Where did the baby name Shelbra come from in 1971?

Soul Children album "Best Of Two Worlds" (1971)
Soul Children album

The name Shelbra was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1971:

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: 5 baby girls named Shelbra [debut]
  • 1970: unlisted
  • 1969: unlisted

It’s reminiscent of Shelby and Shelba, but I think this one has a specific explanation: vocal quartet The Soul Children, which included a female member with an “earthy, soulful voice” named Shelbra Bennett.

The group scored well over a dozen R&B hits from the late ’60s to the late ’70s, but their biggest singles were the three that crossed over and charted on the Hot 100: “The Sweeter He Is” (peaked in Nov. 1969), “Hearsay” (May 1972), and “I’ll Be the Other Woman” (Mar. 1974).

What do you think of the baby name Shelbra? Do you like it more or less than Shelby?

Sources: The Soul Children – Wikipedia, The Soul Children – Billboard, R.I.P. Shelbra Bennett of the Soul Children – Stax Museum of American Soul Music

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