Subheading the Kris Records label logo are the aspirational words “Sounds of Success.” “Success, in my opinion, is the ability to capture quality and hold onto it until it becomes noticeable by others, regardless of the time span, ” Kris proprietor Mel Alexander said in 1998. But despite hanging on for nearly 30 years and releasing countless singles, LPs, and CDs, Kris—alongside its Space, Movin’, and Car-A-Mel sister labels—never quite lived up to the motto.
Alexander tried twice with the self-penned “My Lover,” first with Houston’s B.B. Carter and again with three sisters from Compton; Faye, Mary, and Cathy Hill. It’s likely that the teenage Hill Sisters and Carter were present at the 1965 session, as the backing track is recycled for both, and the Hills can be heard on both takes. Carter’s version appeared on Kris, while the Hill Sisters take appeared on Space, a label co-owned with James Jackson. And even though Alexander’s Big Daddy Kane alter ego was pushing the track on KORG, neither connected with audiences and both were deleted.
The Hill Sisters, led by Faye, would not be slowed by this, or any future lack of public enthusiasm. After “Just In Case (You Change Your Mind)” flopped for Vicente Love’s Choice label in 1971, Faye was pushed out front for Faye Hill & the Hill Sisters’ “You Came To Me In The Rain,” a mid-tempo ballad that showcased her burgeoning adult range. Fay’s 1981 gospel-funk LP, This Is A Blessing, found the singer dropping the “e,” but keeping her sisters in the background for support. She’d step out on her own for 1987’s urban contemporary LP Island In My Mind, which would also be her final recordings.
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