The next song to be on the top of the record charts in 1967 was “The Letter” by The Box Tops. I have a casual tie to this song which I will put in a separate blog post. The song was written by Wayne Carson built on the opening line suggested by his father. He gave a demo of the song with many others to a recording studio in Memphis, Tenn. The studio thought that it might be a good song for a new group they were recording called The Devilles. The group had been playing clubs around the Memphis area. The group first heard the song when they came to the studio so it took them about 30 takes to get their best version. There was another group called The Devilles so the name of the group was changed to The Box Tops.
“The Letter” was at number one for 3 weeks on the Cash Box record chart (Sept. 17 – Oct. 7). They got an extra week on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Sept. 17 – Oct. 14).
The Box Tops released more songs over the next few years but “The Letter’ was their only song to reach the top of the charts. “Cry Like a Baby” which the group released in 1968 would reach number 2. The group broke up in 1970. Alex Chilton, who was the lead singer, died 2010. The two guitar players, Gary Talley and Bill Cunningham, reformed the group in 2015 and traveled around the US this summer as part of the “Happy Together Tour” put together by The Turtles.