The Desires were a doo wop group of the late '50s who brought a high degree of vocal professionalism to the marketplace in their short career. They met at the 118th Street Youth Center in New York City and originally called themselves the Students. The membership came from three separate area high schools and consisted of Robert "Bootsie" White (lead from Cooper High School), Charles Hurston (tenor, Herrod High), George "Smithy" Smith (baritone. Herrod High), Charles Powell (bass, Franklin High), and Jim Whittier (tenor from Rochester, New York and former member of the Jivetones on Apt) They changed their name upon hearing of the other Students ("I'm So Young") and began a rigorous schedule of rehearsals to sharpen their sound
Unlike many street groups of New York, the Desires worked with a vocal coach, Eddie Jones, formerly of the Demens on Teenage and the Emersons on Newport. In 1959 the group attracted the attention of BOBBETTES manager James Dailey, and it was he who took the youngsters to Hull Records with several demos of songs they'd Written.Their first release was a solid New York-style ballad, "Let It Please Be You," with Bootsie singing his Frankie Lymon-like heart out. espite its weak national showing, it was a song destined to become an East Coast favorite and a part of almost every '60s doo wop group's repertoire.
The uptempo B side, "Hey Lena," also showcased their strong harmonies and a sound reminiscent of the TEENAGERS. Taking advantage of regional radio reactionto "Let It Please Be You," the Desires played such swank venues as Bellevue Hospital (home of THE BONNIE Sisters) in New York and Jocko's Rollerskating Rink in New Jersey while traveling up and down the East Coast performing with The Paragon, the Jestaers, and the Kodaks, among others.
The group had their very own fan club of which Patricia Bennett. Judy Craig, and Barbara Lee were active members, shouting support at every local Desires performances. Those three girls and Sylvia Peterson later went on to become THE CHIFFONS. The Desires' second 45, "Rendezvous with You," was released in 1960 and received somewhat less response than their previous effort. Still, its New York play earned them a spot on Murray the K's Brooklyn Fox show. A bad management decision kept the group from making a deal with Scepter, and when their third single went unreleased by Hull, the Desires' recording career was over.