• Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)

    Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2) (Chicago)


Personnel :

    Faith Taylor (Lead)

    Yvonne Waddell

    Saundra Long

    Marry Collins

    Curtis Burrell (Bass) 


Discography :

    1958 - Your Candy Kisses / Won't Someone Tell Me Why? (Federal 12334)
    1959 - I Need Him To Love Me / I Love You Darling  (Bea & Baby 104)
    1959 - Please Be Mine / Paper Route Baby (Bea & Baby 105)


Biography :

    Faith Taylor was born in Dumas, Arkansas, in 1948. She began performing at the age of four and won her first amateur contest in Little Rock. She came to Chicago with her family in 1957 and continued her music career by singing at small club affairs. She also worked in a few combos, including that of Muddy Waters. In June 1957 she entered and won the "Morris B. Sachs Amateur Hour" on WGN-TV. The following year a friend of Taylor, Charles Jones, was assembling a vocal group and brought her in as the lead. Other members of this group were alto Yvonne Waddell (age seventeen), tenor Saundra Long (sixteen), soprano Mary Collins (seventeen), and bass Curtis Burrell (seventeen). Most of the group came from two South Side high schools, DuSable and Dunbar. Faith Taylor and the Sweet Teens were unlike most "teen tenor lead" groups in being mostly comprised of females. From that start, the group was not going to be a "girl group" but one patterned after Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers.

    Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)

    The group made its first recordings in August 1958, recording "Your Candy Kisses" and "Won't Someone Tell Me Why," released back to back on the Federal label. Both were written by Charles Jones. "Your Candy Kisses" opens with a sax flourish, followed by Taylor doing a patented Frankie Lymon "oh oh ooh oh oh ooh." However, she sounds a tad too young, like the ten-year-old she was  (although newspaper reports at the time stated she was nine). The vocal support is a bit weak, but Curtis Burrell' s bass work is good. "Won't Someone Tell Me Why" opens with an impact, a vocal arpeggio, or bell-tone, and young Taylor goes into her "oh oh ooh" thing again. After that it sounds a bit ragged. They return to the "bell-tone" just before the bridge, again with good effect, and Burrell again distinguishes himself. Central to the appeal of both songs is Faith Taylor, who knew at a tender age exactly how she was supposed to sing them, but with all her talent she is still a bit raw.

    Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)    Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)   Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)

    Despite the record's evident flaws, it is a terrific rock 'n' roll pairing that deserves to belong in anyone's record collection. The two songs were paired on a single and released in September 1958. The record made a bit of a stir in Chicago and several other markets but never managed to crack the national charts. Faith Taylor and the Sweet Teens appeared on Jim Lounsbury's record hop on WBKB-TV in October and played a few clubs in the Chicago area, notably Budland in the Pershing Hotel. The Budland date would seem strange todayas the group shared the bill with a bluesman (Dr. Jo Jo Adams), a jazz combo (Prince James Combo), and an avant garde group (Sun Ra). In late 1959 Faith Taylor and the Sweet Teens joined Narvel Eatmon's Bea and Baby label. Members of the Bea and Baby group, besides Faith Taylor, were Curtis Burrell and Mary Collins from the original group, and two new members,  Elizabeth Shelby and Ernestine Fisher. 

    Faith Taylor & The Sweet Teens (2)

    The Bea and Baby release, "I Need Him to Love Me" backed with "I Love You Darling," featured two outstanding sides in the Frankie Lymon mode. "I Need Him to Love Me," the ballad side written by Bernice Williams, is sublime, with chorusing  by the rest of the group that sounded angelic. Faith Taylor now had the depth of expression to come across with a terrific soulful feeling. The flip is a rousing jump written by Charles Jones, and again the chorusing is terrific. Noticeably absent on both sides is the good bass work of Burrell. The group was gone by the summer of 1960, when Faith Taylor appeared by herself at the annual Bud Billiken Picnic Show in August. She appeared again on the next year's picnic show as part of a youth package of performers,  Paula Greer and Eddie Purrell among them. She was heard last in December 1961, when she performed for patients at a veterans hospital. Except for Curtis Burrell, who became a member of the Daylighters in 1964.

    Songs :

         Your Candy Kisses                    Won't Someone Tell Me Why?

    I Need Him To Love Me                         I Love You Darling     


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