Topsy Taylor, Barbara McFadden, and Carol McFadden


[Belleville] (Photo credit: Lainmoon)

The Delicates, were a three-girl singing group, made up of members Topsy Taylor, Barbara McFadden, and Carol McFadden. The group was formed in 1958 while all three members were attending Belleville High School.

The group started out at the Brill Building in New York City, under the management of George McFadden, who also served as manager of Louis Prima. They recorded for Tender,Unart, United Artists, and Roulette.

In 1959 the group released a song they had written, “Black and White Thunderbird”, on the United Artists Unart label. The record was produced by Don Costa, and arranged by Billy Mure. It became a significant hit on the East Coast, which afforded them a guest spot on American Bandstandin Philadelphia. They were introduced to New York legendary DJ Murray the K..1010 WINS. They wrote and recorded his legendary “Submarine Race Watcher’s Theme”. The Delicates became his “Dancing Girls”.

( What became of Black and White Thunderbird?? Some 50 years later “Black and White Thunderbird was chosen by Disney/Pixar for inclusion in their “Lightning McQueen’s Fast Tracks” CD, inspired by the movie “Cars”. That CD made the Billboard Top 10 children’s audio.Recorded by the legendary Fred Mollin.

The Delicates appeared on many TV shows, including; American Bandstand, Alan Freed Big Beat, Connecticut Bandstand, The Buddy Deane Show, The Clay Cole Show The Brooklyn Fox 10 day shows as well as the Brooklyn Paramount 10 day shows. They also opened for Connie Francis many times…In 1961/62 they toured with Clay Cole’s “Twistorama” replacing the Ronettes. Also on that tour were The Capris and Lou Dana and the Fury’s.

The Delicates sang on many commercials and their first backup singing experience was for Al Martino singing “Journey to Love” written by Teddy Randazzo and produced by Don Costa. The girls went on to do lucrative backup session work, later teaming up with Bernadette Carroll, backing artists such as Connie Francis, Neil Sedaka, Patty Duke, Frankie Valli “You’re Ready Now” which is now a Northern Soul Anthem, “The Proud One” and “Cry For me” portrayed in Jersey Boys, Jose Feliciano, Kitty Kallen, Frankie Lymon, and most notably Lou Christie. Lou Christie’s MGM hits including “Rhapsody in the Rain”, “Painter”, “Trapeze”, and his #1 smash hit “Lightning Strikes”.

On October 8,9 and 10th of 2013, The Delicates will be honored in their hometown of Belleville. “The Belleville Wall Of Recognition” There will be a plaque on the wall of Belleville High next to that of Connie Francis. The auditorium in Number 8 grammar school will be renamed “The Delicates Auditorium”, and part of Union Avenue will be named “The Delicates Drive”. Denise lived on Union Ave., her family owned “Lou’s Deli”..that is where the girls got their name.


4 comments on “Topsy Taylor, Barbara McFadden, and Carol McFadden

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