Linda Sanders -Drums, lead vocals Deb Sanders-rhythm guitar, Deborah McMillan-bass Jeannie Foster-lead guitar and organ
The Heart Beats Story
Linda and Deb were taking Drum and guitar lessons in the same music class as Deborah and Jeannie. Thatís how they met in 1966. They were taught as a band, so they already had a slight advantage at their ages(12 to 15 years old). They called themselves The Heartbeats in the music class. Students in the class would break up into small bands and compete with each other to see who was the best. The Heartbeats played music for two years prior to appearing on "Happening 68". Here's how it happened.
Mrs. Sanders (mother to two of the members) sent off a demo tape to Happening 68. The show aired on national TV and at the end requested for bands to send in their tapes. The Hollywood show liked what they heard and even better it was a rarity to have a girl group perform on the show. The Heartbeats were asked to perform twice on "Happening 68"(recorded in August of 68 and aired in September of 68).They lip-synched to "Time Won't Let Me" both times. They were great, of course and beat out all the other bands. One of the judges was an Olympic athlete (remember the Olympics held in 1968 at Mexico City?). Another judge was Scotty from Star Trek!.
The Heartbeats won $10,000 in prizes-guitars, speakers, four motorcycles (but Mrs. Sanders would not let them ride them so they stayed in her house), a Volkswagen Bus (the local dealer called and told them to come on down and get it), and a recording contract with ABC Records. Mrs. Sanders eventually turned down the recording contract because the man said that the group would have to travel anywhere he wanted them to and because she had three boys at home and wasn't going to send her girls out by themselves. The Heartbeats made great use of the bus emblazoning The Heartbeats on the side. It would become their tour bus.
After the bands success on Happening 68 they were getting numerous gigs. They opened for Glen Campbell at the Municipal Auditorium in Lubbock in 1969. Mrs. Sanders was the manager and booking agent for the band. They went to other surrounding cities, but not too far cause Linda was 13 and Deborah was 14 ,and still in high school . Everyone wanted to release a new single to promote the group. Ms. Sanders called Robin Hood Brians Studio (where the first songs were recorded for Happening 68). Robin Hood suggested the group do a Mouse and The Traps song. It didnít go anywhere with Mouse so Robin thought it might work better with a girl group. The song was Crying Inside. He sent them a tape of the song and the band learned it and then went to Tyler. Robin Hood directed the band how he wanted it done. The song was done in an eight-hour session. When the record came out Ms. Sanders thought she could bring them to the stations in person. However, it didn't help the record garner significant airplay. It was played for a little while in Lubbock. The girls got rid of the singles by selling them at the shows where they played. They would record two more sides( "Everywhere" and "Satisfied"). This time the songs were dons in Clovis New Mexico, at Norman Petty Studios in the latter part of 1969.
Linda would marry her music teacher (he had taught The Heartbeats) in 1970. Tragically, a year later in 1971 her husband was killed in a car crash. The Norman Petty single while recorded in 1969 was made into a record after he passed away. He had co-written the songs. The Heartbeats would reform and were still playing in the 1980's, but more recently the group disbanded, but probably not for long, though.
The Heartbeats On "Happening 68"- By Linda Sanders-Halton:
The whole thing about being on national TV was a very exciting event for me. The Heartbeats went to Robin Hood Brian's Studio in Tyler, Texas to make some recordings to send to Dick Clark's "Happening 68" TV show. This was such a big show in the 60's that we really didn't think we had a chance. I guess because we were a girl band that made us unique. Most, if not all the bands, were your typical male garage bands. Our mom always knew what potential we had, but I don't think we ever really realized it. She saw our talent and our uniqueness as an all girl band. She thought we could really go places and become well known. Her faith and dreams in us proved to be a reality.
We were accepted for the "Happening 68" TV show and had to go out to Hollywood for the first show. When we got there they put us up in a hotel with all the other groups. We were the only girl group there! We thought we were in heaven! The next day at the first finals we were stunned to find out that we had won. There were some really great bands there that we beat out. We returned home to Lubbock, but had to return to Hollywood for the finals a few weeks later. We practiced and practiced, even though we were only supposed to lip sync on the show! By the way we performed The Outsiders song "Time Won't Let Me". Prior to our second show we stayed at a hotel with the other male bands. We were oblivious to the fact that many of them had stayed up late, drinking and getting out of control and doing some damage to the hotel.
When we arrived for the show, we were very nervous and excited. We saw Paul
Revere and The Raiders on stage and spoke with them. It was all quite
overwhelming. We also spoke to the judges and the other bands. We then performed
our song and then the other bands did their respective songs. We really thought
we had lost and then suddenly they announced our name as the winners. We jumped
up and down and hugged each other, thrilled beyond words. It was truly a great
moment that I will never forget. It was a wonderful time in my life that I owe
all to my mother. She had a dream and she saw it become a reality through us. We
enjoyed a wonderful moment in our lives. A time in my life that I think back on
very fondly and smile with wonderful memories that I will cherish forever.
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