History << Home

July 1966 saw the release of the follow-up single, "Lonely Summer," (Impact-1014). Coming once again from the pen of Edwin Starr, the song showcased a divine blend of satin-smooth soul and up-temp pop. Sadly, the record was hampered commercially by its ill-timed "late summer" appearances on the airwaves. Still, "Lonely Summer" caught on long enough to reach #25 in Detroit, and #72 nationally.

Hot on the heels of "Lonely Summer" came the release of the third single, "Happiness" (Impact-1015). Both WKNR and WXYZ in Detroit jumped on the disc instantly, with the song appearing on both surveys for the first time on September 5, 1966. By all accounts, the record had the ingredients to make it a quick smash. Unfortunately, "Happiness" fell short of expectations, stalling at #21 regionally and #78 in Billboard.

On September 17, 1966, the LP "Happiness Is the Shades of Blue" (Impact-101) hit the record store shelves. The album included the group's three previous ingles, along with a wonderful group-written ballad called "The Night." A September 1966 Billboard album review described the eleven-track offering as "A well-performed, sure-fire winner."

In 1967, the two final Shades of Blue singles, "How Do You Save A Dying Love" (Impact-1026) and "Penny Arcade" (Impact-1028) were issued. Neither record received any promotion, and both died a quick death. "We saw that Harry Balk wasn't doing anything for us anymore, and our contract with Impact was running out, so we walked away from the label," says Nick Marinelli.

The Shades of Blue concentrated on live performances through the end of the late sixties, but the end of the road was clearly in sight. Nick Marinelli explains: "Around 1969, the whole music scene started to change. Acid rock was becoming popular, and the four of us decided that we didn't want to get into that type of music. It was obvious that if we continued with our own sound, we'd end up starving, so in 1970, we called it quits."