12/21/17: The Flirtations “Nothing But A Heartache” 

Some people would probably call this “an oldie but a goodie.” That’s not something I say, but if we’re talking in terms of clichés people use when talking about music, I think I’d call this the product of an excellent “one-hit wonder!”

I’ve got no idea why this song took up residence in my brain this morning, because I haven’t heard it in a long time. Must be some kind of long-repressed memory that triggered it, maybe something I heard in a dream. Regardless of where it came from in my head, the song itself comes from 1968 and an all-female R&B group called The Flirtations!

Started in 1962 in New York City, Lestine Johnson and sibling trio Ernestine, Shirley and Bettty Pearce from South Carolina formed The Gypsies. In ’64, they signed a record deal and started to get a little bit of local airplay. After a couple years went by, the ground re-named themselves to The Flirtations and Johnson left the group, to be replaced by Viola Billups, and Betty Pearce left the group in 1968… the same year that the now-trio entered a local talent contest where groups competed to sound the most like The Supremes. This got them more record label attention, and the Pearce sisters and Billups flew out to England where they opened for Tom Jones on his European tour. With European name recognition in their favor, The Flirtations were offered another record deal, this time with Deram Records, and released “Nothing But A Heartache.” That’s the song that I can’t get out of my head! It’s a dynamic, engaging song – and when it was released, the B-side was a Christmas tune!

“Nothing But A Heartache” would eventually climb to the Top 20, with a 14-week run on the Hot 100. These days, it’s a certified pop classic and excellent example of a genre now known as “Northern Soul.” You may have never heard this one… but I’m guessing you’re going to like it!

To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!


After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July, at Local 506 in August, The Carrboro Music Festival in September; and The Southern Village Green in November,  the School of Rock students’ next BIG public LIVE performance will be Saturday January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse.

At 1pm, its “Rock Goddesses” with Music from Stevie Nicks, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin and More. This is followed at 3pm with the songs of Led Zeppelin I and II. January 6th at the Pittsboro Roadhouse, put it on your calendar now!

The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate, in the Blue Hill District!

Why should the kids have all of the rock and roll fun? The School of Rock Offers adult programs as well. It is never too late to learn how to rock!

Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!

You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!  

Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!

School of Rock Grand Opening

AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!

Click Here to See Photos of the Grand Opening Celebration!

Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.


Open for Rocking!

‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com