Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day Various Artists – Stranded In The Jungle 08/16/2019

Six singers formed the Santa Monica Soul Seekers in the late 1940s and sang primarily gospel music. In 1955, the group switched to singing rhythm and blues, after which one of the group’s members left. They successfully auditioned with Modern Records and released several singles as the Cadets that failed to chart. The group recorded a cover of a song by the Feathers (Why Don’t You Write Me) released in 1955 as the Jacks and did somewhat better, reaching #82 in the Hot 100.

The Jayhawks were also active in the mid-fifties. One member co-wrote Stranded In The Jungle and the group recorded and released their single in 1956. Before the song even reached the charts, a recording made by the Cadets covered it.

Shortly thereafter yet another group covered the record. The Gadabouts were three singers from Chicago who were attempting to do vanilla covers of soul hits for Mercury Records, similar to the success shown by the Canadian group, the Crewcuts. Their version of Stranded In The Jungle was markedly different from the first two.

The three groups released their singles within a few weeks of each other and all of them began charting in June and July 1956.

The version by the Cadets (the version I remember because of growing up on Long Island) reached the charts a week or two before the Jayhawks and almost a month before the Gadabouts. Final standings: Cadets peaked at #15, the Jayhawks stalled at #18, and the Gadabouts barely reached #39.

The Cadets released albums as both the Cadets and the Jacks in 1957 and then broke up. They reformed in the 1990s and made appearances in live concerts and on the PBS specials in the next decade.

The Jayhawks released a hit record as the Monarchs and several more as the Vibrations in 1961-1964. Members drifted away from time to time. In the seventies, some remaining members put together a nightclub act. That group also disbanded by 1976.

The Gadabouts vanished without a trace by 1960.


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