A Bit Like You And Me Radio

August 20, 2013

The Fleetwoods - Come Softly to Me [Undubbed] (1958)

Gary Troxel and Gretchen Christopher were waiting to be picked up after school during their senior year of high school. The duo began to pass the time by singing and humming together. Gretchen thought the vocals they were toying around with would go great with some music she had written, so she convinced Troxel to join her in combining the two. The duo was pleased enough with the result that they asked Gretchen’s singing partner, Barbara Ellis, to join them in their newly formed vocal group. Originally calling themselves Two Girls and a Guy, the trio named their song “Come Softly” and recorded the vocals over a five month period (June – November 1958). Since the trio was singing a capella, they kept time by having Gary jingle his car keys. Once the vocals were perfected, the group’s co-producers flew the tapes to Los Angeles and had acoustic and bass guitars overdubbed. The song, renamed “Come Softly to Me” was officially released by the renamed group, The Fleetwoods, in February 1959. It stayed on the charts for sixteen weeks, with four weeks at number one.

Later that very same year, the group released “Mr. Blue,” which also went to number one. This feat made the trio the very first group in the world to have multiple number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single year. They were also they first ever mixed-gender group to achieve more than one number one hit. All in all, the trio had eleven hit songs in their short career. Gary Troxel’s involvement with the group waned, as he had been obligated to join the U.S. Navy’s Naval Reserve in 1956. That, combined with the nation’s growing desire for British pop, saw the vocal group split up in 1963.

The song heard below is the finalized vocals of “Come Softly to Me” that were sent by the group to Los Angeles for overdubbing. The version heard here does not include the overdub of the Latin-influenced acoustic guitar playing (by Bonnie Guitar) nor the bass guitar. The only non-voice element heard is the jingling of Gary Troxel’s keys to help the singers keep time.

album art

The Fleetwoods - Come Softly to Me [Undubbed] (1958)

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Lyrics:

Oh, I was busy kissing Gary.
Tee-hee.
Take three.


(Come softly, darling)
(Come softly, darling)
(Come softly, darling)
(Come softly, darling)

(Come softly, darling)
(Come to me, stay)
(You're my obsession)
(Forever and a day)

I want- want you to know
I love- I love you so
Please hold- hold me so tight
All through- all through the night

(Speak softly, darling)
(Hear what I say)
(I love you always)
(Always, always)

I've waited- waited so long
For your kisses and your love
Please come- come to me
From up- from up above

(Come softly, darling)
I want- want you to know
(Come softly, darling)
I love- I love you so
(Come softly, darling)
I need, need you so much
(Come softly, darling)
Wanna feel your warm, warm touch

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