The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

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and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Two.... Two.... Two Sisters In One Song

Artist: Patience and Prudence
Song: Heavenly Angel (a-side) (b-side is Little Wheel)
Label: Liberty F-55125
Number: 45-LB-820
Songwriters: G. Motola - J. Marascalco
Time: 2:00
Released: 1958

This post is part one of a special sibling-related double header. The first one features sisters named Patience and Prudence - the next one will feature brothers. Most of you will remember their big hit entitled Tonight You Belong To Me. Their story begins in 1956.
14-year-old Patience and 11-year-old Prudence McIntyre were singing a song they had learned at camp the previous summer one day in April 1956, while the family was driving home from a visit to friends in Malibu. The song, written and recorded as a waltz in 1927, was Tonight You Belong To Me. Recalling her first exposure to the song, Patience explains, "Tonight was an around-the-campfire tune that was already in 4/4 when we picked it up. It was Mom's idea to record it for the grandparents." The demo they cut with their dad Mark came to the attention Si Waronker at Liberty Records. It was recut and then Mr. Waronker took possession of the tapes. The McIntyre family was going away for a two-week vacation, but in the meantime, Liberty Records pressed their single and it became a huge local hit. They were completely unprepared for the surprise that greeted them when they returned home. Thanks to a Boston disc jockey who had played the record fourteen times in one day, Tonight You Belong To Me had broken wide open. By September it was on Billboard magazine's national pop record chart, peaking at Number 4 on October 6th and selling 200,000 copies. This led to the follow-up hit of Gonna Get Along Without You Now b/w The Money Tree, which rose to a respectable Number 12 on the charts.
But, after recording several more singles in their vintage/pop style, Patience and Prudence would not have any more hits. In 1958, Liberty tried backing the sisters with a rock and roll combo, but these recordings didn't dent the charts. Later in 1959, they were paired with a young singer named Mark Clifford, also a Liberty Records artist. These recordings didn't fare any better. Then, in 1964, they had one more stab at recording and produced four sides for the Los Angeles-based Chattahoochee label. These songs failed to garner the attention they deserved and the sisters' career effectively ended. With the exception of a Dick Clark TV special in 1978, they never performed again.
Which brings us to today's song, one of their failed attempts to re-enter the charts in 1958. Several of their follow-up recordings to their two hits were great records, but just missed catching on with the general public at large for some unknown reason. Such is the music business, I suppose. Heavenly Angel is quite a good little tune. The combo backing them manages to convey the sound of a much larger band and the girls' themselves provided counter harmonies. So, if you remember these sisters from their hits in 1956, you're sure to like this recording of Heavenly Angel by Patience and Prudence. Download this great tune and tonight, they're impeccable harmonies will belong to you!

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