Ruby & the Romantics
Ruby & the Romantics was an American R&B group in the 1960s. The group had several pop and R&B hit records, but are sometimes wrongly considered as a one-hit wonder for topping the US BillboardHot 100 chart in 1963 with their first recording, "Our Day Will Come". The song, written by Mort Garson and Bob Hilliard,was a world-wide hit, selling over one million copies in the US, also topped the Billboard R&B chart and peaked at #38 in the UK Singles Chart. it also reached #11 on the Australian Charts.
They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2007, and are winners of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation's prestigiousPioneer Award. In 1963, they were also nominated by The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for the Best Rock and Roll Recording for "Our Day Will Come".
Despite their relative obscurity compared to many of their contemporaries,Ruby and The Romantics reign as one of the most-covered and influential R&B vocal groups of the 1960's.
Ruby Nash, the female lead of the group, originally sang with a group, consisting of her sister and three friends. They sang at record hops, mixers, talent shows and clubs in Akron and surrounding areas. Ruby attended Central High School in Akron. No one knew she could sing until after she graduated from high school. Some of the male members of the Romantics sang with The Embers. Eventually, The Embers became known as The Supremes (not to be confused with The Supremes of Motown Records fame) and then The Feilos.
Since they all grew up in Akron and knew each other, Leroy Fann, a member of The Feilos, asked Ruby to sing with them on occasions. After auditioning, the group was signed to New York-based Kapp Records; Kapp Records artist and repertoire chief Allen Stanton changed their name to "Ruby & the Romantics". Their hit song was originally intended for another artist on the label,crooner Jack Jones of "Wives and Lovers" fame, but the group saw its potential and persuaded Stanton to let them record it.
By the year 1963, "My Summer Love" reached #16 on the Hot 100 and a third release, the original version of "Hey There Lonely Boy" climbed to #27. Several more singles were released by Kapp which generally achieved minor chart status. A short spell with ABC resulting in three singles and an album was unsuccessful. A single for A&M in 1969, "Hurting Each Other", saw them re-united with Allen Stanton. Originally recorded by Jimmy Clanton some years earlier, it proved to be their final recording before the group broke up in 1971.
Ruby & The Romantics were known throughout the music industry for their,smooth rich, full-range harmonies-from high tenor , to deep, abyssmal bass. In a 2011 interview with Ruby, Tom Meros of Rock and Roll Universe revealed that , according to Damon Harris, David Ruffin, and Eddie Kendricks of The Temptations, The background harmonies of Ruby & The Romantics on "Our Day Will Come",actually served as the original model for The Temptations' background harmonies in 1963. In this, The Romantics proved very influential.
The group was also very influential on the music of The Carpenters, who recorded no less than three of their tunes (see below).
Cover Versions and Influence
In another measure of the group's profound influence,several of the songs they recorded went on to become hits or important recordings for other artists, such as "Hey There Lonely Boy" (which was recorded by Eddie Holmanas "Hey There Lonely Girl" and peaked in the US at #2 in February 1970). It was also covered by Martha & The Vandellas,Donny Osmond,Will Downing,The Softones,Shaun Cassidy,Barry Biggs, and Robert John. "Hurting Each Other" recorded for A&M in 1969 which became a #2 hit for The Carpenters three years later; The Carpenters also covered their song "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore", whiched reached # 12 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and their hit , "Our Day Will Come".The group's hit "Young Wings Can Fly" has been covered by Titus Turner,The Essex, Johnny & The Attractions,and acapella group Windsong. The Romantics' hit, "When You're Young and in Love" was covered by the Motown group The Marvelettes which peaked at #23 in the US in May 1967.It was also covered by Ralph Carter (of the T.V. series "Good Times") , and The Choice Four,both of whom reached the Pop & R&B Charts with their versions in the autumn of 1975. Stacy Lattisaw also covered the song in 1979 . The song has also been recorded by Donny and Marie - as "(When You're) Young and in Love" - and the Jets. British a cappella band The Flying Pickets also took the song to #7 in the UK Singles Chart in 1984).Additionally, "Our Day Will Come" has had over 60 recorded cover versions by other artists, including Frankie Valli ,(whose version peaked at #11 in the US in the fall of 1975),Cher, Donny and Marie Osmond, Bobby Darin,Patti Page, Dee Dee Sharp, Pat Boone, Amy Winehouse , Nancy Wilson , Trini Lopez, The Supremes, Cliff Richard , James Brown , and numerous others. The Searchers covered their song "Does He [She] Really Care for Me".
The "Romantics" were:
- Ed Roberts (second tenor) - worked as a bank teller and died of cancer on August 15, 1993.
- George Lee (first tenor) - died of cancer in 1994.
- Ronald Mosley (baritone) - died on December 3, 2011.
- Leroy Fann (bass) - was shot and killed in New York in November 1973.
Contrary to popular belief, Ruby & The Romantics had remained intact, with all 5 original members, throughout their entire 10-year recording career,(1961-1971), as confirmed by Ruby in an interview in 2008 with Marv Goldberg (R&B Notebooks).She returned to the Akron, Ohio area after the break-up and remained there as of 2012.As of 2013, Ruby is the only surviving original member of the Romantics.Sadly, she receives no royalties for the group's hit records.
The "Last FM" website stated: "Ruby & The Romantics continued to produce outstanding music such as "By The Way", "(When You're) Young and in Love" and many more favorites. Fans of the group continue to place them among the best groups of the 1960’s."
iTunes referred to Ruby and The Romantics as "One of the great male/female soul vocal groups.Ruby & the Romantics had an epic single in 1963 with "Our Day Will Come." It topped both the pop and R&B charts and for many is the definitive love/angst track." 
- Ruby & the Romantics were given a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1997.
- Ruby & the Romantics were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2007.
- Don Preston drummed for the group.
- Ruby's married name is Garnett, and she has been married for over 40 years.
- In the 1980s a New Wave group took the name of the original R&B group, naming themselves The Romantics.
- In 2005, Ruby retired from the Barberton, Ohio, Salvation Army thrift store.
- In Aug. 2013, Ruby & The Romantics were inductees into the very first class of the new R&B Music Hall of Fame. This, despite the fact that they have never once been considered for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame .
|1962||"Hey There, Lonely Boy"||5||27|
|"My Summer Love"||16||6|
|"Our Day Will Come"A||1||—|
|"Young Wings Can Fly (Higher Than You Know)"||47||—|
|1964||"Baby Come Home"||75||—|
|"Our Everlasting Love"||64||—|
|"When You're Young and in Love"B||48||—|
|1965||"Does He Really Care For Me"||87||—|
|"Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore"C||108|
- A"Our Day Will Come" Also Peaked at #1 on R&B singles and #38 on UK Singles.
- B"When You're Young And In Love" also peaked at #25 on RPM Top Tracks
- C"Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore"-Charting "B" side to non-charting "A" side,"We'll Meet Again"(Kapp K-665).
- 1963 Till Then - Kapp KS3341
- 1966 Greatest Hits - Kapp KS3458 (stereo), 1980 MCA 541
- 1967 Ruby & the Romantics - Kapp KS3526
- 1968 More Than Yesterday - ABC ABCS638
- The "Last FM" website stated:
- "Ruby & The Romantics continued to produced outstanding music such as "By The Way", "(When You're) Young and in Love" and many more favorites. Fans of the group continue to place them among the best groups of the 1960’s."