Dee Dee Sharp “Wild” (Cameo 274, R&B #25, Pop #33, 1963)
It shouldn’t be assumed that Cameo Parkway didn’t eventually get the hint that it was sending its most popular acts down a rabbit hole with continuous dance songs. In fact towards the end of 1963 there was a decided effort to move their acts away from the charming but limiting 1-2-3 turn dance hits that were the bread and butter of the label.
It kinda, sorta worked for their reigning dance hall queen, Dee Dee Sharp. This slightly Mary Wells flavored A-side did go on to be her last Top 40 hit record. Although her further efforts clearly aligned her with Girl Group soul, she couldn’t quite shake the dance hit queen stigma, and her chart fortunes would wane as the sixties wore on.
I ask you: Who doesn’t love Dee Dee Sharp?! I’ve never met a person who doesn’t love her. And she loves you too! Just look at her face! Here given name was Dione LaRue but her producers changed her name, which is crazy because Dione LaRue is an incredible stage name!
On this day in music history: July 24, 1976 - “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” by Lou Rawls hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on July 31, 1976, peaking at #4 on the Club Play chart on July 17, 1976, and peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on September 4, 1976. Written and produced by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, it is second chart topping single for the soul singer from Chicago, IL. Having replaced R&B and pop vocal icon Sam Cooke in the legendary gospel vocal group The Soul Stirrers in the 50’s, to scoring a long string of jazz and R&B hits for Capitol Records in the 60’s, Lou Rawls continues to have hits into the early 70’s when he signs with MGM Records, and hitting pay dirt with the Grammy winning classic “A Natural Man”. Then Rawls hits a dry period in his career after 1971. Rawls leaves MGM for Bell Records, then Arista but is unable to regain his hit making stride. In 1975, he is playing a gig opening for The O'Jays, when they suggest that he get in touch with their producer and songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the founders of CBS distributed label Philadelphia International Records. Friendly with Rawls since the late 60’s when they were beginning their rise to stardom in the music business, the pair not only offer to sign the veteran singer, but vow to put him back on the charts in a major way. Gamble and Huff go back to Philadelphia and write “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”, which is inspired by Gamble going through a divorce from his wife, singer Dee Dee Sharp. Tailor made for Rawls smooth vocal style, Gamble and Huff summon him to Philly to put his vocals on the track. Released as the first single from “All Things In Time” in April of 1976, it hits immediately. A multi-format smash, “You’ll Never Find” hits the R&B, pop, AC, and Disco charts all at the same time, giving the singer his biggest hit in five years and reigniting his recording career. “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.