The Emotions

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 () as The Sunbeams

- Jeanette Hutchinson (aka Jeanette Hawes) -- vocals

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals 

- Wanda Hutchinson (aka Wanda Vaughn) -- vocals


  line up 2 (1965-70) as The Emotions

- Jeanette Hutchinson (aka Jeanette Hawes) -- vocals

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals

NEW - Theresa Hutchinson -- vocals 


  line up 3 (1970-74)

NEW - Theresa Davis -- vocals (replaced Jeanette Hutchinson)

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals

- Theresa Hutchinson -- vocals 


  line up 4 (1974-77)

NEW- Jeanette Hutchinson (aka Jeanette Hawes) -- vocals

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals

- Theresa Hutchinson -- vocals 


  line up 5 (1977-85) 

NEW- Pamela Hutchinson -- vocals (replaced 

  Jeanette Hutchinson-Hawes)

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals

- Theresa Hutchinson -- vocals 


  line up 6 (1985-87) 

NEW - Adrianna Harris -- vocals

- Shelia Hutchinson (aka Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt) -- vocals

- Wanda Hutchinson (aka Wanda Vaughn) -- vocals




- The Heavenly Sunbeams

- The Hutch Stereos

- The Hutchinson Sunbeams

- Our Ladies of Soul (Theresa Davis)

- The Sunbeams (Jeanette Hutchinson, Shelia Hutchinson, and

  Wanda Hutchinson)

- The Three Ribbons



Genre: soul

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Sunshine

Company: Stax

Catalog: STX-4100

Year: 1977

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4430

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


With The Emotions ripping up the charts via their collaboration with Maurice White and Earth, Wind and Fire ('Best of My Love'), Stax Records was more than willing to raid the recording vaults in order to cash-in on the group's unexpected commercial success.  The funny thing is that though they had enjoyed some minor R&B hits for the label, it's always been a mystery to me why these ladies weren't major stars for Stax.  Anyone listening to 1977's "Sunshine" will be hard pressed to figure out why it took White and EW&F to turn them into a commercial blockbuster.  


Musically the album wasn't a major departure from their earlier releases.  The biggest difference I hear throughout the nine selections is the Stax tunes lack the sheen and gloss that Maurice White brought to the table.  Reflecting a mixture of previously released songs and material that had apparently been shelved, the songs teamed the sisters with some of Stax's most talented producers including Al Bell, Al Jackson, Jr., Jim Stewart and Pervis Staples.  The collection served to showcase wonderful harmonies (the only people even coming close being The Staple Singers).  With all three sisters handling lead vocals, tracks such as 'Shouting Out Love' (recalling The Staples), 'Innocent' and their stark cover of Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine' were simply stunning.  Mind you, there were a couple of misfires. There was no need to cover Carla Thomas' 'Gee Whiz', while 'I Really Miss You' was a pretty, but bland and forgettable ballad. Unfortunately for the group the album was the first to be released under Stax's newly signed distribution agreement with Fantasy Records.  With Stax's finances in rapid collapse the set enjoyed little or no support and quickly disappeared into cutout bins.  

Sporting one of the of the year's most unimaginative covers certainly didn't help sales (initially Stax didn't even bother plastering a picture of the group on the cover).  The set hit # 88 on the US pop charts and # 39 on the R&B charts.


Sunshine" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Shouting Out Love   (Carl Smith) - 3:15   rating: **** stars

'Shouting Out Love' was worth the investment just to hear the wonderful Duck Dunn bass line.  Okay, the breezy melody and the sisters' wonderful harmonies might have played a small role in making this such a killer tune.   You had to wonder how it wasn't a major hit for them.

- 1978's 'Shouting Out Love' b/w 'Baby, I'm Through' (Stax catalog STS-3200)

2.) Gee Whiz! (Look at His Eyes)    (Carla Thomas) - 3:23   rating: *** stars

I'll give them credit for turning in a nice enough cover of the Carla Thomas hit, but ultimately it wasn't as good as the Thomas version.  Judging by the "little girl" quality to the lead vocals, this might have been Theresa Davis, rather than Jeanette Hutchinson.

3.) I Really Miss You   (Wanda Hutchinson) - 3:17   rating: **** stars

An original composition, 'I Really Miss You' captured the group at their most pop and commercially oriented.  The breezy melody and arrangement were irresistible.  

4.) Ain't No Sunshine   (Bill Withers) - 4:45   rating: **** stars

So, there's no doubt that Bill Withers owns this song.  It's simply impossible to hear 'Ain't No Sunshine' and not instantly make a comparison to the Withers original.  His version is and always will be the ultimate version.  That said, The Emotions deserve credit for turning in the second best version of the song.  The arrangement doesn't stray far from the original, through the lyrics are given a female slant.  That said, hearing the three female voices made fro an interesting change.  Nice.

