Lou Christie met Twyla Herbert when he was fifteen years old. She was thirty five, but the two hit if off right away.Theirs was a friendship that would last their entire life. Lou was born Lugee Sacco in 1943 in Glenwillard, Pennsylvania. He was raised in an Italian-Polish home and learned to sing when he was very little. He made his performing debut in first grade. Twyla Herbert saw him sing when he was fifteen and was looking for a lead singer for a group she had put together, called The Classics. The Classics were a doo-wop group who had a big hit called “Till Then” in 1963. Lou sang with them on a song called “Close Your Eyes”
Lou Christie became famous for his falsetto style of singing. He and Twyla started writing songs and trying to get them recorded. He finally got a C&C Records to record the song “The Gypsy Cried” which was a local hit in Pittsburgh. This got the attention of Roulette Records and they released it nationally. It went to number 24 on the pop charts which was pretty good for a newcomer that no one had heard of.
It was when C&C Records released that first single that his name was changed from Lugee Sacco to Lou Christie. It seems that Lugee and the record company sat down and made a list of possible names he could use and the company picked the name Lou Christie without even telling him. The first he heard of it was when he saws the actual record label. Needless to say, he was upset. He says that it took him years to get used to the new name.
But, as Lou Christie, he went on to record a Top 10 single, “Two Faces Have I” (#6) and then he and Twyla sat down and wrote “Lightnin’ Strikes.”
They took “Lightnin’ Strikes” to a new label, MGM. They hated it, but they released it anyway and it became Lou’s first and only number one song. It sold over one million copies and earned Lou a gold record. His next single, “Rhapsody in the Rain” is about two teenagers making out in the backseat of a car to the rhythm of the windshield wipers and was so controversial that many radio stations would not play it. It only reached number 16.
Lou Christie’s career went downhill from there. Lou eventually moved to London where he married Francesca Winfield, a British beauty queen. He has stayed in the music business all of his life, recording albums and touring with oldies groups. After 1969, he never hit the charts again. Today, he is 74 years old and, as far as I know, still alive.