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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Little Anthony and the Imperials - Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop

On this day September 29, 1959 Little Anthony and the Imperials recorded "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop."


Little Anthony and the Imperials is a rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop vocal group from NewYork, first active in the 1950s. Lead singer Jerome Anthony "Little Anthony" Gourdine was noted for his high-pitched falsetto voice influenced by Jimmy Scott. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009.

Changing their name to the Imperials, they signed with End Records in 1958. Their first single was "Tears on My Pillow", which was an instant hit. (While playing this song, D.J. Alan Freed came up with the name "Little Anthony".) The B-side, "Two Kinds of People", was also a hit. The group followed up with "Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop" in 1960.
Debuted on the CHUM (Canada) chart in Feb 1960, peaked at #20 & charted for 5 weeks

Debuted on the Billboard pop chart on Dec 7, 1959, peaked at #24 (in 1960) & charted for 16 weeks

Debuted on the Billboard R&B chart on Jan 18, 1960, peaked at #14 & charted for 10 weeks

When their success dwindled in 1961, Little Anthony left to attempt a solo career. Some members left, and the line-up then became Collins, Wright, Sammy Strain, and George Kerr. Kerr was replaced by Kenny Seymour after a short time. This line-up had little success.

Little Anthony returned in 1963, replacing Seymour. The group's
classic line-up -- Gourdine, Ernest Wright, Clarence Collins, and Sammy Strain -- was now complete. With the help of record producer/songwriter Teddy Randazzo (a childhood friend of the group), the Imperials found success on the new DCP (Don Costa Productions) label with the dramatic pop-soul records "I'm On The Outside (Looking In)" (1964), "Goin' Out Of My Head" (1964), "Hurt So Bad" (1965), "I Miss You So" (1965), "Take Me Back" (1965), "Hurt" (1966), and "Out of Sight, Out Of Mind" (1969).

Post Script: I couldn't use my mono version as it was too scratchy so I had to use a compilation stereo version instead.

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