The Elgins - Put Yourself In My Place

The Elgins - Put Yourself In My Place

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The Elgins
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres R&B
Years active 1962–1967
occasionally 1971–1990s
Labels V.I.P.
Tamla Motown (UK)
Associated acts The Downbeats, Sandra Mallett & The Vandellas
Past members Robert Fleming
Johnny Dawson
Cleo "Duke" Miller
Norman McLean
Saundra Mallett Edwards
Yvonne Vernee Allen
Jimmy Charles


  The Elgins were an American vocal group on the Motown label, active from the late 1950s to 1967. Their most successful record was "Heaven Must Have Sent You", written and produced by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, which was a hit in the US in 1966, and in the UK when reissued in 1971.



Founding members Robert Fleming, Johnny Dawson, Cleo "Duke" Miller and Norman McLean recorded together for various small labels in Detroit prior to their Motown days, as The Sensations, The Five Emeralds, and The Downbeats, and also recorded as The Downbeats for Motown in 1962. The record company suggested that they add female lead vocalist Saundra Mallett, who had recorded unsuccessfully for the label, backed by The Vandellas; she later married and became Saundra Edwards. The new group's first single release was "Darling Baby", issued in December 1965; early copies credited the record to the Downbeats, but Motown CEO Berry Gordy wanted to use the name Elgins, which had previously been one of the names used by The Temptations. The record rose to no. 4 on the Billboard R&B chart and no. 72 on the pop chart, and its B-side, "Put Yourself In My Place", also made the pop chart. Several months later, they issued "Heaven Must Have Sent You", which again reached both the R&B and pop charts, becoming their biggest pop hit. They also released an album, "Darling Baby". However, their follow-up single, "I Understand My Man," was less successful, and the group broke up in 1967.

With the continuing popularity of Motown records in the UK, especially on the underground northern soul scene, "Heaven Must Have Sent You" was reissued in 1971 and rose to no. 3 on the UK singles chart. "Put Yourself in My Place" was also reissued and made the chart. With Saundra Mallett Edwards being unwilling to rejoin the group, the Elgins toured the UK with former session vocalist Yvonne Vernee Allen taking her place. Vernee also recorded some material with The Elgins at Motown, but none of it saw release. "Heaven Must Have Sent You" was covered by Bonnie Pointer in 1979, and, in 1989, Vernee, Dawson, McLean and Jimmy Charles recorded a new arrangement of the song in the style of Pointer's disco version, for producer Ian Levine, and made several further recordings for Levine's Motorcity label in the 1990s. Saundra Edwards also made separate recordings for the same label.


Selected discography


  • 1966 Darling Baby (mono) (V.I.P. VM400)
  • 1968 Darling Baby (UK issue) (Tamla Motown STML/TML11081)
  • 1997 The Elgins Meet The Monitors (UK issue) (Marginal ISO 9002)
  • 2007 The Motown Anthology (UK issue) (Universal UK B000OONPO0)


Month and year A side B side Label Chart Positions
December 1965
UK: February 1966
"Darling Baby" "Put Yourself in My Place" V.I.P. 25029
UK: Tamla Motown TMG551
72 / 92 4 / - -
July 1966
UK: November 1966
"Heaven Must Have Sent You" "Stay in My Lonely Arms" V.I.P. 25037
UK: Tamla Motown TMG583
50 9 -
June 1967
UK: July 1967
"I Understand My Man" "It's Been a Long Long Time" V.I.P. 25043
UK: Tamla Motown TMG615
92 35 -
February 1968 "Put Yourself in My Place"
"Darling Baby" UK: Tamla Motown TMG642 - - -
September 1971
UK: April 1971
"Heaven Must Have Sent You"
"Stay in My Lonely Arms" V.I.P. 25065
UK: Tamla Motown TMG771
- - 3
October 1971 "Put Yourself in My Place"
(second reissue)
"It's Gonna Be Hard Times" UK: Tamla Motown TMG787 - - 28




The Elgins - Put Yourself In My Place / It's Gonna Be Hard Times

UK Tamla Motown TMG 787 (1971).

Record produced by Holland, Dozier and Holland.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The record comes with an original company paper sleeve.

Browse this category: Soul/R&B & Motown Singles