Founding member Bill Cunningham was recently interviewed by the Houston Press about upcoming Texas shows in August 2020.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
In many rock, blues, and country songs, written letters do not bring good or welcome news to the recipients. They usually carry messages about the death of a loved one, a dumping by a romantic partner, demands for payment or threats of retribution.
But in 1967’s “The Letter” by the Memphis, Tennessee-based Box Tops and written by Wayne Carson, the mailed missive contains some great news for the lovelorn addressee, as related in one of classic rock’s most famous opening stanzas:
Gimme a ticket for an aero-plane/Ain’t got time to take a fast train/Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home/My baby, just a wrote me a letter.
Despite being the band’s first single and clocking in at just under two minutes long, “The Letter” hit #1 on the Billboard charts for the group which included founding members Alex Chilton (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Gary Talley (lead guitar), John Evans (keyboards), Bill Cunningham (bass) and Danny Smythe (drums).
But for Cunningham, even ascending to that lofty chart height didn’t quell an unease. “I have an interesting memory. I never felt secure as an act when ‘The Letter’ was out, even when it hit #1 and we were out on the road with the big acts,” he says. “Our second single, ‘Neon Rainbow,’ didn’t break into the top 10. It wasn’t until ‘Cry Like a Baby’ came out that we felt more secure we weren’t going to be just a one hit wonder.”