The Friday Five: 5 by The Serendipity Singers

FriddayFive

 

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…

  1. 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.”
  2. 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).
  3. Down Where The Winds Blow: Their third single in 1964, it only reached #112 nationally.
  4. Sailin’ Away: The flip side of “Beans In My Ears.”
  5. 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.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

9 thoughts on “The Friday Five: 5 by The Serendipity Singers”

  1. I really liked “Don’t Let the Rain Come Down” when it came out. This was among the first 45 singles I ever bought except it was a sound alike copy that was cheaper than the actual hit. At the time I think the hit single 45’s were about $.99 whereas you could get the rip-off’s by who knows who the artists were for something like $.39. That price difference was a big deal for me when I was in junior high school.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I think they’ve pretty much stopped issuing records by sound-alike bands and the K-Tel “50 great Hits, only $4.99 for records, $6.99 for 8-track and cassette” albums. I mean, they had to pay royalties for the song, why not just use the original recording?

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  2. My mother gave me a copy of “Beans in Your Ears” for my birthday one year…I always liked Serendipity – Along with Brazil 66…

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    1. The early and mid 1960’s were a great time for music, because there were so many different types on the surveys. The Top 40 would have rock, country, folk, world, even some easy listening and Latin, all at the same time. There was room for everything. “Beans” was folk and novelty, and a kids’ song as well. Great stuff.

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  3. Never heard of the group but it’s interesting what you shared about it.

    I have a confession to make. I nominated you:
    http://beehalton.com/2016/01/ive-written-this-in-my-eleventh-hour-or.html

    I awarded you because I believe you have an excellent blog and I want to introduce it to my readers. This award is great for that.

    But I also know that awards are a lot of work, and they do not fit in every blog. So feel free to take part if it tempts you and if not go on to what you do best: Your blog!!!!!!

    Hope you enjoy either way 🙂

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