OSV177 A. The Ivories - Please Stay B. The Ivories - I'm in A Groove
THE IVORIES were a Chicago trio: Marilyn McThune, Carol Samuel and Angela Sanford; who met in high school and performed locally as the Simplistics (not a very inspiring name for three promising students). The girls were signed by Jerry Butler who recoded them on the Tom Dorsey song “Please Stay”. It was also Butler who renamed the group as the Ivory’s, it is thought the name is derived from ‘Mr Ivory’, the host of the local Teen Talent show. Butler sold the master and the contract to Barry Despanza and “Please Stay” was released on Despanza Records circa 1966. The record performed quite well in Chicago but the girls were persuaded to cut short their recording career in favour of their studies. The master was subsequently leased to Wand who failed to promote their release, attributed to the ‘Ivories’ and the record sank without trace.
Today a Wand 45 commands a hefty price tag of over £1,500 whilst the original release on Despanza is worth only a third of that. An odd situation for Northern Soul collectors.
Many thanks to Steve Guarnori for his superbly documented book Scepter Wand Forever!