Terry Huff

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Terry Huff is an obscure Washington, D.C.-based singer whose biggest hit was the ache-filled "The Lonely One," a substantial hit along the East Coast. Terry was born in North Carolina and raised in Maryland…
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Terry Huff is an obscure Washington, D.C.-based singer whose biggest hit was the ache-filled "The Lonely One," a substantial hit along the East Coast. Terry was born in North Carolina and raised in Maryland foster homes; he started singing in church at an early age before graduating to school talent shows. At the shows he would sing songs by Little Richard and the Everly Brothers with his brother Andy.

Terry Huff moved to Washington, D.C., in 1959, where the Huff brothers sang on street corners and porches. In 1962, they auditioned their newly formed group for Van McCoy, who rejected them. Luck struck in 1963 when a restaurant owner sponsored their trip to New York for a recording session. As Andy and the Marglows, they recorded "Just One Look" for Liberty Records, who released it two weeks before the hit version by Doris Troy. Troy's version won that battle, as the Marglows never received any exposure. The follow-up, "I'll Get By," generated few sales despite several publicity appearances in the area. Shortly after the second flop and being dropped by Liberty, Andy and the Marglows were history.

In the mid-'60s, the Huff brothers tried again to interest several producers, including Van McCoy; they were again rejected. Terry Huff finished his education and became a member of Washington, D.C.'s police force. By 1973 the music bug hit the Huff brothers again; Terry also befriended Al Johnson (the Unifics). Terry Huff quit the police force in 1974 and joined Act 1, a group who had recorded for Spring Records. The group left Spring for Mainstream Records, re-formed with Huff, and changed their name to Special Delivery. Terry Huff, George Barker, Chester Fortune, and Reginald Ross auditioned for Van McCoy with a painful ballad written by Huff titled "I Destroyed Your Love." The song quickly became a staple on quiet storm radio stations and remained on the low end of the R&B charts. Before Mainstream could record a follow-up, the group disbanded over musical, business, and personal differences. Terry Huff recorded and produced "The Lonely One" with help from Al Johnson. Johnson and Huff's two brothers (Andy and Jimmy) did the backing vocals. For commercial reasons, Mainstream released it as being by Special Delivery featuring Terry Huff. The song's success caused a demand for an LP, which Huff and Johnson rushed to New York to record. The album fizzled and soon Terry Huff was back where he started: in D.C., looking for a deal. Special Delivery surfaced again, recording sporadically on small labels; they released an LP titled Living on the Run, but they faded from the scene without fanfare after disappointing sales.