Twyla Herbert was the song writing parter of singer Lou Christie for 30 years. Together they wrote hundreds of songs yielding a dozen hits including the no 1 song "Lightin' Strikes" and the hits "The Gypsy Cried", Two Faces of I", and "Rhapsody in the Rain," and "She Sold Me Magic. Lou Christie call her a genious. Herbert and Christie also composed songs for the girl group the Tammys, including the single "Egyptian Shumba," which is a cult classic. Together Twyla and Christie earned several sold records.
Twyla was born in 1921 in Riverside California and spent most of her lifetime in Pittsburgh. She performed as a classical concert pianist and described herself as a "bohemian gypsy, clairvoyant mystic". Twyla allegedly predicted which of her Lou Christie song songs would become hits. She died in Pheonix, Arizona in 2009, at the age of 87.
At age 15 Lou Christie, as a member of the singing group the Crewnecks, auditioned for pianist Twyla Herbert. She offered the Crewnecks a place to rehearse. Lugge showed up regularly becoming friends with the classical trained Twlya who was his senior by 20 years. Twyla Herbert and Lugee became prolific song writing partners, In 1962 Twyla and Christie wrote "The Gypsy Cried," recording it on two-track machine in a garage. Lugee was hired by record producer/distributor Nick Cenci to perform on a recording. Christie approached Cenci asking him to promote “The Gypsy Cried”. Nick produced a full band recording of the song at Gateway Studio in Pittsburgh paying the band with wine and $500. Nick released the single on his Co & Ce label. Within two weeks Nick broke the record on Pittsburgh radio stations and airplay quickly spread to Johnstown, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Roulette Records picked up national distribution of the "The Gypsy Cried" making it a smash hit at number 24 on the Billboard charts. Selling over one million copies of the song, Christie at age 19 was awarded a gold record. Cenci produced more recording sessions for Christie in 1963 generating the million selling hits "Two Faces Have I" that reached number 6 on the charts in March 1963, and “How Many Tear Drops” (written by Milan) that was number 46.
Lou’s recording career was put on hold for two and a half years when was inducted into the U.S Army. Leaving the Army he signed with MGM records and recorded a song that he and Twyla wrote called “Light’n Strike”. Lenny Shear, the MGM label head said it was a piece of crap and threw the tape it in the wastebasket. Ignoring Lenny Lou’s management team put up their own to promote the song to radio. It quickly became the number 1 song in the country in 1966 going gold with a million sales. It reached number 1 in Canada and the top 20 in the U.K. Three months after telling Lou that his song was garbage, Lenny Shear posed with Lou handing him the gold record in a picture published in Billboard magazine. Lou ‘loved”Lenny’s turn around. MGM released Christie's "Rhapsody in the Rain," later in 1966.
Sing Writing Partner of Million Selling Singer Lou Christy