1959 The Tempos – See You In September
Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards worked in the Brill Building on Tin Pan Alley in New York City, doing their best to write and sell songs. On a Friday in June 1959, Sid suggested writing a song called See You In September. A little over five hours later, they had successfully finished writing the song. The song generated an enthusiastic response from the second publisher they pitched it to, Jack Gold of Paris Records. Early that evening, he phoned the Tempos, a group from Pittsburgh. The group came to New York the next day, and by Monday the record had been cut using the Billy Mure orchestra to play the background music. They pressed the record within a few days, and by Friday the single was already getting airplay on a local radio station.
The Tempos were lucky enough to lip-sync the song on the Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show. The single peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 on September 7, 1959.
The Tempos were a vocal quartet made that included lead singer Mike Lazo, Jim Drake, Tom Monito, and Gene Schachter. They had recorded several singles for Kapp Records in 1957 but had little success. See You In September was their only charting record, although they appear to have released a few more singles after it fell off the charts.
The song became a much bigger hit when the Happenings covered it in 1966. Bob Crewe (who also worked with the Four Seasons) produced the song for BT Puppy Records, a label owned by the Tokens that released the single. The record reached #3 on the Hot 100 in late August. The Happenings recorded three more cover songs that reached the top forty and five covers that didn’t get that high on the chart before the hits stopped coming.
The single by the Tempos briefly came to life again in 1973, thanks to its inclusion on the soundtrack of American Graffiti.
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