Airdate – Oct 24, 2021
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In that vein, writers of song have constantly been paid compliments through ongoing releases or cover versions of their compositions. In 1947 songwriters Barbara Belle, Anita Leonard, Stan Rhodes, and band leader Louis Prima wrote a tune that has become a pop and jazz standard; recorded by many and last charting on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972.
After unsuccessful releases by Louis Prima and Frankie Laine, a version by Jo Stafford made it onto the pop charts in the winter of 1947 rising to the 15th position on the charts.
The song would go on to be recorded by several prominent artists over the years including Ella Fitzgerald, The Del Vikings, Dinah Washington, Etta James, Dion DiMucci, The Four Seasons, and Reba McIntyre. However, only two versions made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. Those honours went to Jan & Dean (#95 in 1962) and Lenny Welch (#96 in 1972).
In late fall of 1953 a group performed a magical rendition of Jo Stafford’s hit during amateur night at the Apollo Theatre.
By December of that year this song became the group’s first single, a blend of deep harmonies featuring the velvet voice of lead singer Willie Winfield. This song would go on to become the signature song for this group, one of the most respected R&B groups of all time.
Sadly, Winfield died on July 27 of this year. He was 91.
However, he only retired two years prior to his passing, touring and performing with various incarnations of that legendary vocal harmony group – The Harptones.
In 1962 a Doo Wop group out of Ardmore, Pennsylvania recorded the song but it was never released. The group was called the Lytations, getting their name from combining the names of two other established harmony groups – the Ly-dells and the Quotations. And here they are with their tribute version of the classic “A Sunday Kind Of Love,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPzwhDvcN04