Sibling Act Inez and Charles Foxx


Short career summation on Inez and Charlie Foxx

Siblings Inez and Charlie Foxx were a pair of singer-songwriters, active during the 1960s. The brother and sister music act were formed in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Inez doing the lead vocals and Charlie doing the back-up singing and guitars. They issued their debut single “Mockingbird,” which became a top 10 hit on both R&B and pop charts in 1963. They, however, had difficulty of following up their novelty hit, with other singles such as “No Stranger To Love” and “La De Da I Love You” registering on the Bubbling Under Hot 100. Inez also launched a solo singing career in 1969 but was unsuccessful and short-lived. As a music act the siblings ended their professional partnership in 1971, becoming a one-hit wonder. Charlie Foxx continued working in music as a songwriter and record producer. He died in 1998 from leukemia, at the age of 58.

The siblings’ musical beginnings

Inez and her elder brother Charlie formed the R&B and soul duo Inez and Charlie Foxx in the 1960s. They originated form Greensboro, North Carolina in the United States. Charlie was born on October 23, 1939 while younger sister Inez was born on September 9, 1942.

The sibling’s musical journey began when Charlie started singing in their local church choir, and Inez would join him later. In 1960 Inez took a stab in her singing career by going to New York City where she recorded for Brunswick Records under the stage name Inez Johnston, but she attained little success.

The duo’s biggest hit single “Mockingbird”

Three years later, Inez and Charlie formed their own act as simply “Inez and Charlie Foxx,” with Inez singing the lead vocals and Charlie providing the back-up singing and playing guitar. The singing siblibgs forwarded their own arrangement of the traditional lullaby “Hush, Little Baby” to Sue Records owner Henry “Juggy” Murray. Murray took them in and signed the brother-and-sister act to Sue’s subsidiary label Symbol.

Inez and Charles Foxx’s rendition of “Hush, Little Baby” was “Mockingbird,” released on Symbol label in 1963. It became the duo’s highest-charting pop and R&B singles chart hit at #7 and #2, respectively. However, it was to be the duo’s only major hit, perhaps becuase “Mockingbird” was seen as a novelty smash and the sibling were unable to follow it up with another hit. Inez and Charles Foxx released their next singles such as “No Stranger To Love” and “La De Da I Love You” but they registered on the Bubbling Under Hot 100, for instance.

But at least the song’s fame would eclipse the siblings’ as “Mockingbird” was later to be re-recorded by other artists such as Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, Dusty Springfield, Carly Simon, Etta James (with Taj Mahal) and Toby Keith.

Later career of the siblings

Sue (or Symbol) was intent on building up Inez’s career as a solo singer, and so they issued her solo recordings despite also the presence of Charlie’s voice. Among her solo records on Symbol were “Ask Me” and “Hurt.”

Inez also did other songwriting work with another songwriter/producer and then-husband Luther Dixon, both being responsible for the Platters’ singles “I Love You 1000 Times” (#31, pop; #6, R&B) and “Devri.” She also achieved some success as a solo singer starting from 1969, but her popularity ebbed in the 1970s. During new decade she recorded primarily for Volt Records.

By the time Inez and Charlie Foxx disbanded as a duo in 1971, Charlie had already been working as a songwriter and record producer. He lost his battle from leukemia on September 18, 1998, aged 58.

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