Archive for March, 2009

Bells Of St. Mary’s

March 3, 2009

Kell Osborne arrived in L.A. in 1959 from Detroit where he had moved with future members of the Temptations.

In L.A., “I met Lester Sill, who was manager of the Coasters and president of Trey Records and manager of Phil Spector,” he recalled

1977156About his disc debut, “Bells Of St. Mary” b/w “That’s All Right Baby” on Trey (3006), Osborne said, “I didn’t like that too much. Phil Spector was very young, great guitar player and was easy to work with, but he was so young, hadn’t made any hits yet. I was the first artist he got a hold of. After he became famous, he wouldn’t speak to me.

“It was a 40 voice spiritual choir from L.A., The track was already cut, it was all tracks. I thought it was great. Lester flew me to Phoenix, AZ and I couldn’t open my mouth, so he gave me a whole bottle of castor oil. Lester thought I had a voice that was like Jackie Wilson, Lester had big plans for me, but I was mpatient. It hit in Baltimore, MD of all places.”

Among other singers, Osborne recalled “Lester had Bobby Sheen also.” In 1963, “The Bells Of St. Mary” was given to Sheen’s Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, also produced by Spector.