Sonntag, 2. Februar 2020

Toni & The Harts aka Toni & The Hearts

Toni & The Harts
aka Toni & The Hearts
(Camden, NJ)

Group members:

Toni Hart
Janet Hart
Marie Hart


Toni & The Harts

1965 –Never Change Our  Love / Back To School (Path 5560)
1965 – Come Back Baby / Would You Love Me (Path 5561/5562)
1966 – Thank You Baby / Stay In School [instrumental] (Path 201)

Toni & The Hearts

1966 – Thank You Baby / Stay In School [instrumental] (Path 1201)


The only single of Thomas Shepard’s Philadelphia based Path label that could be even marginally identified as a hit came from sisters Toni, Janet, and Marie Hart from nearby Camden, New Jersey, known as Toni & the Hearts. They came into Shepard’s orbit in the summer of 1965 with Toni’s original “Never Change Our Love”, which was paired with Thomas and his son Trevour’s “Back To School”.

The single failed to end up in many backpacks that fall, but Shepard had an unwavering belief in the Harts. A mini finishing school was erected in the Shepard living room, where dance moves and etiquette were practiced. A second single was rushed into the market in late ’65, but suffered from poor fidelity.

The following spring Path went all in on “Thank You Baby”, a saccharine ballad that showcased Toni’s lilting falsetto.

When the first pressing blew out the door following a Hot 100 prediction in Billboard, Shepard beefed up the operation. After partnering with Reading, Pennsylvania’s McKinnon Records for distribution, a promotional blitz followed, including a colorful flyer boasting “100,000 sold in less than two weeks.” Slyly delivered in this braggadocio was a subtle change: the Harts were now the Hearts.

Appearances on local television programmes “Hy Lit” and “The Georgie Woods Show” flattered the young trio’s ego, who were keenly aware of their expired Path contract. After exiting Path, the sisters made a play for the national spotlight, demoing their take on Otis Redding’s “Respect” at Impact Sound Studios. Interest was minimal, and the Harts slunk back to Camden and then disappeared.



Never Change Our Love

Back To School

Come Back Baby

Would You Love Me

Thank You Baby