The vision of The Lettermen was of three very strong soloists who also had the ability and showmanship to perform and entertain an audience, but who also had the discipline needed to be group singers. The sound they came up with was a sound between the big band vocal groups such as the Modernaires, Pied Pipers, Mills Brothers, Four Freshmen and the early R&B rock groups such as the Ink Spots, Flamingos and the Platters.
For their debut single record in the summer of 1961, Capitol Records decided to put a ballad on the B-side of "That's My Desire", their doo-wop single, figuring DJ's would have to play the A-side because the B-side was so sweet, and slow, and did not necessarily encompass the commercial sound of the day. That B-side was "The Way You Look Tonight". Soft, melodic and romantic, it was a departure from the rock 'n' roll of the day and listener requests made it a must for DJ play lists nationwide. The song shot to No. 13 on the Billboard chart. The group's second single that year did even better, "When I Fall In Love", another soft, slow ballad hit No. 7, establishing The Lettermen as the most romantic singing group of the sixties.
The '60's and early '70's saw The Lettermen score over 25 chart hit singles, including "Theme From 'A Summer Place", "Goin' Out of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You", and "Hurt So Bad. Their signature sound made romantic standards of songs such as "Smile", "Put Your Head On My Shoulder", "Shangri-La", "Love", "Traces/Memories" and on and on.
The Lettermen have also enjoyed international success touring Japan, The Philippines, China, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, Germany, France, South America, Canada, Mexico and even Saudi Arabia. They have sung and recorded in over fourteen languages and have received eighteen gold records internationally.