1962 Rivingtons – Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow / The Bird’s The Word

1962 Rivingtons – Papa-Oom-Mow-MowThe Bird’s The Word

The Rivingtons were a four-man doo-wop group  that got its start in a Los Angeles high school in the forties. The group recorded under several name and changed its lineup a few times as well. Thurston Harris joined the group briefly, but left for a solo career. The band later sang backup vocals on several of Thurston’s recordings, including his #6 single Little Bitty Pretty One in 1957.

They also sang on recordings by Paul Anka and Duane Eddy.

In 1962, the band finally wrote and recorded their own hit record. Liberty Records released their single Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and it reached #48 on the Hot 100.

The band recorded an album entitled Doin’ The Bird. The album included their next two singles, Kickapoo Joy Juice and Mama-Oom-Mow-Mow (The Bird), but neither one reached the Hot 100.

Their next record after that was another song the band wrote themselves, The Bird’s The Word. The single peaked at #52 on the Hot 100 in early 1963.

The band never charted again. They broke up in the mid-sixties. They later reformed in the early seventies and performed on the oldies circuit for a few decades.

We might have completely forgotten about the Rivingtons had it not been for the Trashmen,a surf rock group formed in Minnesota in 1962. The band claims they never heard the Rivington’s singles but heard they Sorensen Brothers playing The Bird’s The Word and began playing the song themselves. Somehow, they also connected Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow to the end of their performances, and in 1963 they recorded Surfin’ Bird. The single flew up to #4 on the Hot 100 in 1963.

Of course, its use on Family Guy has immortalized the song.

The Trashmen’s single listed drummer/singer Steve Wahrer as the writer of the song, but it didn’t take long for the threat of legal action to change that to the four members of the Rivingtons.

The Trashmen reached #30 on the Hot 100 with Bird Dance Beat in 1964, but that was their last visit to the chart. The band retired from performing in 2015.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-rivingtons-mn0000502806/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rivingtons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trashmen
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfin%27_Bird

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1963 Connie Francis – I’ll Follow The Boys

1963 Connie Francis – I’ll Follow The Boys

Connie Francis had one of her biggest hits in 1961 when she appeared in and recorded the theme song to the film Where The Boys Are.

Her second appearance in a film came in 1963. She appeared in the film I’ll Follow The Boys and again sang the opening theme song for the film. Benny Davis and Murray Mencher wrote the song, the same team that wrote her chart-topping single Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You.

She recorded the version of the song that was used in the film in June 1962 over an instrumental recording produced by Norman Newell at Abbey Road Studios.

In September, Connie recorded a new version of the song in New York City with producer Danny Davis that used LeRoy Holmes as the conductor.

Her record company released that version as a single that reached #17 on the Hot 100 in 1963.

Connie went back into the studio and recorded a new vocal over the same instrumental backing as the single that was used on a stereo album comprised of five songs from the film and five new songs.

The British Invasion took its toll on Connie’s career: Follow The Boys proved to be her last single to reach the top twenty on the Hot 100. She continued releasing singles through 1969 but only had five more top forty singles on the Hot 100. She did have another half-dozen top ten singles and seven more top twenty hits on the Adult Contemporary chart.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connie_Francis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connie_Francis_discography#US_singles

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1971 Daddy Dewdrop – Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It)

1971 Daddy Dewdrop – Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It)

Dick Monda was born in Ohio. His family moved to California in the mid-forties and Dick and his sister found work as young vaudeville performers. Dick began acting in films in 1951. Two years later, he appeared as a young Eddie Cantor in The Eddie Cantor Story as the young Eddie Cantor. He not only acted but also danced and sang six songs in the film.

Dick began recording music for Moonglow Records in 1965. He issued a few singles using his own name and a few more singles using the name Daddy Dewdrop. None of them charted.

Dick produced music for the Saturday morning cartoon show Groovie Goolies in 1970. One of the songs on the show was Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It). After the show ended, Dick put together a collection of studio musicians and recorded his own version of the song for Sunflower Records. The single reached #9 on the Hot 100 in 1970.

Several more singles and a pair of albums followed, but Dick never charted again.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/daddy-dewdrop-mn0000667037/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daddy_Dewdrop
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-A-Boom_(Don%27t_Ya_Jes%27_Love_It)

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1970 Ferrante And Teicher – Midnight Cowboy

1970 Ferrante And Teicher – Midnight Cowboy

Arthur Ferrante and Louis Teicher met in 1930 while studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. They began performing as a duo, playing pianos. They became members of the faculty at the school after they graduated.

