The Delights Orchestra

Atco 6601, 1968
Billboard: #128

While it's never really been a trend, exactly, occasionally someone would issue a record with the hoped-for vocal hit on the A side, and rather than cut another song, toss the instrumental track by itself on the B side. No problem — unless, by some fluke, it's the B side that gets all the attention. The archetype for this situation is "Love Is All Right", a 1968 single by Cliff Nobles, backed with its instrumental track, billed to "Cliff Nobles & Co." and titled "The Horse"; while Cliff's vocals went unheard, the instrumental galloped to #2 on the charts. Which leads to the question: Would anyone do this deliberately? The answer, I suspect, is a definite maybe, and "Paul's Midnight Ride" is Exhibit, um, B. On the other side of this perky, "Horse"-like instrumental is a decent-but-not-great soul-sister song called "Baby Be Mine", written by Eddie Edgehill and Albert Byrd, and credited to "The Sweet Delights". R&B expert Marv Goldberg, who interviewed Edgehill in the November 2002 issue of Discoveries, confirms that this is the same Eddie Edgehill who was in the Valentines back in the 50s, and identifies the Delights as Gerylane Edgehill (Eddie's wife), Betty Allen, Valerie Brown, Grace Montgomery Allison, and cowriter Albert Byrd. The Delights went nowhere, and someone (a disc jockey? the Atlantic A&R department? producer Frank Virtue?) at some point decided to turn the record over, and "Paul's Midnight Ride" got some airplay in the Carolinas but never made much of a run up the charts, though I'm willing to bet some beach-music fans have a few copies of this 45 stashed away for archival purposes. After this single, Byrd dropped out; the remaining Delights, though they issued no more sides, persisted until 1974.

Where can I get this on CD?
I've never even seen this on an LP. Lotsa luck.

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Copyright © 2001-02 by Charles G. Hill
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Thanks to Marv Goldberg.