On this day in music history: May 16, 1970 – &…

On this day in music history: May 16, 1970 – “Love On A Two Way Street” by The Moments hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 5 weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on May 30, 1970. Written by Sylvia Robinson and Bert Keyes, it is the first chart topping single for the R&B vocal trio from Hackensack, NJ. Formed in 1965 as students at Howard University in Washington DC, The Moments originally consist of Mark Greene, Eric Olfus Sr., Richard Gross and John Morgan. The groups signs to All Platinum Records (on the Stang imprint), founded by Sylvia Robinson and her husband Joe in 1968. By late 1969, three of the four members of The Moments have left the group, leaving John Morgan the only remaining original member. The others are replaced by vocalists Al Goodman and William “Billy” Brown. Sylvia writes the ballad “Love On A Two Way Street” with fellow songwriter Bert Keyes, cutting the track with the band Willie & The Mighty Magnificents in All Platinum’s make shift studio in Englewood, NJ on an old eight track multi-track tape machine. The songs string section (arranged and conducted by Keyes) actually features only three players who are overdubbed three times on the multi-track. The group add their vocals with Billy Brown on lead vocals. Originally considered just a filler track on their second album “A Moment With The Moments”, “Love On A Two Way Street” is sequenced as the final song on side two of the album when it is released on November of 1969. After the first single “Lovely The Way She Loves” (#14 R&B), becomes a top twenty hit in early 1970, “Love On A Two Way Street” is issued as the follow up in March of 1970. The record takes off faster than anyone could have predicted, zooming to the top of the R&B chart less than two months after its release, quickly crossing over and hitting the top five on the pop chart. Considered one of the quintessential soul ballads of the era, the song is covered by Stacy Lattisaw in 1981, scoring a major hit with it (#2 R&B, #26 Pop). “Love On A Two Way Street” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.