The pair began playing in clubs and touring in concert in 1947. To prepare for their shows, they practiced at Steven Tyler’s grandmother’s house. They began recording singles in 1950 and albums in 1952. Their major sales came with a series of recordings of movie theme songs beginning with the top ten single Theme from The Apartment in 1960. After two more top ten releases on the Hot 100, they continued selling albums but were unable to have much of an impact on the charts until 1969.

John Barry composed the score for the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. They used his recording of the theme song in the film’s soundtrack and eventually won a Grammy award for the Best Instrumental Theme, but his single release didn’t even reach the Hot 100.

Johnny Mathis released a version of the song in 1969 using lyrics written by Jack Gold, who also produced the recording. His single reached #20 on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart, also without reaching the Hot 100 chart.

Ferrante & Teicher had the hit version thanks, in part, to the guitar part on their record. The single peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 and reached #2 on the AC chart.

The pair recorded dozens of albums and continued appearing in concert until they retired in 1989.

Louis died after a heart attack in 2008. Arthur often said he intended to live one year for each key on a piano, and he died twelve days after his 88th birthday in 2009.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrante_%26_Teicher
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_Cowboy#Theme_song

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1960 Danny and the Juniors – Twistin’ USA

1960 Danny and the Juniors – Twistin’ USA

Danny Rapp, Frank Maffei, Joe Terry, and Dave White met while singing together while in junior high school in Philadelphia in the mid-fifties. They started appearing at parties and minor events as the Juvenaires.

Record producer John Madara began working with the group and introduced them to Artie Singer, who ran Singular Records. Artie, John, and Dave wrote the song Do The Bop and recorded it as a single.

The record did not even do well locally. When they presented the song to Dick Clark, he suggested they change their name to the Juniors and then change the name of the song to At The Hop. That led them to change a few of the lyrics as well. The new recording began doing well, but had trouble breaking outside of the local area.

Dick Clark had a solution for them: in exchange for half the publishing rights, he would promote the record (primarily on American Bandstand). Fortunately for all involved, that sort of payola wasn’t illegal yet. ABC-Paramount Records licensed the national distribution for the record and after the group appeared on Dick’s show, sales exploded. The record sat at the top of the Hot 100 for five weeks at the start of 1958.

Dave wrote the group’s next singleRock N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and Artie produced it. The single peaked at #19 on the Hot 100.

The group had one more single stall at #39 and couldn’t get near the Hot 100 until 1960. That year band moved to Swan Records (which Dick Clark had a financial interest in).

Kal Mann wrote Twistin’ USA and Danny and the Juniors reached #29 on the Hot 100 with their recording. The song hit the chart about a month after Chubby Checker’s The Twist first arrived on the Hot 100.

The group never reached the top forty again. David left the group, and the others remained together and kept recording until 1964.

The band reformed several times, and by 1976 there were two bands touring as Danny and the Juniors: one led by Danny, and one led by Joe and Frank.

Danny died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head in 1983.

Joe and Frank’s version of the group still continues to tour.

David continued producing and writing songs, often with John. His biggest hits included You Don’t Own Me by Leslie Gore and 1-2-3 and Like A Baby by Len Barry. He also was a member of several other groups from time to time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_%26_the_Juniors
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_the_Hop

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1961 Matt Monro – My Kind Of Girl

1961 Matt Monro – My Kind Of Girl 

Terence Edward Parsons was born and raised in London. His singing voice attracted little attention until he served in the British armed forces. While stationed in Hong Kong, he appeared on the local television competition show Talent Time. He won the show multiple times before performing on his own show in 1953.

After returning to England, he began working in the Show Band at BBC. Pianist Winifred Atwell became his mentor and convinced him to use the name Matt Monro for public appearances. He released an album in 1957, but sales were minimal.

George Martin asked Matt to record a song imitating Frank Sinatra as a demo for a Peter Sellers movie, but it turned out so well that Peter used the song in his film. Unfortunately for Matt, the soundtrack credited the song to Fred Flange. On the plus side, it led to more work with George, and he helped Matt get a recording contract with Parlophone Records.

