One of the finest R&B vocal groups of the '50s, the Philadelphia-based Lee Andrews & the Hearts specialized in smooth ballads and were influenced by similar vocal acts like the Moonglows, the Orioles, the Drifters, the 5 Royales, the Five Keys, the Midnighters, and the Ravens, while lead vocalist Lee Andrews' influences were mostly solo artists like Bing Crosby, Frankie Laine, Frank Sinatra, and especially Nat King Cole. These two key influences -- a harmonizing four-part vocal base with a strong but tender tenor voice leading the way -- was the foundation of the Hearts' hard-to-beat sound.
The group scored three charting hits in the span of a single year (1957-1958). Their "Long Lonely Nights" (recorded for the tiny Mainline label) managed to barely beat the former Drifter Clyde McPhatter's version by a few chart points (number 45 to Clyde's number 49). It scored even higher on the R&B charts (number 11). At its peak, the group's next single for Mainline, "Teardrops," was picked up for wider distribution by Chess. It was their biggest hit, making it to at number 20 on the pop charts (on November 25, 1957), and by January 1958, it had jumped over to the R&B charts, where it ended up listing at number four. A third hit, "Try the Impossible" for the United Artists label, charted at number 33 on the pop charts (June 22, 1958).
|A Wise Man Said||Looking Back Vintage, Vol. 2||R&B/Soul|
Drums, Electric Guitar, Piano, and Violin
Atmospheric, Moody, Romantic, and Sentimental
Heartbreak, In Love, Make-Up, and Rainy Day
Doo Wop and Soul
Looking Back Vintage, Vol. 2