Though still an embryonic group, their version of "Tonight's the Night" went up to #76 in September 1960, showing the group's potential. Soon their trademark tight harmonies, coupled with their high-stepping confidence and the production duo Gerry Goffin and Carole King writing for them, earned the Chiffons had popular success in song after song. Made up of the aforementioned Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett, and Barbara Lee at first, Sylvia Peterson of Little Jimmie And The Tops came into the group in 1963. That year, their song "He's So Fine" was the #1 record on both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts. The Chiffons' seemed to have completely 'made it', appearing on programs such as 'American Bandstand'. British singer-songwriter George Harrison's 1971 song "My Sweet Lord" was musically almost identical, prompting a copyright infringement claim.
A judge later found that the ex-Beatle had unintentionally plagiarized the earlier song. The Chiffons went on to record a competing version of "My Sweet Lord" in 1975. The case is often cited as one of the most famous and influential legal cases in the music industry. The Chiffons' initial run at success was followed by other notable tunes such as the aforementioned "One Fine Day" as well as the songs "Sweet Talkin' Guy", "A Love So Fine", and "I Have a Boyfriend". Although many of their recordings were derivative of the period, fans appreciated their take on the contemporary pop sound.
Their Top 40 single "I Have A Boyfriend" was notably playing on Dallas station KLIF on November 22, 1963 and was interrupted by the first radio bulletins of the JFK assassination. The group also released material under the title 'The Four Pennies' that explored different musical styles. Though finding some fans, the phantom artist failed to break through commercially. The Chiffons themselves faced changing musical tides with the British invasion and the rise of many different trends, and their run of popular success appeared to have pretty much come to an end when the 70s began. Though Craig left the Chiffons, they continued on as a trio. As the years passed, the group toured in the 'oldies circuit'.
In 1992, Lee died from a heart attack the day before her 45th birthday. While that seemed to have put an end to the group, Craig decided to return. Peterson retired shortly thereafter and was replaced by Connie Harvey. Harvey has since left to pursue a solo career with Bennett also retiring.
Craig continued on with replacement backup singers. After the turn of the millennium, Craig has still been touring as the Chiffons with her daughter and her niece by her side, performing at select shows throughout the U.S. and internationally. Read more on Last.fm.
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