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The Sapphires

The Sapphires were a trio consisting of Carol Jackson, George Gainer, and Joe Livingston, although Kenny Gamble was also closely associated with the group very early in its history, arranging the vocals on their first album. The trio came out of Philadelphia in the early '60s, where they were signed by producer Jerry Ross and initially released their songs on the Swan label.

The group's first record was the romantic ballad "Where Is Johnny Now," backed with "Your True Love." The backing group for these and other early Philadelphia recordings by the Sapphires included Leon Huff and Thom Bell on keyboards, Bobby Eli on guitar, Joe Macho on bass, and Bobby Martin playing vibes. When this record failed to chart, Ross turned to Gamble for their next single, "Who Do You Love," which reached number 25 on the pop charts. Their next single, "I Found Out Too Late," failed to repeat that success, but its release was accompanied by the issue of the group's first LP. The Sapphires left Swan shortly after the release of a third single, "Gotta Be More Than Friends," moving to ABC-Paramount in 1964, which also led to their recording in New York City. Perhaps not coincidentally, their first ABC single, "Let's Break Up for a While," had a sound reminiscent of the Drifters from this same era.

The group entered its most productive and musically ambitious period during late 1964. The Sapphires' next single, "Thank You for Loving Me," was written by the Brill Building talents of Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, and Wes Farrell, and arranged by Jimmy Wisner. Their next single, "Gotta Have Your Love," finally gave the group the second hit they'd been waiting for, with a smooth Motown-type sound and an infectious beat that helped carry it to number 33 on the R&B charts, with an appearance on the pop charts at number 77 in the spring of 1965. The song also featured a trio of background vocalists who would go on to bigger things in the years to come: Valerie Simpson, Nick Ashford, and Melba Moore.

The group was never able to build on this record's success, though not for lack of trying. Their next three singles, "Evil One," "Gonna Be a Big Thing," and "Slow Fizz," all had pleasing hooks and, in the latter case, a wonderfully danceable beat, but failed to sell. "Slow Fizz," released in 1966, marked the end of their contract with ABC-Paramount, and the trio broke up soon after.

The Sapphires left behind an extraordinarily high-quality body of work, a match for anything Motown was releasing at the same time. Their lack of staying power on the charts can be attributed largely to many factors, including the vast array of competition from various soul acts at the time -- had they maintained a somewhat more consistent sound, or broken nationally a little earlier with a slightly higher profile, they might have achieved the success they deserved. As it was, they left behind a very fine, occasionally stunning body of songs, and provided some valuable early experience for Gamble, Bell, and Huff. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: One Hit Wonders - A Group Effort

1. Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)

2. Black Denim Trousers

3. Eddie My Love

4. Let The Good Times Roll

5. Peanuts

6. Buzz Buzz Buzz

7. Summertime, Summertime

8. I've Had It

9. So Fine

10. Mule Skinner Blues

11. Heart And Soul

12. Peanut Butter

13. A Little Bit Of Soap

14. I Need Your Lovin'

15. Pop Pop Pop Pie

16. Remember Then

17. The Cinnamon Cinder (It's A Very Nice Dance)

18. Rhythm Of The Rain

19. Sally Go Round The Roses

22. Who Do You Love

23. The Jerk

24. Cool Jerk

25. Psychotic Reaction

27. Next Plane To London

28. Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero

29. Gimme Gimme Good Lovin'

30. Morning Girl

x

Track List: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Disc 1

1. Needle In A Haystack

2. He's Got The Power

4. I'd Much Rather Be With The Girls

5. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

7. You Don't Know

8. Boys

9. Big Bad World

10. Out In The Streets

11. Is It True

13. I'll Keep Holding On

14. Oh No Not My Baby

15. May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone

17. I Never Dreamed

18. He's A Bad Boy

20. Dream Boy

21. Try The Worryin' Way

22. I Can't Let Go

23. Go Now

24. You're No Good

26. Life And Soul Of The Party

29. He Did It

Disc 2

2. The Train From Kansas City

4. Let Me Get Close To You

5. I Have A Boyfriend

6. I'm Into Something Good

8. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

9. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

10. It Comes And Goes

11. Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)

12. Girl Don't Come

13. That's When The Tears Start

15. Don't Drop Out

16. The One You Can't Have

17. I'm Nobody's Baby Now

18. You're So Fine

19. When You're Young And In Love

20. My One And Only Jimmy Boy

22. Chico's Girl

23. Cause I Love Him

24. Bye Bye Baby

25. The First Cut Is The Deepest

27. Egyptian Shumba

28. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman

29. Walking In Different Circles

30. The Hideaway

Disc 3

1. The Trouble With Boys

2. Lookin' For Boys

3. Dream Baby

5. Should I Cry (Alternate Take)

6. I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)

7. I've Been Wrong Before

8. Love's Gone Bad

9. Nightmare

11. Will You Be My Love

12. Take Me For A Little While

13. Funnel Of Love

15. Terry

17. Sophisticated Boom Boom

19. Don't Ever Leave Me

20. Don't Forget About Me

22. Only To Other People

26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad

29. When I Think Of You

30. Good, Good Lovin'

Disc 4

1. When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)

2. Don't Drag No More

4. That's How It Goes

8. Steady Boyfriend

9. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

10. I Know You Love Me Not

11. Whatever Happened To Our Love

15. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

16. Crying In The Rain

19. Hey, Tell Me Boy

20. Brink Of Disaster

21. Who Do You Love

23. They Never Taught That In School

24. Dressed In Black

25. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

27. Mister Loveman

28. Make The Night A Little Longer

x

Track List: Swan's Soul Sides

1. Run Run

2. You're Everything

3. Misery

4. Never Too Young (To Fall In Love)

7. I'm Just Your Clown

8. Two Steps Ahead

10. Put Yourself In My Place

12. Have Faith In Me

14. Gotta Find A Way

16. No Good

17. Our Love Will Grow

18. Hot Shot

20. Who Do You Love

21. Gotta Draw The Line

22. Heartbroken Memories

24. Put That Woman Down

25. It Will Be Done

x

Track List: Sweet Soul Music: 1964

1. What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)

3. Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um

4. Who Do You Love

5. Hi-Heel Sneakers

6. Way You Do The Things You Do

7. Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)

8. Ain't Nothing You Can Do

9. Wish Someone Would Care

10. Rock Me Baby

11. Chapel Of Love

12. My Guy

13. No Particular Place To Go

14. Steal Away

15. Security

16. Devil With The Blue Dress

17. Under The Boardwalk

18. Where Did Our Love Go

19. 20-75

22. Dancing In The Street

25. Baby I Need Your Loving

26. I Had A Talk With My Man

28. Price

29. Oh No Not My Baby

30. Jerk

31. Needle In A Haystack

x

Track List: Where The Girls Are 8

Comments

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Way back!!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Good music,who the sapphires...
Report as inappropriate
benzmaria200 8
OLDIES BUT GOODIES!
Report as inappropriate
Wall to Wall SOUL 60's
Who love's you baby
*978*3m14~ 3m14y~
Report as inappropriate
FIRME !!
Report as inappropriate
Excuse me...where is the bio on this group?

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