5.) Runnin' Back (and Forth)   (Eddie Floyd - Mack Rice) - 2:58   rating: *** stars

If you've ever heard 'Runnin' Back (and Forth)' it was probably a result of  the Edwin Starr.  Once again, their cover was nice, but paled next to Starr's take.  Interestingly, this one had previously been released as a "B" side appearing on the 1973 single 'I Wanna Come Back' (Stax catalog number VOA-4095).


(side 2)

1.) Anyway You Look At It   (Smith - Wilkes) - 3:54   rating: *** stars

' Anyway You Look At It' was a sweet, easy-going ballad.  With one of those patented "heartbreak" lyrics, it was also one of the prettiest melodies they ever worked with.  The tune' had appeared as an earlier single:

- 1974's 'Anyway You Look At It' b/w 'There Are More Questions Than Answers' (Volt catalog number VON 4113)

2.) Baby, I'm Through   (Joe Hutchinson) - 4:12   rating: **** stars

The ladies at their funkiest ...  If you thought all they were capable of handling were sappy, overly sentimental ballads, then this is the track you need to hear.  Another one where you simply had to wonder how radio missed it,





- 1978's 'Baby, I'm Through' b/w 'Anyway You Look At It' (Volt catalog number VON-4110)








3.) Innocent   (Bettye Crutcher - Snell) - 3:11   rating: **** stars

If the later Bettye Crutcher wrote it, then chances are it was going to be impressive and 'Innocent' stays true to that formula.  Framing the trio with one of the most soulful tunes, this was another album highlight.

4.) Put a Little Love Away   (Brian Lambert - Dave Potter) - 5:18

Another wonderful ballad, though the song's most interesting characteristic came in the form of the sinewy opening guitar.  The sound has always reminded me of George Harrison ...  Another track that had previously seen daylight as a single:





- 1974's 'Put a Little Love Away' b/w 'I Call This Loving You' (Volt catalog number VOA-4106)








Genre: soul

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Sincerely

Company: Red Label

Catalog: RLLP-001-1

Year: 1984

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5314

Price: $10.00


Released by the Chicago-based Red Label, 1984's "Sincerely" marked somewhat of a comeback for the Hutchinson sisters.  Working with a slew of producers  (the liner notes credited four separate teams, including sister Wanda and her husband Wayne Vaughn and Billy Osbourne and Zane Giles) the collection reflected a then state-of-the-art sound, complete with synthesizers and loads of high tech production.  The problem is that similar to the glossy, glamour shot group photo on the back cover, the glossy high tech sound robbed the sisters of much of their original charm and creative strengths.  


Wanda, Sheila and Pamela (back cover of "Sincerely"


Tracks like 'You're the One', 'Can't Blow Out the Candle' and 'You're the Best' were recognizable as Emotions songs, but came off as fragile and frequently shrill.  Imagine slapping the sisters into a studio with mid-1980s Prince and you'll get a feel for what most of the album sounded like.  Sure, there were glimmers of promise throughout. The Hutchinsons' voices remained wonderful instruments and they remained capable of turning in some to-die-for harmonies, but for the most part they'd become tools for their handlers.  Major disappointment ...   


That didn't stop the label from releasing a string of singles off the LP:


- 1984's 'You're the One' b/w 'I Can Do Anything' (Red Label catalog number RSLG- 001-3A/B)

- 1984's 'You're the Best' b/w 'You Know I'm The One' (Red Label catalog number RSLG-002A/B)

- 1984's 'Are You Through With My Heart' b/w 'You Know I'm The One' (Red Label catalog number RLSG-001-3A/B)


"Sunshine" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) All Things Come In Time   (Wayne Vaughn - Wanda Vaughn) - 5:20

2.) Are You Through with My Heart   (Keg Johnson - Danni Johnson - Marlo Henderson - Pat Henderson) - 3:45

3.) You're the One   (Billy Osbourne - Zane Giles) - 3:49

4.) Can't Blow Out the Candle   (Jerry Williams - Jeanette Williams) - 3:45

5.) Sincerely   (Sheila Henderson - Keith Henderson) - 4:10


(side 2)

1.) You're the Best     (Billy Osbourne - Zane Giles) - 6:05

2.) You Know I'm the One   (Keith Henderson) - 4:45

3.) Never Let Another   (Sheila Hutchinson - Wayne Vaughn)

4.) I Can Do Anything   (Wayne Vaughn - Wanda Vaughn - Debbie King) - 5:25