The “Golden Hits Of The 60s 

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(Charlie & INEZ FOX)

Symbol 919

No. 7    September 7, 1963




At the age of four or five, Inez (b. Inez Fox Fletcher, Sept. 9, 1942, Greensboro, N. C.) began singing  years in

the church choir, the Russell Temple Methodist Church.   By age seven Inez and her two sisters were

members of the traveling Gospel Tide Chorus.


“I told my mother at nine years old that I was going to be a  big star,” said Ms. Foxx to Goldmine‘s Bill

Carpenter.   “She said, ‘Well, if I can get enough money I’m going to make sure I can send you to the ‘Ed

Sullivan Show’ because I believe that you can win it’…I told her, ‘Don’t worry mama, I’m going to be there,

I’m gonna do it.’   But I always believed it and God fixed it just by faith.    And honey, He brought me



The family was financially poor and Mrs. Fox never got the money together, for her child.  After failed cobalt

treatments, Inez’s beloved mother died of cancer in 1953.   Beginning in 1956, Inez won her first contest

singing secular music.   “$50 Fifty whole dollars, to the winner,” said Inez, of that  first win at the

neighborhood bar.   “I went down there and they took me in through the back because I was too young to go

in through the front.”   Her father had told her not to go there.   “Some of them in the audience went ‘Oooh.’

They knew my father was real super strict.”    He discovered her there that night.   “He didn’t whip me or

nothing,” said Inez.   “That place was packed and that started it right there.”


Inez and brother Charlie Foxx (b. Oct. 23, 1939, Greensboro) began making music together when both were

students at Dudley High.   In the late ’50s, Charlie moved to New York to make it writing tunes.   Inez joined

him; both sharing an apartment in Queens.  Near every evening, she sang at Benny Goodman’s and other

Long Island clubs.


Two singles were issued as by “Inez Johnson,” on the Brunswick label.  “I didn’t think my original name was

all that great,” said Inez.   “When I was little kids would always tease me and call me names like ‘Folly’ and

it irritated me.”   Both disks went largely unnoticed and the label dropped her.


Legend has it that Inez  and Charlie and his three-string  guitar approached Sue/Symbol label head Henry

“Juggy Murphy” Jones in a Broadway restaurant–the Turf  Restaurant in the famed Brill Building on

Broadway & 49th Street–and played him a nursery-rhyme novelty  they had  written called “Mockingbird.”

Juggy listened and liked what he heard, and by  May 1963, the sound  of  that “Mockingbird” could be heard

around the world.  The sibling duo sounded much like Ike & Tina Turner–another  one  of  Juggy’s

successful acts–but despite the vocal interplay between brother and sister, the label credited their debut

disk–and several to follow–to only  “Inez Fox,” with an extra ‘X.’


Inez denies the much popularize tale, saying that WMJR DJ Herman Anderson introduced the sibs to Juggy.

Whatever-­- “Mockingbird” went on to become one of the most cherished of all pre-Beatle rock’n’roll hits.

Charlie claims sales of over  100 million copies; that’s including sales of  the tune as recorded by Peter, Paul

&  Mary, Dusty Springfield, plus Taj Mahal, THE BELLE STARS, Martha & The Vandellas, etc.


Charlie had wrote the classic for GLORIA LYNN, claims Inez. “It wasn’t ‘Mockingbird’ then.   He had the

verse ‘I love him’ and it was a different melody.   I said, ‘You should do something else to try to pick up the

beat of the song.’    So I said, ‘Let’s try this’ Hey, everybody have you heard?’  I said, ‘Now you repeat it with

me but don’t sing it with me.’   He said, ‘What you talking  about?’     I said, ‘You just keep repeat everything

I say.’   I don’ t know if it was God’s will or what but I just picked it right up.”


As it turned out Inez and Charlie reportedly saw little in the way of financial     reparations for creating

“Mockingbird.”   “Murray displayed a keen ability to find a hit record,” wrote Carpenter.  “Also, he seemed

to have extreme difficulty with paying his artists royalities.”    Said Charlie, “He was  a pretty nice fella, he

just didn’t like to pay out money…All I got out of it was a white  Cadillac…”


King Curtis, Ike and Tina Turner and others on Juggy label’s sued for back monies.   So did Inez and Charlie.

“When this lawsuit came up,” said Charlie, “he went to get the car and wanted me to make the payments,

so I said, ‘Take it out of the royalties.’   But he wanted to keep the royalties and have me pay for the car!”


Before the Sue/Symbol outfit folded, more Inez Fox 45s  were released:  “Hi  Diddle Diddle” (#98, 1 963),

“Ask Me” (#91, 1964), and “Hurt By Love” (#54,  1964).    After their  fifth single, Charlie was finally given

equal billing on their releases and his own short shot at solo success.   “Mulberry Bush” as by Chuck

Johnson failed to chart.  A change  to Art Talmadge’s  Musicor/Dynamo  chain  prolonged the duo’s career

with their R & B audience.


The pair experienced extreme  popularity  in England where they were befriended by the Rolling Stones,

toured with the Beatles and accompanied by The Spencer Davis Group.   Twenty­ one tours  followed.


Inez and Charlie’s final Stateside pop charting–“(1-2-3-4-5-6-7) Count the Days” (#76)–appeared on

Dynamo in the dawning months of 1968.   At their new label, Luther Dillon –famed for his songwriting

(“Soldier  Boy,”  “Mama Said,” “16 Candles”) and production work with the Shirelles, Maxine Brown, and

Chuck Jackson–became their producer,  occasional  co­-writer, and eventually, Inez’s spouse.   “We stayed

together for a while.    It wasn’t long.  Our career’s got in the way,” Inez said.   “He is a nice person.”


Charlie went on to produce a few acts; notably Gene Pitney’s “She’s A Heartbreaker,” with Inez providing

an uncredited accompaniment.    Luther and Inez wrote and the latter produced “I Love You 1,000 Times,”

for the Platters; their first top 40 hit in years.


A few more Foxx 45s made the R & B listings before Inez called it quits in 1974–the same year that James

Taylor and Carly  Simon’s remake of  “Mockingbird” went to the number-five slot on the pop charts.

Charlie had “retired” from the act in 1969.   “We sort of went our separate ways,” said Inez.   “I  think I got

tired and he was sort of wanting to be there with his wife.   You know we had been out there a long time.”


According  to a report by Bob Grossweiner in Goldmine, Inez world and Charlie have “no interest” in ever

returning to the of rock’n’soul.


Said Inez, “Sooner of later, people get tired of you and you just lay low.”