Bobby Hendricks was born in Columbus, OH on February 23 1938. By the 50s he was in New York where he had an honourable career in doo wop, singing with the Swallows, and the Flyers, but made his name as a member of the Drifters, for whom he sang the lead on “Drip Drop”. As a solo act he scored a massive hit in 1958 with the bouncy “Itchy Twitchy Feeling” for Juggy Murray’s Sue label, for whom he eventually cut a further seven 45s without ever reaching those heights again. My favourite cut from his time with Sue is the ballad “A Thousand Dreams” which shows off his commanding baritone so well.
It was clear his beautifully modulated tone and fine sense of dynamics made him a class A vocalist so it's a shame, but understandable that his 45s for Sue and Mercury were so “pop” in their arrangements that they were more MOR music than anything else. Considerably better was the Cub/MGM 45 Let’s Get It Over a fine big city cry ballad for which I have a great fondness. By 1964 Hendricks rejoined the Drifters, where he stayed for getting on for 20 years.
But he made one wonderful single during this period however – a double sided peach. Go On Home Girl is a lovely piece of southern soul, full of country goodness, featuring a heartfelt Hendricks vocal and a cornball rap that precedes some righteous wailing – simply stunning. The other side She Used To Hold Me may be even better thanks to a great Joe Tex styled spoken intro and some classic chord changes. I don’t know where the vocal tracks were cut but the rhythm was certainly cut in Muscle Shoals, check out the David Hood/Roger Hawkins bottom patterns so effective as usual, and Barry Beckett’s piano licks. Hendricks never sounded this impassioned before or since. If only we could have had more music like that.
Itchy twitchie feeling / A thousand dreams ~ SUE 706 (1958)
Dreamy eyes / Molly be good ~ Sue 708 (1958)
Cast your vote / It's misery ~ SUE 710 (1959)
I'm a big boy now / Good things will come ~ SUE 712 (1959)
Little John Green / Sincerely your lover ~ SUE 717 (1959)
City of angels / If I just had your love ~ SUE 727 (1960)
Busy flirtin' /I want that ~ SUE 729 (1960)
Psycho / Too good to be true ~ SUE 732 (1960)
Happy hearts / Pleasing you ~ MERCURY 71788 (1961)
Good lovin’ / Honey drip ~ MERCURY 71810 (1961)
I’m comin’ home / Every other night MERCURY 71881 (1961)
Let's get it over / Love in my heart ~ CUB 9127 / MGM 13179 (1963)
She used to hold me / Go on home girl ~ WILLIAMS 001 (1968)
Thanks to Brian Goucher for the suggestion.