Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Clickettes (including Barbara Jean English)

The Clickettes formed in 1958 at Yorkville Vocational High School in Manhattan. The group had variously names including Click-ettes, Cliquettes and eventually The Clickettes. They were signed to the Dice label in the same year. The original line up was Barbara Jean English (lead singer), Sylvia Hammond (alto), and sisters, Trudy and Charlotte McCartney (both sopranos although Trudy sang baritone too). The group released five singles with the Dice label but had little real success. Frequently they were matched with other lead singers and the singles were released under different names. In 1958 The Ding Dongs (Bobby Darin, Barbara Jean English, Charlotte McCartney, Trudy McCartney and Sylvia Hammond) released Now We're One / Early In The Morning. The same quintet recorded under the name The Rinky Dinks and the Fashion released a couple of singles in 1961. The Clickettes left the Dice label in 1960 but the record company continued to release singles by the Clickettes even when they were sang by other groups. ‘Tonight And Forever’ was credited to the Clickettes but it was likely sung by the Teen Clefs. Free from the Dice label the younger McCartney sisters were replaced by Jean Bolden and Barbara Saunders. The sisters had been too young to tour without their parents’ permission and so the girls went back to school. Richard Barrett (The Valentines) meantime took over the group’s management and wrote and produced “Where Is He.” This was a big hit for the all female group. To get the girls exposure he conspired to shoe horn them, unbilled at the Apollo between other acts. The Clickettes proved a crowd pleaser. Into the early 60s the group had various lineup changes and continued to record for several labels. Helen Powell (formerly The Impacts) replaced Sylvia in 196l. The group then recorded two singles for Roulette, including “We Need Them,” released in 1962 as Barbara English and the Fashions (Barbara Jean English, Jeanne Bolden, Barbara Saunders and Helen Powell - formerly of The Impacts). The Fashions disbanded when Barbara went solo in 1963, and Helen went on to join the Chantels. Barbara released several other recordings but as musical tastes changed she dropped out of the music business. She made a welcome return in the 70s, and then much later teamed up with the Clickettes in the late '90s. Barbara and the surviving members of the group continue to perform on the retro circuit.

Worth a listen
But, Not For Me (1958)
Jive Time Turkey (1958)
Warm, Soft And Love (1959)
Lover's Prayer (1959)
To Be A Part Of You (1960)
Where Is He (1960)
I Just can't help it (1963)
I understand (1963)

Barbara Jean English
Easy Come, Easy Go (1964)
I've Got A Date / Shoo Fly (1965)
All Because I Love Somebody (1965)
Love's Arrangement (1971)
I'm Living A Lie (1972)
So Many Ways To Die (1972)
You're Gonna Need Somebody To Love (1973)
If This Ain't Love (1977)

1 comment:

Al Heitzer said...

I see an ole photo of the Clickettes with five members, rather than the four names mentioned. What gives with that?