Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Fleetwoods--Come Softly To Me (1959)

     The Fleetwoods consisted of three high school classmates from Olympia (WA) High School. Gary Troxel was heard singing a tune as he was walking the halls of the school. Gretchen Christopher heard it and commented that it was the same progression to a song she had been working on. She sang the lyrics to his riff to her friend and singing partner, Barbara Ellis.
     The trio performed the song a few times around school, and classmates began to ask for recordings of it. They made a demo on a tape player that belonged to Gretchen's dad, and took it to Seattle producer Bob Reisdoff who started Dolphin Records, to record it. It took several months to get the vocals just right as Troxel use his car keys to keep time (you can hear that on the record), and then sent to LA for acoustic and bass guitar overdubs.
     The result was a number one hit for the trio and began a string of top 40 hits that reached to 1963, (including another number one; "Mr. Blue" later in 1959) when Troxel had to serve in the military.


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