Devil In Her Heart

If the Beatles didn’t cover the Donays (a young girl-group out of Hamtramck, Michigan) one-hit-wonder ‘Devil In His Heart’ that was originally released in 1962, this song most likely would have faded into complete obscurity.  The Donays released this song on the local Detroit label Correct-Tone Records, but many of the small American record companies were affiliated with major labels that had distribution in the UK.  Correct-Tone Records had an affiliation with a larger label from New York, Brent Records, who picked up the record for national distribution.  Its flip-side, ‘Bad Boy’ (not the Larry Williams’ song with the same name), did get airplay in the Michigan area, although the single missed the US charts.  This single was picked up by the UK label Oriole Records and was released there.

The Donays were made up of school friends Janice Guinn, her sister Armie Guinn, Yvonne Singleton (Yvonne Vernee), Michelle Ray and a girl named Mary whose last name is unknown and they were led by Armie, but Yvonne Singleton sang lead on this song.  Yvonne later joined the Elgins replacing Saundra Mallet.  Detroit songwriter and recording artist Richard Drapkin, who also recorded under the alias Ricky Dee, worked closely with Detroit label Correct-Tone Records.  ‘Devil In His Heart’ was chosen as the group’s first single and the Donays never recorded another track, as their mothers wanted the girls to go to college and that ended their music career.  The Beatles manager Brian Epstein owned a record store called NEMS (North End Music Stores) in Liverpool and his store had a policy of buying at least one copy of every record that was released.   If the record sold, Brian would order another one, or more, but he always he had records that weren’t hits in Britain, and weren’t hits in America.   Harrison said that before the Beatles went to a gig, they would meet in the record store after it had shut, and they would search the racks like ferrets to see what new ones were there.  Once the Beatles discovered the record, they incorporated it into their live performances. 

The Donays never received any royalties for the song and they didn’t even know the Beatles recorded it till Janice and Armie were watching The Beatles’ cartoons on television and heard their song which shocked them.  The Beatles changed the gender from “His” to “Her” with all the necessary alterations throughout the song.  George Harrison sang lead vocals and played guitar with John Lennon singing backup and playing rhythm guitar, Paul McCartney also contributed backing vocals and played bass with Ringo Starr doing some powerful drumming and played maracas.  This song was recorded on the Beatles second studio album With the Beatles, which was released in 1963.

[Chorus]
She’s got the devil in her heart
But her eyes they tantalize
She’s going to tear your heart apart
Oh her lips they really thrill me
[Verse 1]
I’ll take my chances
For romance is
So important to me
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
She’s an angel sent to me
[Chorus]
She’s got the devil in her heart
No, no, this I can’t believe
She’s going to tear your heart apart
No, no way will she deceive
[Verse 2]
I can’t believe that she’ll ever ever go
Not when she hugs me and says she loves me so
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
Listen can’t you see
[Chorus]
[Verse 3]
Don’t take chances if your romance is
So important to you
She’ll never hurt me
She won’t desert me
She’s an angel sent to me
[Chorus]
[Outro]
She’s got the devil in her heart
No she’s an angel sent to me
She’s got the devil in her heart
No she’s an angel sent to me

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #188 prompt devil.

16 thoughts on “Devil In Her Heart

  1. That songwriter got a big boost I’m sure…too bad they didn’t from the Beatles recording it.
    They had a good ear picking out obscure songs.

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