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The Elgins Facts

The Elgins: A Journey Through Motown History

Singer’s Bio

The Elgins were one of the most successful American soul groups in the 1960s, signed to the legendary Motown Records. The band initially formed in Detroit, Michigan, by a group of high school students who wanted to create and perform original music. They were four African-American teenagers: Saundra Mallett, Robert Fleming, Norbert McClean, and James Holland.


Saundra Mallett and Robert Fleming were born in 1943, making them 78 years old as of 2021. Norbert McClean, born in 1942, is also 79 years old. James Holland, who was born in 1939, passed away in 2005.


Information about the group members’ relationships is scarce. However, it is known that Saundra Mallett was married to fellow Motown artist, Jimmy Ruffin. They had a son together named Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr.


Apart from Jimmy Lee Ruffin Jr, there is not much known about whether the other Elgins members have children.


Information about the members’ height is not readily available.


Before signing to Motown Records, the Elgins were initially known as the Downbeats, performing at various local venues in Detroit. They caught the attention of Berry Gordy Jr., Motown’s founder, after Holland sent Gordy a demo tape of two original songs, “Surrender” and “Darling Baby.”

Their debut single under the name “The Elgins,” titled “Darling Baby,” was released in 1965 and became an instant hit. The follow-up single, “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” was even more successful and became their signature song. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became a Top 5 hit on the R&B chart.

The success of “Heaven Must Have Sent You” led to the release of their only album, “Darling Baby,” in 1966. The album featured both of their singles, as well as other original songs written and produced by Motown’s best, including Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Smokey Robinson.

Despite their initial success, the Elgins’ career was short-lived. McClean left the group in 1966, and the remaining members continued as a trio. However, they were not able to duplicate the success of “Heaven Must Have Sent You,” and their subsequent singles failed to chart.

Top Songs

As previously mentioned, “Heaven Must Have Sent You” and “Darling Baby” were the Elgins’ most recognizable hits. However, the group also recorded other songs that displayed their talents as harmony singers and performers. Some of their other songs include:

– Put Yourself In My Place
– It’s Been A Long Long Time
– Good Lovin’

Net Worth

Information about the members’ net worth is not readily available. However, given the success of their signature song and their affiliation with Motown Records, it can be assumed that they are financially comfortable.

Inspiration to Others

Despite their brief time in the spotlight, the Elgins remain an inspiration to many aspiring artists. Their story shows that talent, hard work, and perseverance can pay off, even in the highly competitive music industry.

In a 1995 interview, Motown legend Smokey Robinson praised the Elgins for their unique style and the quality of their music. He said, “I thought that the Elgins were a fantastic group, they had a sound that nobody else had.”


The Elgins may not be as well-known as some of the other Motown greats, but their contributions to the genre cannot be overlooked. Their music continues to live on, and their success serves as an inspiration to anyone pursuing their dreams in the music industry.

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