Brief career summary
Facts of Life was an American soul and disco group, assembled in the 1970s by singer Millie Jackson. Signed to Kayvette label, their first single was “Caught In Middle” which became a regional hit in the South but didn’t chart nationally. However, their second single “Sometimes” (their cover of country hit from Bill Anderson) became a Top 40 pop hit in 1977. Because of the single’s climb on the charts, Kayvette rushed for the release of the group’s first album, resulting in a bad packaging that include spelling errors, and poorly-placed pictures. Nevertheless, RCA label picked the album up for national distribution. Their second album A Matter Of Time was unsuccessful and the band split for good.
Formation of the group Facts of Life by Millie Jackson
Millie Jackson (whom we also featured in this profile) is an R&B/soul singer-songwriter and comedienne whose single “Hurts so Good” became a chart hit in 1973. And from there she also tried her hand into producing. She’s still in the music business, owning her independent label and continuing to perform live.
Around the time of her career heyday, Jackson credited friends Keith Williams and Chuck Carter who taught her how to sing during the early days of her career. Then Jackson encountered Jean Davis — the sister of R&B star Tyrone Davis — where the latter was having an opening show for her brother. Jackson and Jean Davis became friends after that.
As somewhat of a way of giving back, Jackson had wanted to produce solo records for Williams and Carter, as well as for her friend Davis. However, she utterly lacked time to do them all, so she decided to assemble all of her friends and form them into a one group in 1976. The new act was named Facts of Life, whose soul and disco sound were as the same as another group Soul Children. Whatever reasons Jackson had, she could clinch a major deal for her group. She was about to give up when her own producer Brad Shapiro, took Facts of Life in and got them signed to his own independent label Kayvette Records.
Facts of Life’s only hit album and LP, both called “Sometimes”
Facts of Life’s first single was “Caught in the Middle,” (or sometime called “Caught in the Act (Of Getting It On)) which received some airplay on the Southern region but wasn’t able to break into the mainstream market. However, their second single “Sometimes” (their renditon of Bill Anderson’s country hit song) became a success on the major charts, peaking at #3 on the R&B singles chart and #31 on the Billboard Top 40 pop chart in 1977.
An album was released by Kayvette (in a rush), also called Sometimes, which ranked at #33 on the black albums chart and #146 on the Billboard 200. The album’s relatively mediocre performance on the charts should be blamed on the packaging. Because the album was released in a hurry, it resulted into poor packaging that included typos and misspelled words on top of a really awful photo. Despite that, RCA picked the record for mass distribution.
Facts of Life released their second LP A Matter of Time in 1978, which produced them no hits this time. Millie Jackson, who felt overloaded, focused more on her own singing career. The album’s poor performance due to lack of promotion made the group to break up for good.