In 1960, the second song that George and Matt recorded resulted in his first hit record. His single Portrait Of My Love reached #3 on the UK chart.

The single did not chart in the US, where Steve Lawrence’s cover version reached #9 on the Hot 100 in 1961 and led to a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. The Tokens also covered the song in 1967 and reached #36 on the Hot 100.

 

Matt’s next single was My Kind Of Girl. The record took him to #5 in the UK. In the US, Matt’s release reached #18 on the Hot 100, making him the first British act to reach the US top twenty since 1958.

The single did even better on the Adult Contemporary (AC) chart, peaking at #6.

Matt appeared on several television shows and often performed the song live.

Matt continued to score hits on the UK charts and had five more records on the US AC chart. In 1964, he reached the US top forty on the Hot 100 one last time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Monro
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_My_Love
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Kind_of_Girl

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1962 Joey Dee and the Starliters – What Kind Of Love Is This

1962 Joey Dee and the Starliters – What Kind Of Love Is This

Joey Dee recorded a single with singer Rogers Freeman in 1958 that did not chart before the pair split. Also in 1958, Eddie Brigati sang lead on several recordings for the group The Hi-Fives.

Joey and Eddie took over lead singing and recruited a few more members to form Joey Dee and the Starliters. The group recorded a pair of non-charting singles for Scepter Records beginning in 1960 and then moved to Roulette Records in 1961.

The band was hired for a single performance at a club in New York City called the Peppermint Lounge. A newspaper article about the celebrities at the performance turned the club into the hottest spot in the city, and the band ended up playing there for over a year.

Joey wrote Peppermint Twist and the band’s recording topped the Hot 100 in 1961 during the resurgence of the Twist. The band starred in the film Hey, Let’s Twist that was released December 31, 1961. The film was a fictionalized story of the band’s success. A few more hits followed in 1962.

The band appeared in a second film the next year. The film included a performance of a song written by Johnny Nash (who had a #5 hit of his own with Hold Me Tight in 1968).

They released What Kind Of Love Is This as a single that peaked at #18 in 1962.

Joey sang the song to co-star Jeri Lynn Frazer in the film.

The film did not do well, and it ended Joey’s film career. The group’s recording career eventually ground to a halt as well; other than one single that peaked at #38 in 1963, they never reached the top forty again.

Late in 1963, Joey Dee and the Starliters toured Europe for two months with a new band as their opening act: The Beatles.

New Starliters came and went while Joey led changing lineups on tours, including three future members of the Young Rascals and actor Joe Pesci.

Joey recorded records with and without Starliters into the mid-seventies, but none of them attracted much attention. He continued touring on the oldies circuit into the 2000s with a rotating group of Starliters backing him up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joey_Dee_and_the_Starliters

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1963 The Classics – Till Then

1963 The Classics – Till Then

Brooklyn singers Johnny Gambale, Emil Stucchio, Jamie Troy, and Tony Victor formed the Perennials in the late fifties. They changed their name to The Classics and released several singles in the late fifties and early sixties with only  very minor success.

In 1961, the Pittsburgh-based group the Marcels began recording an updated version of the 1949 ballad Blue Moon for Colpix with producer Stu Phillips. The group usually sang a cover of the song Zoom, and Stu had them sing part of that song as the intro on their recording, resulting in an unmistakable record.

Herb Lance was a soul singer who first charted in 1949. In 1961, he recorded a version of Blue Moon with the Classics singing backgrounds for him. Their single starts with almost an identical bass line of nonsense syllables, so it’s likely somebody heard and copied the Marcels’ version of the song.

Both versions of the song broke on the Hot 100 on the March 6, 1961 chart. The Marcels started out at #87 while the version credited to The Classics came onto the chart at #85. The next week the two versions came in at #59 and #65, respectively. The big difference came in week three: Marcels at #21 and Classics at #55. Two weeks later, the Marcels had the number one song in the land, and the Classics (now credited on the chart as Herb Lance and the Classics) dropped back to #63.

The Mills Brothers had a top ten single in 1944 with the song Till Then.

The Classics (without Herb) recorded a cover version of the song that peaked at #20 on the Hot 100 in 1963.

That was the group’s last visit to the Hot 100. They split up in 1966.

