singer. They signed with Carlton Records and recorded another song Richard had written. Look In My Eyes peaked at #14 on the Hot 100 in 1961 and also reached #6 on the R&B chart.
A few more singles on Carlton followed. The only one that reached the charts was an answer song to the Ray Charles song, Hit The Road Jack. Richard wrote and sang on that single, Well I Told You, which stalled at #29 on the Hot 100 in late 1961.
Although the hits were over, the group continued recording and touring until disbanding in 1970.
The original lead singer, Arlene Smith, had become a schoolteacher. She reformed the group in the seventies with four new backup singers and appeared on the oldies circuit into the nineties when she wasn’t teaching.
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