Album: The Chantels (1958)
Charted: 15
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  • "Maybe" was written and produced by Richard Barrett, who also served as the producer, writer, arranger, and lead singer of the mid-'50s doo-wop group The Valentines.
  • "Maybe" is one of the earliest examples of the girl-group phenomenon, which would sweep the United States shortly after this single's release. Thus, The Chantels broke ground for the likes of The Shirelles, The Ronettes, and The Supremes. And yes, the girl groups, especially the early ones, were largely spawned by the 1650 Broadway/Brill Building scene (check out our Toni Wine interview for more on that) and its famous tenants.
  • This song has been covered by Janis Joplin, The Three Degrees, The Shangri-Las, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • Amongst many other late honors for The Chantels, Rolling Stone ranked "Maybe" #195 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • The Chantels were amongst the most successful acts of their label, End Records, which was a very small label from the doo-wop era. End Records' catalog, through a number of mergers and buy-outs (Roulette and Rhino) is now the property of Warner Music Group.
    Be careful how you spell that name! Double the last 'L', and you have the Chantells, a Jamaican reggae group from the 1970s who are, naturally, a completely different act altogether.

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1958 {April 28th} the 'Alan Freed's Big Beat Show' did two performances at the Central High School Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan...
    One of the show's acts* were the Chantels, and at the time they had two records on Billboard's Top 100 Sides chart, their "Every Night (I Pray)" was at position #65 and their "Maybe" was at #82...
    Two weeks earlier "Every Day (I Pray)" peaked at #39 on Billboard's Best Seller in Stores chart and spent thirteen weeks on the Top 100...
    And ten weeks earlier "Maybe" peaked at #15 {for 1 week} on the Top 100 chart and it stayed eighteen weeks on the chart...
    Besides the above two records, the Bronx, NY quintet had five other Top 100 records; "He's Gone" {#71 in 1957}, "I Love You So" {#42 in 1958}, "Look In My Eyes" {#14 in 1961}, "Well, I Told You " {#29 in 1961}, and "Eternally" {#77 in 1963}...
    * Other acts on the 'Big Beat' show were Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Frankie Lymon, Danny & the Juniors, the Diamonds, Billy Ford, the Pastels, Larry Williams, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins...
    Personal note: I was thirteen years old in 1958 and living in Utica, NY, but would have loved being in Kalamazoo, MI on the above date!!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 23rd 1958, Alan Freed's 'Big Beat Show' played the Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...
    One of the show's acts was the Chantels and at the time the group's "Maybe"" was tied at #23* on Billboard's Top 100 chart, the month before on February 16th it peaked at #15...
    "Maybe" was their second biggest hit, their biggest was "Look In My Eyes", which peaked at #14 in 1961...
    * The week it was at #23, the three other records it was tied with were "Shorts Shorts" by the Royal Teens, "Good Golly, Miss Molly" by Little Richard, and "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love again" by Jimmie Rodgers.
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