Cincinnati girl group the Teardrops was formed in 1961 by 14-year-olds Dorothy "Sunni" Dyer and Linda Schroeder; with the addition of fellow Hughes High School student Pat "Punkin" Strunk, the trio began regularly performing at local teen clubs, in time coming to the attention of area musician and arranger Bud Reneau. In 1964, Reneau signed the Teardrops to his Saxony Records, and after expanding to a quartet with the addition of Wendy Sheriff, they recorded their debut single, "Tonight I'm Gonna Fall in Love." The record was not only a regional smash, but it topped charts as far away as in Okinawa, Japan. "Call Me and I'll Be Happy" followed in 1965 -- although the single featured Dyer's lead vocal, she left the group soon after and was replaced by Tinker Smiddy. The Teardrops' third single, "Tears Come Tumbling," was later released nationally on the Musicor imprint, which also issued the group's final single, 1966's "I'll Love You Dear Forever." Both Strunk and Sheriff left the lineup soon after, although Dyer returned to the fold to join Smiddy, Bobbie Frost, and Susie Leight in the Teardrops' final months. After finally dissolving in 1969, two decades later the Teardrops earned cult status among Northern Soul crowds with the previously unreleased stomper "Here Comes Loneliness." Dyer, Schroeder, Sheriff, and Smiddy often performed reunion dates in the years to follow, and in 2001, a revived Saxony label compiled The Best of the Teardrops. ~ Jason Ankeny
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