I've been encouraged by the very positive response to pages on this site devoted to artists who recorded for the several labels run by Henry Hines from his Greenville, MS base as there were some excellent tracks to be found there. The Cherries are another group who cut for Hines, probably in New Orleans where so many of these tracks were recorded. The group was a trio for their first 45 on Della the best side of which was the fine ballad Make My Life Worth Living. It's true that the low production values take the edge of this track but it's waltz time deep soul still makes a good impression on the listener. I like the rather quavering vibrato of the lead singer and the harmonies of the other girls. The plodding bass dominates the mix sadly but the guitarist plays some good licks and the horns hold grimly on.
By the time of the Big Beat single the Cherries had become a duo and the higher production values and a much improved balance of the mix make the splendid Why Don't You Love Me And Treat Me Right Because I Been Loving You For (A Long Long Time) a better track all round. The writer was Vicki Williams, the queen of the longest song titles in the world, and what fine job she did - great chord changes. The lead singer still has that vibrato and her companion chips in with some strong harmonies. The arrangement is a classic deep soul one very well played. A really good side all round.
UPDATE ~ Kris Holmes - who runs the excellent "Greenvile & Beyond" site (see Links) has kindly sent me more info about the Cherries and the lovely picture shown above. He writes :-
"I would say that the Della release is the earlier of the two and sees them backed by The Rhythm Kings but I would place these releases right around the 69-70 timeframe, maybe a year either side. The White Cliffs credit on the Della 45 could mean it is a New Orleans recording (although it seems a bit late for that to be definite) and this 45 has Hines controlling the production and songwriting. You Know You Gonna Need Me is a fine midtempo dancer while the ballad Make My Life Worth Living is a reworked cover of an earlier Hines track which was recorded by The Queenettes for the Folkways Roots: Rhythm & Blues LP. The Big Beat 45 sees Vicki Williams present as writer & contains the fine ballad Why Don’t You Love Me. These are two strong 45s & I would love to know a bit more about the group’s biography. You Know You Gonna Need Me is also the same song recorded by Edward St Ann as “More Luck To You Baby” and both are extremely similar to "Baby Lots Of Luck" by The Valentinos on SAR."
I'm very grateful to Kris for getting in touch.
You know you're gonna need me / Make my life worth living ~ DELLA 1215
Don't know much about love / Why don't you love me and treat me right because I been loving you for (a long long time) ~ BIG BEAT 133-1269
1. "Make my life worthwhile" and "Don't mistreat me" were included on the RBF LP "Roots Rhythm And Blues" under the name "the Queenettes". Since that name also appears on the Della 45 as co-composers, the group may well have started life as the Queenettes. The notes to the LP state that the group came from New Orleans.
2. Peter Hoogers writes with details of another Queenettes 45 - "So lucky in love" / "How long (can I hold my tears)" (Fun 304). I'm grateful to him for this info.