Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 08/16/2019

The Santa Monica Soul Seekers were formed in the late 1940s and sang primarily gospel music. In 1955 the group decided to switch to singing rhythm and blues, after which one of the group’s members decided to leave. 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) that was released in 1955 as the Jacks and did somewhat better, reaching #82 in the Hot 100.

Another group active at that time was the Jayhawks. One of the members co-wrote Stranded In The Jungle and the group recorded and released their single in 1956. Before the song even reached the charts it was covered by a recording made by the Cadets.

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 Candian group, the Crewcuts. Their version of Stranded In The Jungle was markedly different from the first two.

All three versions were released with a few weeks of each other and started charting in June and July of 1956.

The version by the Cadets (the version I remember as a result 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, a nightclub act was put together by the remaining members, but that group, too, dissolved by 1976.

The Gadabouts simply vanished without a trace by 1960.



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