1966 The Happenings – Go Away Little Girl
Four students who had just graduated from high school in 1961 in Patterson, New Jersey, formed The Four Graduates. The group concentrated on playing covers of songs that had been hits with arrangements that sounded more contemporary. Several changes in the group’s lineup occurred, but Bob Miranda continued as the lead singer from the group’s formation right up to the present day.
The group changed its name to The Happenings and began recording on B. T. Puppy Records, the label owned by the Tokens. The Tokens also arranged and produced much of the group’s first album in 1966, so it isn’t much of a surprise that their records sounded similar to the Tokens. The group’s first single, Girls On The Go, didn’t even chart. Their second single was a cover of a song originally done by the Tempos in 1959, See You In September. The Tempos only reached #23 with the original hit. Bob Crewe (who was responsible for many of the hits by the Four Seasons) produced the new version for the Happenings, and the single soared to #3 on the Hot 100 in 1966.
The group followed that success with Go Away Little Girl, a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King that had been a #1 hit for Steve Lawrence in 1963. The Tokens produced the cover for the Happenings, which peaked at only #12 on the Hot 100 despite selling a million copies. The song was later taken to the top of the chart a second time in 1971 by Donnie Osmond’s version, making it the first song in the rock era to reach #1 with recordings by two different artists. Only eight more songs appear to have accomplished that feat since then.
The Happenings had two more top forty singles (I Got Rhythm and My Mammy) before they ran out of hits. After leaving B. T. Puppy Records for the Jubilee label in 1969, the group recorded Where Do I Go/Be-In (Hare Krishna), a song from the play Hair. Other songs from the play became major hits, including Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures) by the 5th Dimension, Good Morning Starshine by Oliver, and Hair by the Cowsills. Sadly, the Happenings appear to have gone a song too far, as their single only reached #66 on the Hot 100 and became their last record to chart on the Hot 100.
The Happenings continued to record singles on Jubilee through 1971 and later recorded for Big Tree and Midland International with little success.
Bob Miranda continues to lead a group called the Happenings, appearing in oldies shows and on cruises.
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