Hearts of Stone

The Hearts of Stone popped up unexpectedly on Motown's VIP label in 1970 with the album Stop the World: We Wanna Get Off. Surprising, since artists like the Velvelettes, Carolyn Crawford, Barbara Randolph, the Satintones, Kim Weston, and others hadn't been honored with album releases, yet this unknown group gets one produced by Henry Cosby. The album wasn't Motown and sounds as if it would have fared better in the late '50s or early '60s than 1970. The members were John Myers, Lindsey Griffin, Floyd Lawson, and Carl Cutler.

Myers had been around, first with the Five Pennies on Savoy on "Mr. Moon" b/w "Let It Rain" (1955), "My Heart Trembles" b/w "Money" (1956), and unreleased tracks on the Herald label; the Chimes, with Freddie Scott on Arrow Records, who made "Please Call" b/w "The Letter Comes This Morning" and "Lovin' Baby" b/w "A Faded Memory" both in 1957; the Four Jokers "Written in the Stars" b/w "The Runaround" on Sue in 1958; and the Four Pennies "You Have No Time to Lose" b/w "You're a Gas With Your Trash," on Brunswick in 1964. The Five Pennies consisted of Clifford Curry, Constance Holloway, Benjamin Washington, and Herbet Myers, John's brother. The Five Pennies backed Big Miller on his 1955 Savoy release "All Is Well" b/w "Try to Understand." Herbert also sang with James in the Four Jokers.

VIP Records issued two singles by the Hearts of Stone from their album: "It's a Lonesome Road," a fast upbeat number with a gospel flavor and secular lyrics, and "If I Could Give You the World" (1971), a mid-tempo song with a sluggish beat that came out ten years too late. It's unclear what happened to the group after their stint with Motown, but it's believed that John Myers drifted into gospel music. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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