1963 The Essex – Walkin’ Miracle
Guitar player Walter Vickers and drummer Rodney Taylor started a band while active marines stationed at Okinawa in Japan. When they were transferred to North Carolina, they were joined by Billy Proctor and Rudolph Johnson. Singer Anita Humes joined the group, and they recorded some demos. Roulette Records signed the group and released their first single, Are You Going My Way, which was written by Rudolph.
Disk jockeys were more impressed by the song written by William Linton that was on the b-side of the single. Easier Said Than Done sold over a million copies and reached the top of both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1963.
Rudolph left the group when he was transferred back to Okinawa. The remaining members recorded Walkin’ Miracle as The Essex Featuring Anita Humes. The single peaked at #12 on the Hot 100 later in 1963, preventing the group from becoming just a one-hit wonder.
After one single stalled at #56 and another failed to reach the Hot 100, the group disbanded. Anita continued recording for Roulette, but her solo career never yielded any hits.
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