The Essex are an R&B vocal group formed in 1962 by members of the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. Members included, Anita Humes, Walter Vickers, Rodney Taylor, Billy Hill and Rudolph Johnson. In 1963 they recorded a demo and were signed to a recording contract with Roulette Records. They recorded a song that was written by Larry Huff and William Linton, that song was, “EASIER SAID THAN DONE”.
On June 8, 1963 The Essex first hit record made its Billboard Hot 100 debut. The single record EASIER SAID THAN DONE became a huge hit. The Essex recording on Roulette Records went right to the top of the charts, becoming the #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard R&B chart. The single was a hit in the UK, charting at #41 on the UK Singles Chart. The Essex recording sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a “Gold Record”. The Essex followed-up their hit with another Top 20 hit record. On August 24, 1963 the group charted, A WALKIN’ MIRACLE. The single charted at #12 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the R&B chart.
In November of 1963 the group charted their third single record of the year. On November 16, 1963, SHE’S GOT EVERYTHING charted on the Hot 100. The single was a modest hit, charting at #56 and failed to chart on the Billboard R&B chart. On November 30, 1963 the flip side of the record charted on the R&B chart. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND charted at #42, but did not chart on the Hot 100.
The Essex would not have another hit record. Their military duties made it hard for the group to keep their career moving. Rudolph Johnson was transferred to another post. Lead vocalist Anita Humes released several solo singles on Roulette Record, but they did not chart. She passed away in May of 2010, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, she was 69. The Essex recording career produced two songs that have remained popular on oldies radio and with the group fans through the years. A WALKIN’ MIRACLE and the million-seller, EASIER SAID THAN DONE are two classic hits, from the, “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”
Till the next time—Joe