Trish Toledo is a singer-songwriter who found her interest in music and began singing at the age of 6.
ABOUT the song: Somebody Please
The Vanguards were led by James Davis, a dynamic soul vocalist who’d built his chops singing doo-wop in the halls of Shortridge High. After graduating from Shortridge in the early ‘60s, Davis spent a couple years overseas in the military. Davis formed The Vanguards immediately after returning home, and by 1969 The Vanguards were dominating the Indianapolis soul scene.
Cue Lamp Records’ co-founder and artistic director, Herb Miller, who’d heard The Vanguards singing at the now-defunct Dave’s Lounge on W. 16th Street. With encouragement from the influential WTLC soul jock Spider Harrison, Miller signed The Vanguards to cut the first release for his fledgeling label. The featured track on the single was “Somebody Please”, a devastating breakup ballad penned by Davis, with assistance from early Vanguards’ guitarist “Cadillac” Paul Irvin.
Both Davis and Miller had high expectations for their debut effort, but neither one could’ve anticipated the song’s incredible rise. “Somebody Please” was an immediate hit in Indianapolis, and quickly began to break into other markets.
An Indianapolis Recorder article dated September 20, 1969 announced the song had hit the number one spot in both Columbus, Ohio and Orlando, Florida. That action attracted attention from national distributors. Double Shot Records picked the release up and issued an edited version of “Somebody Please” on their subsidiary label Whiz. By the end of the year “Somebody Please” had hit the Billboard R&B Hot 100, climbing all the way to #49 on December 9, 1969.
“Somebody Please” set the gold standard for Naptown soul, and it’s one of the most important pieces of art ever created in Indianapolis. The record’s rapid ascent on the national charts is certainly impressive, but the enduring appeal of “Somebody Please” is even more compelling.
Since its release in 1969 “Somebody Please” has maintained steady interest from soul music fans around the globe. In recent years the song has attained an almost viral popularity online. There are probably over a dozen YouTube users who’ve uploaded the original Vanguards’ recording of “Somebody Please” onto the site.
All told, The Vanguards’ classic easily has over twelve-million views on YouTube alone. http://www.nuvo.newsnirvana.com/