1963 Crystals – He’s Sure The Boy I Love
With the help of her uncle Benny Wells, Barbara Alston joined with Myrna Giraud, Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew, Mary Thomas, and Patricia “Patsy” Wright to form the Crystals in 1961. They signed with Phil Spector’s record label, Philles Records, and he produced a song he co-wrote with Leroy Bates. Barbara sang lead vocals, and There’s No Other (Like My Baby) popped up to #20 on the Hot 100 late that year.
He also produced their next hit, a song written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil: Uptown. That single did even better, reaching #13 on the Hot 100.
While the group was touring on the East Coast, back in California, Phil produced the song He’s A Rebel. Gene Pitney wrote the song, and Phil wanted to record the song with the Shirelles, but they declined to record it. He has claimed that the members of the Crystals had troubles with hitting some notes in their songs during live performances, so he recorded the song with vocals by the Blossoms. Darlene Love sang lead vocals on the single. Phil released the single with “The Crystals” on the label instead of “The Blossoms.”
It surprised the members of the Crystals to hear their name announced on the radio for a song they didn’t record. When the record started climbing the charts, they were forced to learn and perform the song in concerts. Within a few months, the record had reached the top of the Hot 100.
Myrna got pregnant, and Dolores Brooks replaced her in the group.
A second single recorded with the Blossoms and released as the Crystals came out a few months later. He’s Sure the Boy I Love reached #11 on the Hot 100 in 1963.
Mary left the group and the remaining four singers returned to the studio in 1963 and recorded two more top ten singles with Dolores singing lead vocals. After two other singles failed to reach the top forty, the group abandoned Phil and moved to United Artists. They never again reached the charts.
By 1967, the group had disbanded. Dolores led a reunited group beginning in 1971 with a few replacements for backup singers, and still leads a group of Crystals in oldies shows.
The Blossoms later sang backup vocals on numerous successful records.
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