The Fleetwoods' first hit was "Come Softly To Me." "Come Softly To Me" was also covered by others.The UK's Frankie Vaughan and The Kaye Sisters had a Top 10 chart hit in the United Kingdom with the song, though The Fleetwoods exceeded them, simultaneously charting in the UK's Top 5.Their second hit, "Graduation's Here" was co-written by Ellis and Christopher, with Troxel later adding a scat line in counterpoint. Blue," which, like "Come Softly To Me", also topped the pop charts.
1 Hits top The Billboard Hot 100 in a single year, and the first mixed-gender trio ever with more than one No. (Note that this first occurred in 1959, and that the Hot 100 began in mid-1958.) Also, on the Cash Box Top 50 for the full year of 1959, the Fleetwoods have two entries: "Come Softly To Me" and "Mr. There is no other group in that year's Top 50 with more than one record. The trio's hits ended in 1963 with Barbara Ellis singing melody on "Goodnight My Love".The Fleetwoods continued recording into the 1960s, with a number of other successes. Though they went on to have a total of eleven hits on the Hot 100, the beginning of the end for the group came when Troxel had to fulfill his obligation to go onto active duty in the Navy. Vic Dana, who was to go on to a successful solo career, replaced Troxel in the group when he was in the service, solely for live performances.By the late 1970s, Troxel was working in a plywood plant in Washington; Ellis was managing a trailer park in California and Christopher was a housewife and modern jazz dance teacher in Washington at St.Martin's College and at The Evergreen State College. In 1983, Troxel gave his written resignation from The Fleetwoods leaving Christopher as manager with the sole authority to contract for both the original and replacement Fleetwoods. His group has been performing regularly since the mid 80's doing several "oldies" concerts each year with two performances on the PBS Doo Wop series.While Christopher trained replacement Fleetwoods she also resumed her solo music career, billing herself as "Gretchen Christopher of the Fleetwoods." Both Troxel and Christopher each continue to perform and occasionally release new recordings.
A new Fleetwoods version of "Graduation's Here" appeared on Christopher's autobiographical solo album, Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16) which is one of the 2007 Billboard critics' picks for 10 Best Albums of the Year.
It included both the hit arrangement of "Come Softly To Me" and the a cappella "Come Softly", with Christopher singing all the parts.
Since their 1988 induction into the Northwest Area Music Association Hall of Fame, and their 2005 induction into the Olympia High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame, The Fleetwoods have been inducted into both the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame of America in 2006.
The November 2007 release of Gretchen's Sweet Sixteen (Suite 16) was launched in Las Vegas with the second Annual Cool Bobby B Doo Wop Convention and Grand Finale Concert, headlined by 'The Fleetwoods starring Gretchen Christopher.' A year later, though all three originals were inducted and invited to the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Christopher was the only original member of the Fleetwoods who accepted, attended and performed, dedicating songs to each of her absent partners.
Troxel had every intention of attending but decided it was more important to be with his wife, because of her breast cancer treatment.
In 2000, Troxel and his wife Jenifer lost Troxel v.