"Love Letters" Performed by Ketty Lester (1962)

October 1, 2008


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Ketty Lester took this 1945 Dick Haynes standard pop hit and transformed it into a classic. And that piano playing is simply awesome. I loved this song from the very first time I heard it and whenever I watched Ketty playing Hester-Sue on “Little House” (yes I watched it and I watched “The Waltons” too — so there) it boggled my mind to try to understand what happened that made her turn from music to acting.

Lester, born Revoyda Frierson in Arkansas, began singing professionally as soon as she completed a San Francisco State College music course where she was studying Nursing on Scholarship. She played the “Purple Onion” club, toured Europe and joined Cab Calloway’s Revue  (WHEW) before having what was to be her biggest musical hit with “Love Letters”

Composed by Edward Heyman and Victor Young, Lester took the song to #2 BIllboard R&B Singles, #5 Billboard Pop Singles, and #5 UK, while the LP of the same name charted only #54 Billboard Pop Albums. After a few more LPs Lester concentrated on her acting and has had quite a long and successful career at it. She also appeared in the 1964 revival of “Cabin in the Sky.”

Enjoy this vintage clip of Lester performing her classic.

This post is a bit later in the day than usual since I had been in bed with food poisoning for the past two days. Typically my Wednesday posts are prepared on Tuesday night, but today was my first day up and about and back to work and I just prepared this when I got home from work Wednesday evening.

Of course you can see that the new theme for the month of October is those Fabulous Female artists. I will update the October birthdays this weekend. Better late than never – right?

I gotta keep the oldies alive.


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Filed under:Edward Heyman & Victor Young,Era,Fabulous Female Vocalists,Ketty Lester,Love Letters,Pop/R&B,Sixties

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jonah December 9, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Does anyone know the personnel of the band on “Love Letters?” Or anything on Era Records?

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2 Mick Weaver December 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I want to know who played piano on Love Letters. I did hear that it was Leon Russel, but I’ve never had that confirmed. Can anyone shed some light?

Reply

3 sondan December 12, 2008 at 11:42 pm

I am still hoping someone has detailed liner notes and personell info for this ERA LP to help out Jonah, Mick and myself:

ES-108 – Love Letters – Ketty Lester [1962] (6-62, #53) The covers give the record numbers as DL-108 and DS-108, the record labels say EL-108 and ES-108. Love Letters (E)/Once Upon A Time (S)/P.S. I Love You (S)/I’ll Never Stop Loving You (S)/Gloomy Sunday (S)/Fallen Angel (S)//Where Or When (S)/I’m A Fool To Want You (E)/Moscow Nights (S)/Porgy, I’s Your Woman Now (S)/When I Fall In Love (S)/Goin’ Home (S) SOURCE

Here’s hoping someone out there in the blogosphere is reading this and has the LP in their possession or better yet played on the album sessions. ;-)

Reply

4 Keith Jones May 26, 2009 at 3:32 pm

I believe Lincoln Mayorga was responsible for the beautiful piano accompaniment on Ketty Lester’s “Love Letters” (one of my favourite records of all time). Ed Cobb and he co-produced the track which reached #5 in the US and #4 here in the UK.

Reply

5 sondan December 9, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Wow — that’s a great question Jonah. Hope someone will check in to respond.
Welcome to OSML!

Reply

6 sondan May 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Thank you Keith. Know anything more about the talented Mr. Mayorga?

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