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R. B. Greaves - Singer/Songwriter - "Take A Letter Maria"

R. B. Greaves

Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III, born in British Guiana, South America, on 28 November 1944 at the US Air Force Base at Atkinson Field (now Timehri). He is of African American and Seminole Indian decent and grew up on an Indian reservation in The USA.

The nephew of Sam Cooke, Greaves moved to England in 1963, and was lead singer of Sonny Childe & The TNT's. He had a career in both the Caribbean and Great Britain and had his moment of glory in 1969 with "Take a Letter Maria," that peaked at number two pop and number ten R&B charts. His biggest hit had been recorded by both Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder before the author recorded it himself at the insistence of Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegün, who produced it.

Greaves recorded a series of cover records as follow-ups, including Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me", James Taylor's "Fire and Rain", Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale". All charted, as did his self-titled 1970 album. Greaves left the label in the 1970s when Ertegün could no longer spare time to work with him directly. He moved to MGM Records and then turned briefly to country music without much commercial success.

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