New York vocalist and composer Shirley Ellis was in the Metronomes before earning fame as co-composer and performer of some enjoyable soul novelty tunes in the mid-'60s. These included the Top Ten R&B hits "The Nitty Gritty" and "The Name Game." "The Name Game" was co-written with her manager and husband Lincoln Chase, and peaked at number four R&B and number three pop in 1965. She and Chase also collaborated on the follow-up, "The Clapping Song (Clap Pat Clap Slap)," which reached number 16 R&B, but also represented the end of the creative line for the trend. Ellis landed one final moderately successful, more conventional soul tune two years later, "Soul Time." All except "Soul Time" were recorded for Congress; she had moved to Columbia by 1967, when "Soul Time" was issued.
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