Darrow Fletcher

Darrow Fletcher

Darrow Fletcher

A child prodigy, Darrow Fletcher started singing when he was six years old. Everybody predicted stardom for the young crooner, who didn’t have a shy bone in his body. He recorded his first record while still a student at Hirsch High School; he later attended South Shore. Ironically, the song turned out to be his most popular recording. “The Pain Gets a Little Deeper” was a rough song for a 14-year-old to get into, or so one would think, but Fletcher belted it out as if he had just gone through a knockdown, drag-out divorce. Travels took him to the celebrated chitlin’ circuit, where he shared billings with other hot acts. He appeared on many television shows, not big ones like Dick Clark, but smaller soul shows like Ken Hawkins’ World of Soul in Cleveland, OH, and Soul Train when it was Chicago-based.

At least three more singles on Groovy Records didn’t come close to equaling the minimal success of his debut; he switched labels again and again, but sales never amounted to much. He recorded some solid singles, though; “Sitting There That Night” was a monster in Chicago, but never got much further than the city limits, due to Jacklyn Records’ small budget. He cut “What Good Am I Without You” (1968) for the same label with the same results. Chicago’s big city lifestyle, combined with his local success, got him flossy gigs at the Regal Theater with stars such as Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Ruffin, B.B. King, the Radiants, and others. His “The Way of a Man” (B-side of this listing) on Revue Records made CKLW’s (Detroit/Windsor) heavy rotation, notching well into the station’s Top 20 survey. Pushed and managed by his father, Fletcher tried but never signed to a label with deep pockets. He had two other releases on Revue Records that went totally unnoticed everywhere but at the Fletcher abode. In 1970, “Dolly Baby” b/w “What Is This” dropped on Uni Records, but made no noise. “Now Is the Time for Love” came out on Genna Records, another midget.

After a while, Fletcher gave up the dream. A Darrow Fletcher compilation isn’t on the market, and despite all his recordings, he never made an album. Some of his songs can be found from time to time on Northern soul websites playable via Real Audio. Some select cuts are on various Northern soul compilations, mostly imports, which can be hard to come by in the States. Other notable recordings include “What Have I Got,” “I’ve Gotta Know Why,” “My Judgement Day,” “Gotta Draw the Line,” and “My Young Misery,” the follow-up to “The Pain Gets a Little Deeper.”  Andrew Hamilton, All Music Guide

Darrow Fletcher Cleethorpes 2006

Darrow Fletcher Cleethorpes 2006

A full (?) 45 discography courtesy of Dave Rimmer at www.soulfulkindamusic.net.

Links included where appropriate (note link includes both A & B sides and any label scans). Any help filling in the gaps would be greatly appreciated just leave a comment. Especially interested in the 1978 Atco 7083 release ‘Let’s Get Together’ if anyone can help.

1966 The Pain Gets A Little Deeper Groovy 3001 A
1966 My Judgement Day Groovy 3001 B
1966 My Young Misery Groovy 3004 A
1966 I Gotta Know Why Groovy 3004 B
1966 Gotta Draw The Line Groovy 3007 A
1966 I Gotta Know Why Groovy 3007 B
1966 That Certain Little Something Groovy 3009 A
1966 My Judgement Day Groovy 3009 B
1966 What Have I Got Now Jacklyn 1002 A
1966 Sitting There That Night Jacklyn 1002 B
1967 Infatuation Jacklyn 1003 A
1967 Little Girl Jacklyn 1003 B
1967 What Good Am I Without You Jacklyn 1006 A
1967 Little Girl Jacklyn 1006 B
1968 The Way Of A Man Revue 11008 A
1968 I Like The Way I Feel Revue 11008 B
1968 Gonna Keep Loving You Revue 11023 A
1968 We Can’t Go On This Way Revue 11023 B
1969 Those Hanging Heartaches Revue 11035 A
1969 Sitting There That Night Revue 11035 B
1970 I Think I’m Gonna Write A Song Congress 6011 A
1970 Sitting There That Night Congress 6011 B
1970 When Love Calls Uni 55244 A
1970 Changing By The Minute Uni 55244 B
1971 What Is This Uni 55270 A
1971 Dolly Baby Uni 55270 B
1971 Now Is The Time For Love (Part 1) Genna 1002 A
1971 Now Is The Time For Love (Part 2) Genna 1002 B
1975 Try Something New Crossover 980 A
1975 It’s No Mistake Crossover 980 B
1976 We’ve Got To Get An Understanding Crossover 983 A
1976 This Time I’ll Be The Fool Crossover 983 B
1978 Improve Atco 7083 A
1978 Let’s Get Together Atco 7083 B
1979 Rising Cost Of Love Atlantic 3600 A
1979 Honey, Can I Atlantic 3600 B

