LOS ANGELES — R.B. Greaves, a pop singer whose ‘‘Take a Letter, Maria’’ was a 1969 hit, died in Los Angeles.
Mr. Greaves, 68, died of prostate cancer on Sept. 27 at his home, said Craig Harvey, the Los Angeles County coroner’s chief of operations.
A nephew of legendary R&B singer Sam Cook, Mr. Greaves was born on a US air base in the former British Guyana.
It was after moving to the United States that he scored his biggest hit as R.B. Greaves.
‘‘Take a Letter, Maria’’ tells the story of a man who comes home to find ‘‘the woman I thought I knew in the arms of another man.’’
He dictates a final letter to her through his secretary with the chorus: ‘‘Take a letter, Maria. Address it to my wife. Say I won’t be coming home, gonna start a new life.’’
The tune ends on a hopeful note, however, as the man asks his secretary out to dinner.
The song, with its soul style, catchy chorus, and brassy horn edge, went to No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1969. It earned Mr. Greaves a gold record, selling a million copies, and remains a popular oldie.
Mr. Greaves also broke into the Top 40 in 1970 with his version of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David tune, ‘‘(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me.’’