The Arbors were a pop/soft rock quartet with close-knit harmonies reminiscent of The Four Freshmen that became famous during the late 1960s. Formed in 1964 in Ann Arbor, Michigan after all four members had graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the lineup consisted of two sets of brothers: Tom and Scott Herrick (ca. 1937 - November 7, 2018), and identical twins Ed (June 17, 1937 - January 2, 2003) and Fred Farran (June 17, 1937 - August 29, 2011). They are best known for their slower, more dramatic version of the Wayne Carson-penned "The Letter" (1969) featuring symphonic passages and trippy psychedelic airplane sound effects. This oldies classic previously topped the charts for The Box Tops and later also became a top hit for Joe Cocker (with Leon Russell).
The Arbors debuted in 1966 with the romantic "A Symphony For Susan," followed by the uplifting "Graduation Day" (1967). Their fame took off in 1969 with "The Letter," which made the Pop/Rock Top 20 and became the group's biggest hit and signature song. Their hits, which continued on both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts through 1969, also include "With You Girl" (1967), "Valley Of The Dolls" (1967, not the same song as the Dionne Warwick hit), and a hit cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears' "I Can't Quit Her" (1969).
After their peak in commercial fame in the late 1960s, The Arbors went on to become a hugely successful songwriting and production team for music in TV and radio ads. They can be heard singing in numerous commercial jingles from the 1970s and later for such companies as Sears, General Mills, McDonald's, Schlitz Beer, Texaco, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and United Airlines.
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- The Letter 1969
(This song was previously a hit for the Box Tops (1967) and later also became a hit for Joe Cocker & Leon Russell (1970).)
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