• The Top Notes (2)
    Howard Guyton & Derek Martin 

    The Top Notes (2) (Detroit)


    Personnel :

    Derek Martin

    Howard Guyton

    Discography :

    1960 - Wonderful Time / Walkin' With Love (Atlantic 2066)
    1960 - Say Yes / Warm Your Heart (Atlantic 2080)
    1961 - Hearts Of Stone / The Basic Things (Atlantic 2097)
    1961 - Always Late (Why Lead Me On) / Twist And Shout (Atlantic 2115)
    1962 - Wait For Me, Baby / Come Back, Cleopatra (Festival 1021)
    1963 - It's All Right / I Love You So Much (ABC 10399)

    Biography :

    The Top Notes was a rhythm and blues vocal group, centered around the singers Derek Martin and Howard Guyton. They released a number of singles in the early 1960s, amongst which was the first recording of "Twist and Shout". Derek Don Martin (also known as "Derek Ray") was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 2, 1938. He began his professional career at the age of 17 when he joined Duke Ellington as a vocalist. Howard "Howie" Guyton (also known as "Guy Howard") was born c. 1938. He was a cousin of Dave "Baby" Cortez, who performed with Guyton and Martin in The Pearls.

    The Top Notes (2)    The Top Notes (2)

    Despite being primarily a vehicle for Martin and Guyton, other members of The Top Notes included George Wilson Torrence Jr. (who later became a pastor in Duncan, Oklahoma) and singers known as Roy and Johnny. When the group changed record labels in 1961, the lineup consisted solely of Martin and Guyton, who subsequently hired Barbara Wells, Dionne Warwick and Rosco King, a bassist who had previously sung with them in The Five Pearls. The group was formed from members of Martin and Guyton's previous bands, known at various times as The Five Pearls, The Sheiks, The Pearls, and Howie and the Sapphires. The Top Notes signed to Atlantic Records in 1960,releasing two singles "A Wonderful Time" (b/w "Walkin' with Love") and "Say Man" (b/w "Warm Your Heart")—the same year.

    The Top Notes (2)    The Top Notes (2)
    Derek Martin                                                                                            

    In 1961 the group recorded the single "Hearts of Stone" (b/w "The Basic Things") under the direction of Phil Spector, with King Curtis on saxophone. The second single that year was the first recorded version of Phil Medley and Bert Berns's "Twist and Shout", which was also produced by Spector. Recorded at Atlantic Studios on February 23, 1961, Martin and Guyton were accompanied by an orchestra conducted and arranged by Teddy Randazzo, which included (among others) King Curtis on tenor saxophone, Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, and Panama Francis and Gary Chester on percussion and drums respectively.Further accompaniment came from a 10-piece string ensemble and vocals from The Cookies. In 1962, the group released "Wait for Me Baby" (b/w "Come Back Cleopatra) on Festival Records, before their final single, "I Love You So Much" (b/w "It's Alright") was released through ABC-Paramount Records in 1963.

    Songs :
    (updated by Hans-Joachim) 

    Walkin' With Love                                      Say Yes     

           The Basic Things                  Always Late (Why Lead Me On)

    Twist And Shout                           Come Back, Cleopatra

    Wait For Me, Baby                       I Love You So Much

    It's All Right                                   Wonderful Time

    Warm Your Heart                                Hearts Of Stone



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