Sweet Delights/Delights Orchestra – Baby Be Mine b/w Paul’s Midnight Ride

By , December 2, 2010 12:33 pm


The Sweet Delights


Listen/Download – The Sweet Delights – Baby Be Mine
Listen/Download – Delights Orchestra – Paul’s Midnight Ride


Greetings all.

The end of the week is upon us, and despite a couple of stumbling blocks (like my weak back), it went pretty fast.

Chanukah celebrations are underway (the Funky16Corners Compound is a multi-cultural thang where we light both the menorah and the Christmas tree) and everybody is tired but happy.

Before we get started I should mention that tomorrow night the Funky16Corners Radio Show on Viva internet radio arrives on the interwebs at 9PM and will be filled, as usual, with the best in funk, soul, jazz, rare groove and disco for your eager ears.


I should also remind you that the new Funky16Corners stickers are now available to one and all if you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope (unstamped if you are outside of the USA) to Funky16Corners, c/o Grogan, 80 New Brunswick Ave, Brick, NJ 08724.

The tunes I bring you today come from both sides of a single 45 that has had a place in my Philly crates for what might be described as a long-ass time.

I always dug it, and was intrigued by it (more on that in a minute) but it is also safe to say that I as mystified by it as well.

The artists listed on the disc are the Sweet Delights (vocal side) and the Delights Orchestra (instrumental).
When I found this one, I already had another 45 by the Delights Orchestra (also on Atco), ‘King of the Horse’ b/w ‘Do Your Thing’, both sides of which have appeared in Funky16Corners Radio podcasts.

I grabbed that disc initially because it was quite obviously an attempt to cash in on the ‘Horse’ craze started by Cliff Nobles and Company in 1968. Check out Funky16Corners Radio v.22 – Horse Power for a look at a bunch of discs on the same tip.

That said, it was probably a year or so later that I found today’s 45s during a search in the wilds of the intertubes. When the disc fell through the mail slot and I gave it a spin I was pleasantly surprised to discover the vocal side of the 45.

Unfortunately I was unable to turn up any information on the group, assuming – due both to the similar sound, and the familiar names of Frank Virtue and Johnny Stiles (post-Harthon) on the label – that what I was hearing was yet another iteration of the stalwart Philly rhythm section that played on so many amazing records over the years.

I had no inkling whatsoever that the Sweet Delights were anything but an anonymous group of singers assembled for the session.

However, sometimes – like a frozen mammoth exposed by a receding glacier – if you wait long enough, all will be revealed.

During a perusal of an old back issue of Billboard magazine, I happened upon an ad for new releases on the Atco label that included the image of the Sweet Delights you see at the top of this post.

That was a nice surprise, and it spurred me on to dig a little deeper.

When I did – thanks to an article at the Classic Urban Harmony web site (which includes a much nicer picture of the group) – I discovered that one of the co-writers of ‘Baby Be Mine’, Eddie Edgehill had a long history in Philadelphia doowop groups like the Valentines and the Del Knights, eventually going on to form and record the Sweet Delights (which included his wife Geri Edgehill, Betty Allen, Valerie Brown, Grace Montgomery Allison and the group’s sole male member, and the other co-writer of the song, Albert Byrd).*

The Sweet Delights 45 was released in 1968, with the Delights Orchestra two-sider coming in 1969. ‘Baby Be Mine’ is a fast moving soul/funk tune that bears a passing resemblance to Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’.

Oddly, it was the instrumental side of the 45 that gained some traction on the radio, which is probably why the Sweet Delights are pictured in the ad, but the text is promoting the Delight’s Orchestra.

There’s also an interesting footnote in regard to ‘Paul’s Midnight Ride’. I found a post on the Numero Group (issuers of many amazing compilations) blog about the track (‘Paul’s Midnight Ride’) being lifted and re-used on two other 45s, one by DJ Tim Jacob in Wichita, Kansas, and the other by Sonorose ‘Gay Poppa’ Rutledge in Shreveport, Louisiana (though if you listen to the sound samples provided at the blog, both records sound exactly the same, with the same vocal laid over the ‘Paul’s Midnight Ride’ track). How this track made it’s way onto these records is anyone’s guess, but I’m willing to bet that the ‘borrowing’ was not officially sanctioned by the track’s creators (none of whom are seem to be credited on the labels).

Interesting, and a long way to travel for an obscure soul track.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.




*For some reason ‘Paul’s Midnight Ride’, basically the instrumental bed of ‘Baby Be Mine’ is credited on the 45 to Frank Virtue, Johnny Stiles and arranger Bobby Martin

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4 Responses to “Sweet Delights/Delights Orchestra – Baby Be Mine b/w Paul’s Midnight Ride”

  1. Larry,

    This is a fantastic track, I have never heard this before but it’s definately been added to my wants list!

    I have a copy of Tim Jacobs ‘version’, Mercy Baby on Solo which I included on a mix for Dang Radio. Link to list is below.

    I have heard a theory before that ‘Gay Poppa’ and Tim Jacobs were the same person and it was a pseudonym to increase sales, not sure how much truth there is in that though??


    Great stuff as always!

    Mr Double Down

  2. Larry says:

    The two records – Tim Jacob and Gay Poppa – are exactly the same, despite the label info, so who knows.
    This shouldn’t he too hard to find, or at least not that expensive when you do.

  3. Peggy Murphy says:


    My name is Peggy Murphy. I am the lead vocalist on the single “Baby Be Mine” Today I decided to see if I could some information on my former group the Sweet Delights. How surprised I was to not only find information on the track “Baby Be Mine” but to find the photograph my group took when we were together. It amazes me that as lead vocalist on this recording my name is not mentioned anywhere on any of the posts on the internet. At the time I was married to Albert Byrd actually the writer of this tune “Baby Be Mine”. Eddie Edgehill actually added one (1) word to this tune and that is how he actually got credit as co-writer. Amazing. I am no longer married to the actual writer of this tune, Albert Byrd, have not been for many, many years. I would very much like to obtain a copy of this 45, the vocal side. As you pointed out this so called band never received sanction to ever, ever record this music, but since I had nothing to do with the inner workings of the business of this group, I simply had no say and as I was very young at the time I was merely the lead singer for the group the Sweet Delights. I would very much appreciate your contacting me. Thank you.

  4. […] — “I’m sure some of The Delights Orchestra became members of MFSB.  According to Funky 16 Corners and Classic Urban Harmony, The Sweet Delights were Geri Edgehill, Betty Allen, Valerie Brown, Grace […]

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