Yesterday, the prompt for Just Jot It January was “serendipity.” It was our wedding anniversary, so I told the story of how Mary and I met, but if it hadn’t been, I would have featured this group.
The Serendipity Singers, like the New Christy Minstrels, were a 1960’s folk group that had one legitimate hit, “Don’t Let The Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man),” which reached #6 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart in May of 1964. Most of their record sales came in the 1964-1965 time period, when they recorded on the Philips label. They started as the Newport Singers when they were students at the University of Colorado, and became a popular act in the Denver-Boulder area before moving to New York City in 1963 to accept a recording contract. Fred Weintraub, the owner of The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, agreed to be their manager, and proposed a name change because there was already a group with that name. The name “Serendipity Singers” was sold in the early 1970’s, and since then there have been a number of acts bearing that name.
Anyway, on to the music…
- Don’t Let The Rain Come Down: As I mentioned, this was their biggest hit, and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Performance by a Chorus in 1965. It lost to The Swingle Singers, who won for “Going Baroque.”
- Beans In My Ears: The followup single, it reached #30 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It managed to be banned in Boston and on Pittsburgh’s KDKA, and several TV stations asked that they change the lyrics for broadcast, because doctors were worried that kids would actually out beans in their ears. I wouldn’t have. Though I did stick turkey up my nose one Thanksgiving (not recently).
- Down Where The Winds Blow: Their third single in 1964, it only reached #112 nationally.
- Sailin’ Away: The flip side of “Beans In My Ears.”
- Boots and Stetsons: Just a nice tune of theirs.
The Serendipity Singers had the misfortune of coming to the public’s attention at the same time the British Invasion was sweeping the US charts. After six albums for Philips, their contract was terminated, and they would never find the same level of popularity after that. Kind of a shame, really.
Anyway, there’s your Friday Five for January 29, 2016.