1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Gretchen Diane Christopher, lead, (b.1940) Barbara Ellis, harmony, (b.1940), Gary Troxel, doo-wop scat, (b.1939)
Famous Doo-Wop hit single during the 50s: Come Softly To Me 1959
Fleetwoods also had hits with Graduation’s Here and Mr. Blue in 1959.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1959-1963 Record Label: Dolphin/Dolton
Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, and Gary Troxel attended Olympia High School in Washington. Gretchen Christopher and former-fellow-cheerleader Barbara Ellis composed Come Softly to Me for the Senior Class Talent Assembly. The trio combined it with a hook that trumpet player Gary Troxel had written that went “mmm-do-be-do dum-dim-dum do-dum.” They put it all together and Come Softly To Me and ‘The Fleetwoods’ were an overnight sensation. For their Senior Class Party, Gretchen Christopher and Barbara Ellis wrote Graduation’s Here. It became their second top-forty hit. Their third release, Mr. Blue, also turned to gold and in 1961 they had a hit with Tragedy. One of the few white vocal groups to enjoy success on both the Pop and R&B charts, their smooth, dreamy, ethereal harmonies were a welcome counterpoint to rock’s frenzy in the late fifties.