Gary recorded for Carlton Records, the same record company that fellow labelmate Jack Scott recorded for. On April 13, 1959 he charted his biggest hit, “LONELY FOR YOU”. The record climbed the Hot 100 to #24 and had a 14 week stay on the pop chart. “Lonely For You” had an arrangement similar to Conway Twitty’s hit “IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE”. Gary’s vocal on the record was superb and the record found an eager teen market ready to make it a hit.
In July of 1959 Gary released his follow-up record, “A GIRL LIKE YOU”. This record should have been a hit, but it only charted at #80 and was only on the Hot 100 for 5 weeks. In November of ’59 Carlton released “STARRY EYED” and as I said about “A Girl Like You”, this one should have been a Top 10 hit. It was perfect for teenage market, why this tune only charted at #77 is a question. It was a great song, period!!!
In February of 1960 Gary charted his last Hot 100 record, the old R&B favorite, “LAWDY MISS CLAWDY”. It was his highest charting hit since “Lonely For You”, making it to #47 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 9 weeks. That would be his last record to reach the Hot 100 chart. There are some artists that you feel are only going to have one hit and that’s it, but Gary Stites was one artist that really should have had a better chart history than that of a One-Hit Wonder.