Obit of the Day: Wrote a “Letter” That Became a Hit
In the fall of 1969, Atco Records released R.B. Greaves’ “Take a Letter, Maria.” The lyrics tell how a man found his wife in bed with another man. In response, he dictates a letter to his secretary Maria that ends his relationship with his wife. At the end of the song he asks Maria out to dinner. (Yes, the premise is odd. So very, very odd.) Greaves, who wrote and sang the hit, would reach #2 on the Billboard charts and sell over one million copies.
R.B. Greaves also had a hit with the Burt Bacharach and Hal David song “There Is Always Something There to Remind Me” which reached #27 in the U.S. (It is the same song that the Naked Eyes made an ’80s classic.) Greaves’ career was over by the 1970s and he would find himself working in the “technology industry.”
R.B. Greaves was 68 when he died.
Random note: Greaves was the nephew of the great Sam Cooke.
(The album R.B. Greaves and “Take a Letter, Maria” are copyright of Atlantic Recording Group, 2004 and distributed by Rhino/Elektra Records)