A child prodigy, Darrow Fletcher started singing when he was six years old. Everybody predicted stardom for the young crooner, who didn't have a shy bone in his body. He recorded his first record while still a student at Hirsch High School; he later attended South Shore. Ironically, the song turned out to be his most popular recording. "The Pain Gets a Little Deeper" was a rough song for a 14-year-old to get into, or so one would think, but Fletcher belted it out as if he had just gone through a knockdown, drag-out divorce. Travels took him to the celebrated chitlin' circuit, where he shared billings with other hot acts. He appeared on many television shows, not big ones like Dick Clark, but smaller soul shows like Ken Hawkins' World of Soul in Cleveland, OH, and Soul Train when it was Chicago-based.
At least three more singles on Groovy Records didn't come close to equaling the minimal success of his debut; he switched labels again and again, but sales never amounted to much. He recorded some singles, though; "Sitting There That Night" was a monster in Chicago, but never got much further than the city limits, due to Jacklyn Records' small budget. He cut "What Good Am I Without You" (1968) for the same label with the same results. Chicago's big city lifestyle, combined with his local success, got him flossy gigs at the Regal Theater with stars such as Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Ruffin, B.B. King, the Radiants, and others. His "The Way of a Man" made CKLW's (Detroit/Windsor) heavy rotation, notching well into the station's Top 20 survey. Pushed and managed by his father, Fletcher tried but never signed to a label with deep pockets. He had two releases on Revue Records that went totally unnoticed everywhere but at the Fletcher abode. In 1970, "Dolly Baby" b/w "What Is This" dropped on Uni Records, but made no noise. "Now Is the Time for Love" came out on Genna Records, another midget.
After a while, Fletcher gave up the dream. A Darrow Fletcher compilation isn't on the market, and despite all his recordings, he never made an album. Some of his songs can be found from time to time on Northern soul websites playable via Real Audio. Some select cuts are on various Northern soul compilations, mostly imports, which can be hard to come by in the States. Other notable recordings include "What Have I Got," "I've Gotta Know Why," "My Judgement Day," "Gotta Draw the Line," and "My Young Misery," the follow-up to "The Pain Gets a Little Deeper." ~ Andrew Hamilton