The Emotions

The Emotions were an American soul group from Chicago, formed in 1965 and initially a singles act on Brainstorm and Twin Stacks Records. The group released a pair of albums on Volt between 1970 and 1972, followed by five albums on Columbia between 1976 and 1981. Two further albums appeared on Red Label and Motown during the mid-1980s.

Members: Wanda Hutchinson [Wanda Vaughn] (vocals), Sheila Hutchinson [Sheila Hutchinson-Whitt] (vocals), Jeanette Hutchinson (vocals, 1965-70, 1974-77), Theresa Davis (vocals, 1970-74), Pamela Hutchinson (vocals, 1977-85)

The Emotions originated as the Hutchinson Sunbeams, a gospel outfit comprised of sisters Sheila, Wanda, and Jeanette Hutchinson. The girls toured the gospel circuit with their father, Joe Hutchinson, and made concert appearances with singer Mahalia Jackson. They eventually gravitated to the headier sounds stemming from Chicago and Detroit, refashioning themselves as a soul-pop trio in the vein of The Supremes and Patti LaBell & the Blue Belles.

In December 1967, they debuted as The Emotions with the brassy, Motownish “I Can’t Stand No More Heart Aches” (b/w “You’d Better Get Pushed to It”), composed by their father and released on local soul-press Brainstorm Records. On Brainstorm-subsidiary Twin Stacks, they issued three 1968 singles: the string-laden ballad “Somebody New” (b/w “Brushfire”), “I Can’t Control These Emotions” (b/w “Never Let Me Go”), and “I Love You But I’ll Leave You.” The last of those, with its angular vocal melody and matching trumpet, was penned by lead vocalist Sheila.

In late 1968, The Emotions signed to the Volt imprint of Stax Records. Their first release on the label, the tender Sheila ballad “So I Can Love You” (b/w the brassy “Got to Be the Man”), appeared in March 1969. That single and its July followup, the delicate “The Best Part of a Love Affair” (b/w the breathy, shaky “I Like It”), appeared on their debut album, So I Can Love You, produced and largely written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.

The album features seven additional songs, including the urgent, brass-flanked “Going on Strike,” Jeanette’s Cmaj7 ballad “It’s Not Fair,” and the Supremes-styled “I Found My Man,” a Wanda composition with a far-chordal mid-section. That November, The Emotions issued their third Volt blue-label single: the high-harmonied “Stealing Love” (b/w the tender “When Tomorrow Comes”), both written by Hayes/Porter.


  • So I Can Love You (1969)
  • Untouched (1972)
  • Flowers (1976)
  • Sunshine (1977)
  • Rejoice (1977)
  • Sunbeam (1978)
  • Come Into Our World (1979)
  • New Affair (1981)
  • Sincerely (1984)
  • If I Only Knew (1985)


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