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The Sonics

This Broken Heart

Since The Kodoks, whose former tenor William Franklin and baritone Larry Davis subsequently became two-fifths of The Sonics, hailed from Newark, New Jersey (their Oh Gee, Oh Gosh came out on Bobby Robinson's Fury label in 1958 and resides on our previous disc), it seems a relatively safe bet that The Sonics hailed from that same vicinity as well. 

A group by the same name had a 1958 single on the New York-based X-Tra imprint coupling Once In A Lifetime and It Ain't True; the assumption is that it was the same quintet. Franklin wrote the delectable ballad This Broken Heart, but it was tenor Donald Sheffield who ably fronted The Sonics on the engaging platter. Sheffield also led the flip side, You Made Me Cry, another Franklin composition. The number made enough East Coast noise on Art Gottfried's Harvard Records, another tiny New York imprint, that Chicago's Checker label picked it up in April of '59 for national consumption (Sheffield's featured billing went by the boards).

It was a one-time deal for the group, which bounced from one highly obscure label - Nocturne, Amco, Armonia - to the next during the early '60s without ever attracting the interest that This Broken Heart did. 

- Bill Dahl -

Various Street Corner Symphonies 1959 Vol.11

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