Song of the day: R. B. Greaves – "Take A Letter Maria"

I woke up the other day with today’s song stuck in my head, and it stayed there all day. I don’t know why that specific song was the first thing I thought of when I woke up (I haven’t heard it in years), but it was. At the end of the day I was relieved, thinking that the day was over, I’d have a nice sleep, and then wouldn’t hear that song any more.

Unfortunately, two days later I woke up and there it was again. And there it stayed. In my head. All day.

This is the song that’s currently haunting me:

R. B. Greaves – “Take A Letter Maria (1969)



6 Responses to Song of the day: R. B. Greaves – "Take A Letter Maria"

  1. Mr Tanner says:

    Mate, I've always loved this song as well. I was shocked when I first saw the clip that he was an African American though. The other song which was out around the same time I think, but never seen a clip of it was My Maria by B W Stevenson.

    Mr T

  2. Peter says:

    Hey, Mr. Tanner: I'd never seen the film clip until about five minutes before I posted the song, and the biggest surprise for me was that Mr. Greaves wasn't sporting a moustache — or flared trousers, or platform shoes, or even huge collars on his jacket. Ever since I heard “Take A Letter Maria” as a kiddy (I was eight when it was released), I'd always pictured it sung by someone like Tony Orlando. [Example of what I imagined.]

    Incidentally, I was also surprised when I saw in quite a few places that the song is classified as “Soul”. For me, it's always been a pop song in the Burt Bacharach/Herb Alpert style (probably because of the beat and that trumpet). Soul? Huh?

    But I'm glad that virtually everything about “Take A Letter Maria” was not as I had imagined, because it was yet another handy reminder that in music, not everything is as it seems. (I like having my expectations shattered.)

    As for that other song you mentioned, “My Maria” by B. W. Stevenson, I didn't remember it at all until I had a listen just now (thanks to YouTube). As soon as it started, though, I thought to myself “Ah, now I remember it.”

    Thanks, Mr. T., for reminding me of another ultra-catchy “Maria” song from the Seventies.

  3. Mr Tanner says:

    I agree with your thoughts, although I had always pictured him as a sort of Engelbert Humpledick (?) style of singer. As for being a soul song, not bloody likely!!!

    Mr T

  4. Alex says:

    I always liked this song too. Thanks for reminding me!

    Not sure why I knew he was African American… I may have seen his photo on a late-night ad for one of those K-Tel Hits of the 70s collections.

  5. fitzall says:

    I guess he used R.B cos Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III wouldnt fit on the record label. His follow-up single, a cover of Always Something There To Remind Me didnt fare well & I spose he headed back to Guyana.

    And then there's I Did What I Did For Maria as another Maria song (Tony Christie)…. embarrassed to admit I once owned it!

  6. Peter says:

    There's no need for embarrassment, OneSize. You like what you like, and that's what you like.

    In fact, now that I'm remembering the song I think there'll be a Song of the day featuring Tony Christie fairly shortly…

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