Hello, Pop singer Curtis Lee was born on October 28, 1941 in Yuma, Arizona. Curtis began his recording career in 1959 and signed a recording contract with Dunes Records in 1960. By late 1960 he had written songs with a friend, Tommy Boyce, who would go on to become half of the hit songwriting team of Boyce and Hart. Curtis first two singles did not chart, those recordings are: SPECIAL LOVE and PLEDGE OF LOVE. Although PLEDGE OF LOVE did reach the Billboard Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #110. His third record for Dunes Records was the Lee/Boyce original, PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES and as the saying goes, “the rest is history”.
On July 3, 1961 PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES on Dunes Records made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The single became a huge hit, climbing the chart to #7 and remaining on the Hot 100 for 11 weeks. The record also charted in the UK on the UK Singles Chart, reaching #47. Phil Spector did the production on the single and brought in the doo-wop vocal group The Halos for backing vocals. They would back up Barry Mann on his classic…WHO PUT THE BOMP (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp). The flip side of the record was the ballad GEE HOW I WISH YOU WERE HERE, a wonderful doo-wop tune that did not chart.
In October of 1961 Curtis was back on the chart with another single record, UNDER THE MOON OF LOVE. His second charted hit did not reach the success of PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES, peaking at #46 on the Hot 100 and after 6 weeks the single was off the chart. In April of 1962 Dunes Records released another single, JUST ANOTHER FOOL…this was a good record, but it failed to reach the Hot 100, instead it charted on the Bubbling Under The Hot 100 chart at #110. Curtis would not chart another hit record.
Phil Spector left Dunes Records in 1961…he had guided the production of Curtis’s records, after he left Dunes…those hits stopped…although he did record some of the best “blue-eyed soul” of his era. His two hits are a reminder of how good Curtis Lee’s music is and why his classic PRETTY LITTLE ANGEL EYES remains an oldies favorite after all these years…his music remains a part of the “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.
Till the next time—Joe