A Bonus previously unissued track taken from the recent Masterpieces Of Modern Soul compilation entitled ‘Hope For Love’ is included here.

Hope For Love

Darrow appeared at the legendary Cleethorpes Weekender in June 2006. Unfortunately I didn’t go so anyone who did I’d love to hear what his performance was like.

Cleethorpes Weekender 20006

Cleethorpes Weekender 20006

Here’s a link to a review of the weekend and here’s another link to the programme for the weekend including a brief Darrow Fletcher Biography.

Both above links from www.6ts.info website.

Here’s a collection of tracks I found on YouTube:

Darrow Fletcher [1966] – The Pain Gets A little Deeper [US Groovy 3001]

Darrow Fletcher [1966] – My Young Misery [US Groovy 3004]

Darrow Fletcher [1966] – You Gotta Draw The Line [US Groovy 3007]

Darrow Fletcher [1066] – What Have I Got Now [US Jacklyn 1002]

Darrow Fletcher [1967] – What Good Am I Without You [US Jacklyn 1006]

Darrow Fletcher [1968] – I Like The Way I Feel [US Revue 11008]

Darrow Fletcher [1970] – When Love Calls [US Uni 55244 A]

Darrow Fletcher [1970 Changing By The Minute [US Uni 55244 B]

Darrow Fletcher [1971] – Now It’s Time For Love Part 1 [Genna 1002]

Darrow Fletcher [1971] – Now It’s Time For Love Part 2 [Genna 1002]

Darrow Fletcher [1975] – It’s No Mistake [US Crossover 980]

Darrow Fletcher [1976] – We’ve Got To Get An Understanding [US Crossover 983]


14 Responses to “Darrow Fletcher”

  1. He is a hero on the northern scene – I added one or two but never heard a lot of these before so thanks for your hard work – I’m looking forward to hearing more from young Mr Fletcher

  2. Hi, my name is Jullianne, and I work with The Oxford American magazine. We’re currently researching for our upcoming Southern Music Issue, and I’m trying to find out where Darrow Fletcher was born. If you know, would you send the info. my way?


  3. SouthShoreChitown71 Says:

    Love the Darrow Fletcher posts,but may I please have the paswoord to open the files?

  4. Me too. I would really love to have these files but am unable to open them on either mac or pc…

  5. Andre Battiste Says:

    Darrow is one of my cousins… His father’s name was “Battiste”…. Since his parents were not married, he took his mother’s name… If you have questions about him, you can reach me at: battiste06@aol.com

    Andre A. Battiste, Sr.

  6. This is an awesome idea! Thank you so much! I’m not very old nor do I have much experience in anything, but I will definitely keep this idea in mind for the future. You’re right, I think that it would blow all those handwritten resumes and cover letters out of the water!

  7. Logitech Revue…

    […]Darrow Fletcher « Modern Soul[…]…

  8. […] another great exercising song, let’s turn to Darrow Fletcher‘s funky gem from 1977, […]

  9. He should have made it!

  10. Looking forward to the show this thursday night at the 100 Club in London

    check out Darrow Fletcher ‘ No Limit’ 45 – amazing!

  11. Really nice to find “Now is the Time for Love” and be able to listen to it. I was the flute player on the tracks and have great memories of those days. Had to back off music to make a living, but I still keep up with some of the musicians. Willie Riser was on bass, and he is still doing it out of Oakland, CA. Darrow had a great voice, and MAN, those background women could sing. Mark

  12. Studio take for Candle Lights and Dinner Wine a cut on the upcoming album Love, Life, & Experience

  13. by producer and upcoming R&B, soul, and Hip Hop artist Yajdi Worldwyde. Listen and leave a comment, we’d appreciate it. Thanks, Feel free

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