Saturday, June 12, 2010

Anita Humes Lead Singer Of The Essex Has Died

Anita Humes, lead singer of the Essex, died May 30 at the age of 69. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1940, Anita was a Marine, entertaining at the non-commissioned officer's club at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, when she met four other leathernecks (Rodney Taylor, Walter Vickers, Billie Hill and Rudolph Johnson) and joined their group, which eventually was named after Essex County, New Jersey. They asked another Marine to write an original uptempo song for an audition with Roulette Records. William Linton worke in the communications department and he and his co-writer wrote "Easier Said Than Done" to the beat of the camp's teletype machine. It was placed on the b-side of "Are You Going My Way" in 1963. As happened so often back then, DJs turned the record over and sent "Easier Said Than Done" to #1 for two weeks that July. Being Marines made it difficult to support their recordings with concerts. Rudolph was shipped overseas before the sound-alike follow-up, "A Walkin' Miracle," reached #12 later that year. And when "She's Got Everything" topped at #56 that Fall and "Curfew Lover" (credited to "Anita Humes and the Essex) didn't even chart, the handwriting was on the wall. Anita left the Marines and did some solo recordings, but her lack of success caused her to join the Army, where she sang with the Army Showmobile. The group reunited for a PBS special in 2004.