The Clickettes: selected recordings, 1958-1963


From a profile of The Clickettes by Mick Patrick accompanying audio files of The Very Best of the Clickettes at

The Clickettes were managed by Zelma “Zell” Sanders, the owner of J & S Records, home of the Hearts, Johnnie & Joe and others. The fabled R&B matriarch had a reputation for hiring and firing her acts willy-nilly. When she signed them up in 1958, she envisaged an entire new squad of Hearts, who were already on their third incarnation, but the Bouquets didn’t like that idea. Recognising their potential, Mrs Sanders instead placed the group in the hands of her daughter, Johnnie Louise Richardson – of the duo Johnnie & Joe – on whose behalf she inaugurated a new logo, Dice. The Bouquets were accordingly renamed the Clickettes.

But Not For Me was paired with another intense ballad, I Love You, I Swear, for release as the group’s debut in October 1958. Jive Time Turkey b/w A Teenager’s First Love was rushed out just weeks later, while a third coupling, Louella and You Broke Our Hearts, was released the following month, but bearing the name the Avalons. The Clickettes’ next platter comprised two numbers waxed previously by Johnnie & Joe, Warm, Soft And Lovely and the Frankie Lymon-esque Why Oh Why. More doo wop heaven ensued with Lover’s Prayer b/w Grateful, issued by Dice in mid-1959. says of the group,

The Clickettes consisted of Barbara English (lead), Trudy McCartney, Charlotte McCartney and Sylvia Hammond. The Clickettes recorded for the Dice label that was located on Tiffany Street in the East Bronx, NY. The Dice label was owned by Johnnie Richardson and her mother Zell Sanders. Periodically one singer from the Teen Clefs filled in for the Clickettes, therefore they were really a quartet.


Adapted from the discography at

The Click-etts*
1958 – But, Not For Me / I Love You I Swear (Dice D-100/D-101)
1959 – Lover’s Prayer / Grateful (Dice D 96/D 97)
1960 – To Be A Part Of You / Because Of My Best Friend (Dice D-92/D-93)
N/A – That’s The Way It Is (Dice) (Unreleased)
N/A – Light A Candle (Dice) (Unreleased)

The Clickettes
1958 – Jive Time Turkey / A Teenager’s First Love (Dice 83/84)
1958 – Warm, Soft And Lovely / Why Oh Why (Dice D 94/D 95)
1960 – Where Is He / The Lone Lover (Guyden 2043)
1963 – I Just Can’t Help It / I Just Can’t Help It (Instrumental) (Checker 1060)
1963 – I Understand / I Understand (Instrumental) (Tuff 373)

The Avalons
1958 – Louella / You Broke Our Hearts (Dice 90/91)

The Fashions

1961 – Dearest One / All I Want (Warwick 646)
1961 – Please Let It Be Me / Fairy Tales (Elmor 301)

Barbara English & The Fashions
1962 – We Need Them / Ta – Ta – Tee – Ta – Ta (Roulette 4428)
1962 – Fever / Bad News (Roulette 4450)

* note by doc: The group name is also spelled “Click-Ettes” on the labels of some of the early recordings.



But, Not For Me (Johnnie Richardson) — credited to “The Click-etts” — issued on Dice D-100/D-101, b/w “I Love You I Swear” (45cat, Discogs)


I Love You I Swear (Zelma Sanders) — flip side of “But Not For Me”


A Teenager’s First Love (Johnnie Richardson) — B-side of “Jive Time Turkey,” Dice 83/84 — The recording ends with the organ quoting the opening of the chorus of Misty.


Louella (Johnnie Richardson) — The Avalons, 1958 single b/w “You Broke Our Hearts,” Dice 90/91 says, “The Avalons that recorded on Dice were most of [sic] the Clickettes and an unremembered guy.”


You Broke Our Hearts (Johnnie Richardson) — The Avalons; B-side of the 1958 single Dice 90/91, with “Louella” on the A-side

We were so happy
We were so gay
Till you broke our hearts
Till you broke our hearts
We didn’t want you

Our true love
Our true love
How could you hurt me
How could you desert me
(So) Please come back
To me, me
Set a poor heart free, free
We love you

Heart’s love
Heart’s love
Even though you broke my heart
I’ll carry on somehow
So…oh long
What we must carry on
With…our broken…hearts

lyric transcribed by Jim “doc” Radcliff, Summer 2012



Lover’s Prayer (Johnnie Richardson & Barbara English) — recorded by the Clickettes (as the Click-Ettes) — single issued in June 1959 on Dice D 96/D 97, b/w “Grateful”


Lover’s Prayer — lyric, transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff) on 31 January 2017; revised 17 28 March 2017**

Lord, show me if he really loves me
Tell me does he truly care
Give the love that only comes from above
Repledge our love

And he says that he loves only me
But I’m afraid, so afraid, someday he’ll want to be free
You would know how much I love him
And how hard it would be to bear

Oh dear Lord, meet him, not me
Teach him to love and adore only me
Then hear me Lord, please hear my prayer
When I open my arms let him be standing there

And if he comes to me tomorrow
And tells me, tells me, that he truly care
He takes me in his arms and kissed me 
I’ll know that God has answered my prayer

(back vocals)
Always, Always!
Tell me, tell me!


Anne Keith (Anna Mae Jackson), backed by The Altairs — issued in 1959 on the Memo label as the B-side of “(I Am Just a) Lonely Girl”



Grateful (Johnnie Richardson) — B-side of “Lover’s Prayer,” Dice D 96/97



To Be a Part of You (Johnnie Richardson) — A-side of Dice D-92/D-93, b/w “Because of My Best Friend”


Because of My Best Friend (Johnnie Richardson) — B-side of “To Be A Part Of You,” Dice D-92/D-93


Where Is He (Richard Barrett) — b/w “The Lone Lover,” Guyden 2043



Please Let It Be Me (B. Lowe & Cal Mann) — recorded by the Fashions; issued on Elmor E301, b/w “Fairy Tales”




I Just Can’t Help It (Lona Stevens & George David Weiss)


Clickettes Meet the Fashions-complete Dice recordings (1)

The Very Best of the Clickettes*– Resnik Music Group

(above) The Clickettes Meet the Fashions: Their Complete Dice Recordings plus later sides, back of CD, released 2006


relevant links:


* This is the title used by Resnick Music Group at SoundCloud, though the title/subtitle shown on the CD cover is “The Clickettes 18 original hits — Their complete Dice recordings plus later sides”

**Contextual and grammatical errors in the lyric of “Lover’s Prayer,” as recorded by the Clickettes (as the Click-Ettes), and issued in June 1959 on the single Dice D 96/D 97, b/w “Grateful”

  • line 4: “Repledge our love” — Pledging (or repledging) love is not an action that someone, even God, can take for one, or for a pair. So it doesn’t make sense to ask God to repledge the love between yourself and another.
  • line 12: “When I open my arms let him be standing there” — The word “arms” seems out of place here, because if a person is not visibly standing in front of you before you open your arms, then he/she wouldn’t suddenly appear after you opened them. The word “eyes” is likely the word that was written and meant to be sung in its place. The lead singer (Barbara Jean English) evidently sings “arms,” while “eyes” might be sung by the back vocalists.
  • line 14: “And tells me, tells me, that he truly care” — To be grammatically correct, the last word in this line would be “cares.”
  • line 15: “He takes me in his arms and kissed me” — A failure of tense agreement is the problem here: “He takes” (present indicative) vs. “[He] kissed” (past indicative).

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