The Shades Of Blue were a male-female doo-wop-styled blue-eyed soul singing group formed in Livonia, Michigan that became famous during the late 1960s. The lineup consisted of first tenor Ernie Dernai, second tenor Linda Allen, baritone Bob Kerr (d. April 24, 2006), and lead singer Nick Marinelli. The group is best remembered for the charming and upbeat 1966 hit, "Oh How Happy."
The group began in the early 1960s while its members were all still in high school singing doo-wop on street corners. First known as The Domingos, they performed at various school functions and other local events before getting their first recording audition in 1965 at the Detroit-based label, Golden World. The group renamed itself The Shades Of Blue per the recommendation of John Rhys, a sound engineer and producer at Golden World who thought the new name was better suited to the group's vocal style. The Shades Of Blue were also introduced to Edwin Starr, a recording artist for Golden World at the time, who presented the group a song he was writing titled "Oh How Happy." The group worked with Starr to complete the song and recorded it in early 1966, which led to a multi-record contract with Impact Records.
The Shades Of Blue debuted on the charts in 1966 with what would become their signature song, "Oh How Happy," which became a Top 10 Pop/Rock hit and shot to the top of the local Detroit area charts. This smash was followed later that year by "Lonely Summer," which was also written by Starr, and "Happiness," both songs of which were minor hits and the group's final national chart entries. In late 1966, the group released an album, "Happiness Is The Shades Of Blue."
For the remainder of the 1960s, The Shades Of Blue continued to tour actively and performed on such TV shows as Dick Clark's "Where The Action Is" before disbanding in 1970. In 2003, the group was revived in part when Nick Marinelli, the original lead singer, joined the newly-reunited Motown group, The Valadiers. That group soon after renamed itself The Shades Of Blue and has continued under that moniker to the present day, with many personnel changes. Marinelli left the group in 2009 to pursue a solo career.
- For more info about The Shades Of Blue, both past and present, see theshadesofblueonline.com.
- Fans of The Shades Of Blue remember baritone Bob Kerr.
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Shades of Blue
- Oh How Happy 1966
(This song later also became a hit for Blinky & Edwin Starr (1969).)
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