If you ask teens today if they ever heard of Motown, Doo Wop, 60’s R&B and Soul, I’m pretty sure that about 80% of them won’t know what you’re talking about. So when I see contemporary artists recording old standards, I feel relieved that another generation will get to know an important part of music history. They learn about real artists, which sometimes recorded in primitive studios, but still became chart toppers. They learn about artists that, decades later, are still known for their contribution to music.
After all, a lot of the singers from that time not only paved the way for other artists, but also helped define what today are R&B, Rock and Roll, and Soul today. So to the newer generations, I’ll say that it’s always interesting to find out where or with whom it all started. Where the cool choreography, bass licks, and group harmonies came from.
Having said that, the other day I came across a group on Youtube called The Cactus Cuties. Don’t let that name fool you. These 4 girls have voices that together form something much more overwhelming than “cute”. Although they sing mostly contemporary music, you can find some great classics they sing like Aretha Franklin’s “Think”, The Impressions’ “People Get Ready”, and The Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next To You”.
To think that these girls are in their teens is just amazing. The blending harmony of their voices is not something we see every day. Sure, you have thousands of groups that have had great careers and sing extremely well together. But only from time to time do you hear a group whose voices just fit perfectly. I’ve heard that rare combination from The Platters and The Temptations (although the sound from The Funk Brothers plays a strong part in the Tempts’ music). You can clearly see what I mean in the video where The Cactus Cuties sing Etta James’ “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”.
I have to give it up to them. They have personality, cuteness (obviously), and definitely, the voices. I checked on their site and they haven’t done any shows in a while, but I hope they continue to amaze people with their superb singing.