Category: archie bell & the drells

On this day in music history: May 18, 1968 – &…

On this day in music history: May 18, 1968 – “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell & The Drells hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks on the same date. Written by Archie Bell and Billy Butler, it is the biggest hit for the Houston, TX based R&B vocal group. Archie Bell and Billy Butler originally write the beginnings of what becomes their biggest hit in 1964, and forget about it until nearly three years later. Bell receives notice that he has been drafted into the army, and is scheduled to be shipped off to Vietnam. Archie’s friend and band mate Billy Butler, notices his friend is depressed and tries to cheer him by doing a dance. Amused, Bell asks Butler what the dance is that he’s doing, and Billy responds “it’s called the Tighten Up”. Re-vamping their old demo with a new arrangement and lyrics, the group record the song at the Jones Town Studio in October of 1967. Bell’s spoken intro announcing that he and the group were from Houston, is inspired by a comment he hears a DJ make after JFK’s assassination in Dallas in 1963. The person in question states that “nothing good ever came out of Texas”. A proud Texas native, Archie Bell responds to the remark on “Tighten Up”, wanting people to know where his group was from, stating “we were from Texas and we were good”. Originally released on the small independent label Ovide Records, the song becomes a regional hit in Texas, before attracting the attention of Atlantic Records who pick up the single for national distribution, re-releasing it in February of 1968. Entering the Hot 100 at #81 on March 30, 1968, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. At the time, Bell is serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, is wounded and recovering in a hospital from his injuries. With the group unable to make personal appearances to promote the record, numerous fake groups claiming to be the real Archie Bell & The Drells begin surfacing to take advantage of the groups’ inactivity by using the groups name, including nine white men out of Nashville, TN!! “Tighten Up” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: September 1, 1944 – R&B …

Born on this day: September 1, 1944 – R&B vocal legend Archie Bell (born Archie Lee Bell in Henderson, TX). Happy 74th Birthday, Archie!!

On this day in music history: May 18, 1968 – &…

On this day in music history: May 18, 1968 – “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell & The Drells hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks on the same date. Written by Archie Bell and Billy Butler, it is the biggest hit for the Houston, TX based R&B vocal group. Archie Bell and Billy Butler originally write the beginnings of what becomes their biggest hit in 1964, and forget about it until nearly three years later. Bell receives notice that he has been drafted into the army and is scheduled to be shipped off to Vietnam. Archie’s friend and band mate Billy Butler, notices his friend is depressed and tries to cheer him by doing a dance. Amused, Bell asks Butler what the dance is that he’s doing, and Billy responds “it’s called the Tighten Up”. Re-vamping their old demo with a new arrangement and lyrics, the group record the song at the Jones Town Studio in October of 1967. Bell’s spoken intro announcing that he and the group were from Houston, is inspired by a comment he hears a DJ make after JFK’s assassination in Dallas in 1963. The person in question states that “nothing good ever came out of Texas”. A proud Texas native, Archie Bell responds to the remark on “Tighten Up”, wanting people to know where his group was from, stating “we were from Texas and we were good”. Originally released on the small independent label Ovide Records, the song becomes a regional hit in Texas, before attracting the attention of Atlantic Records who pick up the single for national distribution, re-releasing it in February of 1968. Entering the Hot 100 at #81 on March 30, 1968, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. At the time, Bell is serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, is injured and recovering in a hospital from his injuries. With the group unable to make personal appearances to promote the record, numerous fake groups claiming to be the real Archie Bell & The Drells begin surfacing to take advantage of the groups’ inactivity by using the groups name, including nine white men out of Nashville, TN!! “Tighten Up” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.