The group’s manager noticed when a group from Atlanta calling itself The Classics started getting airplay with the song Pollyanna. Contact was made, and after the threat of legal action, the new group changed its name to the Classics IV.

Emil and Jamie began touring with some new members as The Profits in the early seventies before changing their name back to The Classics. The band continued touring on the oldies circuit through at least 2003.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-classics-mn0000063795/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Classics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Marcels

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1969 Dennis Yost and the Classics IV – Everyday With You Girl

1969 Dennis Yost and the Classics IV – Everyday With You Girl

A group called The Classics formed in 1965 in Jacksonville, Florida in 1965. James Cobb played guitar, Walter Eaton played bass, Joe Wilson was on keyboards, and Dennis Yost was their drummer. The group played instrumental covers of popular songs in clubs and Dennis began singing vocals after enough requests from audiences.

Talent agent Alan Diggs became their manager with help from Paul Cochran. Bill Lowery convinced the band to move to Atlanta and helped them get a singles contract with Capitol Records. Joe South wrote the song Pollyanna and Bill produced the song as group’s first single. He played the group Sherry to inspire their performance.

The song became a regional hit and started getting airplay in New York City until WABC played the song. The manager of the Four Seasons called the station and made threats about cutting the station out of future Four Seasons promotions unless they stopped playing the record.

The group also heard from the manager of the Classics, a doo-wop group who had a hit record in 1963 and objected to the use of their name. The band became the Classics IV to end that problem.

They then signed with Imperial Records. Dennis began playing drums standing up so that his singing would be more prominent. The group hired Kim Venable to play the drums so that Dennis could become their frontman full time.

Mike Sharpe and Harry Middlebrooks Jr. wrote the song Spooky. Their instrumental reached #57 in 1967.

Buddy Buie and James wrote lyrics for the song, and Buddy produced a single for the group. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 in late 1967 and has become a popular song at Halloween each year.

Joe left the group, and Dean Daughtry replaced him.

The group’s next two singles did not chart well, but they recovered and had hits with two more songs that were co-written by James and Buddy: Stormy (#5 on the Hot 100 in 1968) and Traces (#2 in 1969).

The group’s last top twenty hit was Everyday With You Girl.

James and Buddy again wrote the song The lyrics of the song, which “borrowed heavily” from the 1936 song Everyday with Jesus (is sweeter than the day before) by Robert C. and Wendell P. Loveless. The group even created a video for the single.

Despite all their hard work, the record peaked at only #19. Their follow-up single stalled at #49, and their next six singles didn’t do that well.

In 1970, James, Buddy, and Dean left to form a group that became the Atlanta Rhythm Section.

The Classics IV became Dennis Yost and the Classics IV. Their only remaining top forty single touched #39 on the Hot 100 in 1972, and the hits came to an end.

Dennis toured for a few years as The Classic One, but eventually regained the ability to tour using the Classics IV name. He died in 2008.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classics_IV
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Yost

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1968 Gene & Debbe – Playboy

1968 Gene & Debbe – Playboy

Gene Thomas grew up in Texas and began recording for United Artists Records. He wrote and sang Sometime, which was the B-side of one of his singles. The record got enough airplay to reach #51 on the Hot 100 in 1961.

Paul Revere and the Raiders covered the song in 1965, probably resulting in some royalties for Gene, but their version only bubbled under the top 100.

A string of singles failed to repeat the success of his first chart record, and Gene retreated to working as a staff songwriter for Acuff-Rose.

In 1965, he met Debbe Neville, and the two of them began recording pop/country duets and eventually got married. Their single Go With Me stalled at #78 in 1967, and Gene then wrote their second single, Playboy. The record peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 in 1968.

They earned a gold record when the single sold over a million copies.

The single was not related to the song Playboy that was a hit for the Marvelettes in 1962.

Gene and Debbe recorded enough additional songs to release an album, but their only other charting single peaked at only #81 and the pair broke up in 1969. They also got divorced.

Debbe struggled to get a solo career going, but to no avail. She also went through two more husbands and quit the music industry after the birth of her daughter in 1983.

Gene returned to a career in songwriting. While he wrote songs that were recorded by several Country artists, he doesn’t appear to have written any more hit records. He died in 2012 because of lung cancer.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/gene-debbe-mn0000802507/biography
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_%26_Debbe

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