Airdate – Feb 27, 2022
In 1978 Bonnie Pointer’s self-titled solo album was released by Motown. The most successful track off that album was actually a remake done disco-style of a Holland-Dozier-Holland tune that first charted back in 1966. Pointer’s version hit the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1979 and climbed to the 11th position on the charts.
In actual fact, this was the second time around that this record found delayed success as it was rediscovered and reissued in the UK in 1971, peaking at #3 on the charts there …
The original group who recorded the song in 1966 had been together since the late 50s, first recording on smaller Detroit labels as the Sensations, the Five Emeralds, and the Downbeats. Upon joining Motown in 1962 the group first recorded as the Downbeats but soon, at the suggestion of the record label, they added a lead female singer. Soon after their first recording with female lead, Saundra Edwards, the group had a name change courtesy of Berry Gordy. They became known as the Elgins, which had previously been one of the names used by the Temptations.
The newly named group appeared to be on their way with a 1966 original release that went to #9 on the R&B charts and #50 on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately, the Elgins disbanded after the unsuccessful release of their follow up record.
However, thanks to the British Northern Soul scene, the popularity of the Motown Sound in the UK remained high with many not-so-famous songs and artists from Detroit being rediscovered.
The Elgins and their 1966 Billboard hit was one of them. To the point that their record was reissued in the UK in 1971 and the Elgins began touring the UK with session singer Yvonne Vernee Allen replacing lead singer Saundra Edwards who was unwilling to rejoin the group.
When reflecting on this career rebirth, the Elgins might say, “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song: