This is a tribute to some of the unique and forgotten music and artists of the past.
Some of this music and the artists never received the chance they deserved,
some deserve to be forgotten. None the less, enjoy my tribute to Retro Rarites

Holly Go Softly
A song that was probably the most loved, seldom remembered hit, that was never a hit, was Holly Go Softly by an Arizona group called Cornerstone. I have searched for quite some time to find some information on the group with not much success. Very little seems to have surfaced about this group that disappeared as quickly as they emerged. What I have found is that they were from Phoenix and the lead singer was Steph Hudson.

If you search the forums you’ll find lots of people who say they remember the song being played in their hometown including mine, here in Syracuse. Below are links to WOLF surveys from 1970 where the song reached number ONE. Everyone liked it, why wasn’t it a HUGE hit?   Some say it was released at the same time as another version of the song by a group called The Magnificent Men and the two sort of canceled each other.  That according to Dave Bupp, lead singer for The Magnificent Men.  No one knew which to play.

There is a fellow on one forum named Billie Courtright who says he met Hudson some years back and obtained the original sheet music for the song from Hudson. Others say they saw Hudson play in Denver in the 70’s and thought the group was from that area. They did apparently take a shot at the pop charts with two other singles. “When You Wake Me Girl” on Liberty 56110 which preceeded Holly, and “With Her, Father Paul” on Liberty 56179 shortly after.

As I have written about in the past with Thomas & Richard Frost, changes at Liberty Records during that time period seemed to keep promotions of the Liberty artists very still, poor at best.  Possibly one of the reasons that the Fifth Dimension left for Bell Records from the Liberty owned Soul City label. (Notice the promo copy is the older Liberty label).

The song premiered as a “Hitbound” on WOLF’s Hot 30 on February 25, 1970. It remained Hitbound until it entered the chart at #25 on March 18.  It climbed to 18, 14, and to #4 for 2 weeks.  Then it replaced Edison Lighthouse at #1 on April 22 for one week. It finally inched it’s way back down but remaining in the top ten for another two weeks, finally falling off the chart on May 20.

Holly Go Softly was on Billboard’s Bubbling Under chart at #104 starting March 21, 1970. It stayed on that chart for four weeks. The single was on Liberty Records # 56148 and was more upbeat that the almost-ballad Mag-Men version which didn’t chart at all.

Holly is co-written by Toni Wine who penned such hits as A Groovy Kind Of Love, Black Pearl, Candida and What Are You Doing Sunday among many others including some she had recorded herself.  She has toured with many great acts and still does to this day.  You can visit her website at

The song itself is about, for lack of any other way to explain it, a kept man who is supported by keeping this woman Holly Kingsley, happy while he is waiting for his big break. Realizing all the while that it's wrong.  I never paid much attention to what the song was about until I played it one evening on my Saturday Night Oldies Show on Y94FM.  What some people will do to succeed, I thought.  Oh well!

Holly Go Softly … by Cornerstone

Page Up


Please check out my tribute to WOLF, The Syracuse Rocker

Copyright © 2012 Retrorarities Music