The Things I Love : The Fidelitys©2008JCMarion


The vocal group known as The Fidelitys (depite the odd spelling) is another aggregation that has the tag of "one hit wonders" about them despite a hard working history. Another thing that has given the group a bit of peculiar fame is that they came from that hotbed of R & B music, Albany, New York. The state's capitol city was where Emmit Smith, Robert McCann, Maurice Newton, Arthur Mourning, and Earl Thorpe came together in the mid nineteen fifties as The Mello-Tones. By the summer of 1957 the group had changed their name to The Fidelitys and began the process to hone their skills and perfect a sound unique to the group.

Soon the group had come in contact with Reuben Phillips who led the house band at the Apollo Theater for many years and played so many times the Apollo Theater theme song "I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful"). After a few meetings and perspective deals passed by, the group seemed to be set to get together in a recording session for Baton Records in New York City. In the early days of 1958 Baton # 252 was released which consisted of "The Things I Love" and "Hold On To What'Cha Got". It began to move on the sales charts early on thanks to a boost from Cleveland radio which helped the record to hit status in the Midwest. In April as "The Things I Love" kept getting bigger in sales and airplay, the group appeared on the big stage at the Apollo Theater with radio dj Doctor Jive (Tommy Smalls). After that The Fidelitys made all the requisite stops along the TOBA circuit such as The Uptown Theater in Philadelphia, Royal in Baltimore, Howard in Washington D.C., and Regal in Chicago.

In June of the year Baton released # 256 with another pop standard "Memories Of You" and "You Can't Come Out". Through the summer Baton Records pushes for the newest Fidelitys release but the popularity of their initial record does not translate to this effort. They try to no avail to get the record a "push", and so in Septeber Baton and the group try once more with "Captain Of My Ship" and "My Greatest Thrill" on Baton # 261. For the Thanksgiving holiday week The Fidelitys once again appear at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. That was also the end of Baton Records for both the group and the record buying public.

In the summer of the following year the group hooked up with a new label run by Sol Rabinowitz, former head man at Baton Records. The new label was called SIR Records and recorded the group with a change in spelling-now known as The Fidelities. In mid-August the new record by the group was "Marie" and "The Invitation" on SIR # 271. "Marie, the swing era hit for Tommy Dorsey had been given a jump version by The Four Tunes for Jubilee Records a few years earlier, and this version was a reworking with a dual lead. In November of 1959, the next release from SIR had the group back as TheFidelitys with the songs "Walk With The Wind" and "Only To You" on # 274. Once again the effort by the group seemed to get lost in new releases and went nowhere.

The Fidelitys appeared one last time at the Apollo Theater in early 1960. They had two more records released by SIR during the year with Emmit Smith as lead singer. "This Girl Of Mine" and "Where In The World" were released during the spring on # 276, and "Broken Love" and "Wishing Star" was issued on # 277. The group hung around for a short while after that before they called it quits. The Fidelitys came out of Albany, New York, and gave us a memorable classic tune and a few other musical moments. And for that we are grateful.

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