Five On Friday - The Box Tops

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Friday, September 17, 2010

Each week TRAVIS from "Trav's Thoughts" hosts Five On Friday where we get to select five songs of any mix we care....


Check out the other participants by clicking on his link above...and join in!

You can register for free at playlist.com and type in a band name and BAM the song will be there to assist in building your playlist.

Travis lays out some guidelines for this meme and they go like this:

1. Grab the banner, make your post title Five on Friday, and be sure to link back here.

2. Go to Playlist.com to make your play list of five songs. Choose a particular theme to share with us. You can simply post the play list, or you can add a little summary about what you are sharing.

3. I don't know how to make a specific linky, so be sure to leave me a comment to let me know that you participated.

4. No tags, but feel free to invite your friends to play along if they need a post topic on a Friday.

A while back, I did a set of The Rascals and another week, the Vanilla Fudge this week, another "blue-eyed soul group", the industry definition of white boys playing 'black music' in the 60's.

The Box Tops began as The Devilles, who had started playing in Memphis in 1963. As the band's personnel changed from time to time, so did the band name on occasion, which at one point became Ronnie and The Devilles and then later changed back to The Devilles.

The Devilles leaped to further local prominence when they won a weekly Battle of The Bands contest at Memphis' T. Walker Lewis YMCA, finally beating Bobby and The Originals, who had won the previous nineteen weeks. One member of The Originals was Terry Manning, who would later serve as engineer for some Box Tops recordings.

By January 1967 the group was composed of founding member Danny Smythe (drums), along with John Evans (guitar, keyboards, background vocals), Alex Chilton (lead vocal, guitar), Bill Cunningham (bass guitar, keyboards, background vocal), and Gary Talley (lead guitar, electric sitar, bass, background vocal). They were soon renamed a final time. They changed their name to "Box Tops" to prevent confusion with another band recording at the time with the name "The Devilles".

"The Letter", though under two minutes in length, was an international hit in mid-1967, reaching Billboard's number-one position and remaining there for four weeks. The record, produced by Dan Penn, sold over four million copies and received two Grammy Award nominations, and was awarded a gold disc.

The lead singer, Alex Chilton was a mere 16 when they recorded The Letter. He later went on to form BIG STAR, where he found fame again. As Rolling Stone said, Big Star created a "seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations", and also earning recognition decades later, according to Allmusic, as the "quintessential American power pop band" and "one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll".

We lost Mr. Chilton this past March to a heart attack just three days before Big Star was to perform at SXSW Festival in Austin, TX. The show became a tribute concert with many luminaries showing up to play.

These are 5 by the Box Tops...and listen to The Letter and tell me if that really sounds like a 16 year old! Man the guy could sing.



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8 Of Your Sparks

  1. DrillerAA09 Says:
  2. There is no sixteen year old voice in that song. "The Letter" is a virtual anthem to some of us children of the sixties. Of course, it was released at the height of the Viet Nam war and a lot of people were getting "the letter".
    I have always liked a little gravel in the voice (The Boss, Rod Stewart, Delbert McClinton, Joe Cocker), and the Box Tops filled the bill.

     
  3. ...Lord 'a' mercy, these take me back! And I like goin' back!...

     
  4. Jay Says:
  5. *clicks play*

    Ohhhhhhh .... I've heard of these guys!

     
  6. Linda Says:
  7. Love "The Letter" and of course "Cry Like a Baby" ... oh heck, I love the whole set!

     
  8. Jamie Says:
  9. It's been ages since I heard this group and I'm with Linda The Letter and Cry Like a Baby are wonderful. This set really takes us back.

     
  10. Mike Golch Says:
  11. Great set! I swiped The Letter by The Box Tops.

     
  12. Travis Cody Says:
  13. I love this Set!

     
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