The Glass House

One of Holland-Dozier-Holland's cut and paste groups whose members' scattered in separate directions (as did Chairmen of the Board, the Honey Cone, Eighth Day, and 100 Proof) when the recording sessions and salaries stopped. Sherrie Payne, Pearl Jones, Tyrone Hunter, and Larry Mitchell didn't woodshed together in hallways or under streetlights; no bond existed among them prior to the Glass House project, and a major age discrepancy existed between Hunter and the other members. Hungter sang in the Romeos with Lamont Dozier and the Voice Masters, he also chipped out solo records on Anna and Chess Records. Payne, Jones, Hunter, and Mitchell impressed Holland-Dozier-Holland individually and were placed in Glass House, a group who dressed in futuristic uniforms rather than conventional attire. The intent was to eventually break Payne and Hunter as solo acts. "Crumbs off the Title" (September 1969), an Edith Wayne/Ronald Dunbar tune led by Sherrie Payne (Freda Payne's sister), was Invictus Records' first release by anybody; it went to number seven R&B and number 59 pop. Laura Lee redid it on Hot Wax Records, and Dusty Springfield updated it on her See All Her Faces LP. Invictus took its time issuing the second Glass House single; the astrological-themed "I Can't Be You, You Can't Be Me" came out June 1970, with Payne leading again. It rode the R&B chart but avoided the pop 40 and doesn't appear on either of their two albums. "Stealing Moments From Another Woman's Life" (November 1970), led by Pearl Jones, became their second most popular recording. Having three straight R&B chart records has some significance, but provided little solace for Glass House, who missed out on "Want Ads," a gold record for the Honey Cone. Glass House recorded the song, with Payne on lead, before Honey Cone, and those who know say the versions are twins -- every female Eddie Holland produced phrased like him anyway; Glass House threw a tirade when it sold a million. "Touch Me Jesus" (May 1971) an Angelo Bond/Lamont Dozier/Brian Holland tune bombed; the gap between it and their last recording (seven months) didn't help. Invictus issued "Look What We've Done to Love," a beautiful Ty Hunter-led ballad that shoulda, coulda, that didn't explode as expected. Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Playing Games" (January 1972) did absolutely nothing. Inside the Glass House dropped without fanfare late in 1971, without a picture of the group on either cover. They never hit like the Honey Cone, Freda Payne, 100 Proof, Eighth Day, Flaming Ember, Chairmen of the Board, or Laura Lee -- artists under the same creative umbrella -- and their foundation started crumbling. "Giving Up the Ring" (March 1972) kept the wrecking ball swinging. "VIP" (April 1972) -- previously a Honey Cone B-side -- was Sherrie Payne's solo; its flip, "It Ain't the World It's the People Living in It," was plucked from Glass House's debut album. Ty Hunter's solo "I Don't See Me in Your Eyes Anymore" (1972) was a new take on a Brotherly Love B-side, and the quivering falsetto's rendition of Eddie Holman's "Hey There Lonely Girl" provided a solid B-side. "Thanks I Needed That" from the LP of the same name closed the book on Glass House. Eric Dunham was a member, but it's unclear whether he was an original replaced by Mitchell or if he joined later. Holland-Dozier-Holland switched Invictus' distribution from Capitol to CBS Records in 1973, but the fact didn't elate Glass House as they got pink slips and quietly disbanded. Sherrie Payne became a Supreme and now sings with the Former Ladies of the Supremes with Freddie Poole and Sundray Tucker, aka Cindy Scott; Ty Hunter joined the Originals replacing CP Spencer; Jones, Mitchell, and Dunham vanished from sight. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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