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Love Letters / But Not for Me - Single

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Album Review

Love Letters is a missed opportunity as far as Ketty Lester collections go. It combines 12 songs from a 1964 RCA album with the original versions of her two biggest hits, "Love Letters" and "But Not for Me," which were recorded for Era Records. Lester had a hit album on Era, also titled Love Letters, and notched two other minor hits for the label, all of which could have easily filled a CD with Lester's most popular recordings. Instead, Collectables chose to reissue a non-charting album and cross-license two of Lester's Era hits to tack on at the end. The result isn't a greatest-hits collection, but is the closest thing to one currently on the market thanks to the inclusion of those two hits. Like her Era recordings, Lester's RCA recordings are heavy on traditional pop songs such as "Time After Time" and "It's the Talk of the Town," with occasional departures like the rocking "Hello Lover, Goodbye Tears," a cover of Roy Hamilton's "You Can Have Her" (retitled "You Can Have Him"), and the sexy "Sweet Torture." "Love Letters" is a classic oldie that has gained ominous undercurrents (for younger listeners, at least) from its appearance in the David Lynch film Blue Velvet, and "But Not for Me" is another old pop song Lester reinterpreted in her sultry style to moderate chart success. Ironically, Lester's second RCA album has been reissued, too, on a Japanese CD, while her more commercially successful Era recordings remain out of print.


Born: 16 August 1934 in Hope, AR

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer Ketty Lester has a career that spans music, TV, film, and stage. Her cover of Dick Haynes' 1945 hit "Love Letters" went to number five pop and number two R&B on Billboard's charts in the spring of 1962. The tune was originally the title theme from the 1945 Jennifer Jones movie. Ketty Lester was born Revoyda Frierson on August 16, 1934, in Hope, AR. She was one of 15 children born into a farmer's family. After winning a scholarship in 1955, she moved to California and attended San Francisco...
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Love Letters / But Not for Me - Single, Ketty Lester
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