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The Superbs

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The Superbs, a Los Angeles, CA, quintet, waxed splendid records with heart-wrenching lyrics, aching leads, and glorious soprano fills by lone female member Eleanor "Punkin" Green, who frequently sang lead. Male members changed constantly during their developmental days, but settled somewhat when they began recording for Lew Bedell's Dore Records. With a lineup of Green, Walter White, Bobby Swain, Ronny Cook, and Gordy Harmon, they waxed "Storybook of Love." Harmon left shortly before their second release, "Baby, Baby All the Time" (an old Nat "King" Cole tune), to join the Whispers. "Baby, Baby All the Time" became a local favorite and they started gigging around L.A. Bobby Swain decided he didn't want to sing with them anymore, and left to form the Entertainers IV, who also recorded for Dore. The short-lived group had one of Bedell's biggest hits, "(People Don't Look No More) The Temptation Walk," in 1965. Managerial problems followed, and then Green married Los Angeles Angels pitcher Rudy May, who ended her recording and touring activities. The Superbs continued performing to the dismay of audiences who expected a female member. Green's departure left a gaping hole in the group's harmony, especially on songs like "It Hurts So Much," their sixth Dore single, which featured her crystal-shattering soprano wailing in the background. "You Broke a Young Girls' Heart," their eighth single, was their first without Green. After a while, her husband relented and allowed her to sing again, but more problems resulted, similar to the ones the Temptations experienced with David Ruffin. She wanted the name changed to Eleanor and the Superbs, but the guys said no. Thus, Green's return was brief, and they eventually replaced her with Cheryl Boyd. Male members came and went, too, making it nearly impossible to discern who recorded on later sessions. Personnel changes and poor promotion doomed the Superbs. They were strictly a West Coast experience, receiving little airplay east of the Mississippi River. Dore released 14 singles by the group and not one broke the Top 40 on the pop or R&B charts. Dore released one LP, Now & Then. They regrouped in 1994 to play an oldie concert for the Los Angeles Doo Wop Society with the Hitmakers, the Magnificents, the Calvanes, and Leon Peels (of the Blue Jays). ~ Andrew Hamilton

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