Pop-soul Hitmaker Dead at 68
R.B. Greaves, best known for the Top 10 '60s hit "Take a Letter Maria," died last Thursday at age 68.
A nephew of pop-soul icon Sam Cooke, Greaves began his recording career in England in the early '60s, fronting a pair of groups that had little impact in the States. But after signing with Atlantic Records, he recorded his self-written "Take a Letter Maria" at the famed Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama. A cheerful pop hit despite a storyline of a man discovering his wife "in the arms of another man," it sold over a million copies.
But he was never able to duplicate that success. The New York Times notes that Greaves later reached the Top 30 with "Always Something There to Remind Me," before leaving left the music field in the late '70s to work in the technology industry.