‘Take a Letter, Maria. Address It to My Wife.’ Singer of Hit R&B Classic Tune Dies. He Was Sam Cooke’s Nephew

Oct 8, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The pop singer whose ‘‘Take a Letter, Maria’’ was a 1969 hit died in Los Angeles, the Associated Press reports.

The story says: "[R.B.] Greaves, 68, died of prostate cancer on Sept. 27 at his home, said Craig Harvey, the Los Angeles County coroner’s chief of operations." The news of Greaves’ death was not made public until last week.

The article continues, "A nephew of legendary R&B singer Sam Cooke, Mr. Greaves was born on a US air base in the former British Guyana. Living in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, he recorded several soul singles as Sonny Childe. It was after moving to the United States that he scored his biggest hit as R.B. Greaves."

The article notes that "Take a Letter, Maria," "with its soul style, catchy chorus, and brassy horn edge, went to No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1969. It earned Mr. Greaves a gold record, selling a million copies, and remains a popular oldie. Mr. Greaves also broke into the Top 40 in 1970 with his version of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David tune ‘(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me.’’’

RB Greaves.jpg

R.B. Greaves

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