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The Hollywood Argyles were a doo wop band assembled by producer/songwriter Kim Fowley, a student at University High School in West Los Angeles. They had a number one hit record, "Alley Oop" (Lute 5905 [1][2]), in 1960, then faded into obscurity.

According to Gary Paxton – who, at the time, was half of Skip & Flip ("It Was I", "Cherry Pie") – "Alley Oop" was written by Dallas Frazier as a country tune:

"As for the name, Kim Fowley and I were living in a $15-a-week room in Hollywood.... Since I was still under contract (to Brent Records) as 'Flip,'[3] I couldn't put my name on 'Alley Oop.' Seeing that the studio was on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. And Argyle Street, I decided on Hollywood Argyles."

"Other than myself, there were no actual Hollywood Argyles. Everyone else on the track was either a friend or a studio musician who I paid $25 apiece for the session. When 'Alley Oop' suddenly took off and people wanted to book us for concerts, there was no such group." [4]

The "Alley Oop" session was produced by Kim Fowley; the already famous Sandy Nelson was the, uh, percussionist.[4]

"... Sandy Nelson ruefully recalled: all the participants were hopelessly drunk on cider by the time they recorded the song...."[5]

According to Jerry Osborne, two other groups (Dante and the Evergreens (Madison 130)(US #15)) and the Dyna-Sores (Rendezvous 120)(US#59))[6] had a version of "Alley Oop" on the charts at the same time.[4][7]

Contents

Notes

Frazier is perhaps best known for the song "There Goes My Everything," a hit song for Jack Greene in 1966 and Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967. Frazier also wrote and recorded "Elvira" which became a 1981 country hit for the Oak Ridge Boys[8][9]

The lead vocalist on the track "Alley Oop" is Norm Davis. He was paid a one-time fee of $25 for his work on the single. He is currently a poet in Rochester, New York.

Paxton later formed Garpax Records[7][10] and became a gospel artist.[11]

Fowley soon produced The Murmaids' 1963 hit "Popsicles and Icicles" (US #3).[12] He also helped bring together the all-girl Runaways in 1975 [12], as well as The Orchids (not the Glaswegians, but another American all-girl band)[13][14]

"Alley Oop" was the first song played on WLS-AM Radio in Chicago on May 2, 1960, when it changed format from farm programming to rock 'n roll.

Ted Winters, a bass player currently living in San Pedro, California, performed on the original recording, possibly playing a jug.

Gary Paxton recalls it a bit differently on his website.[15]

Discography

  • "Alley-Oop" / "Sho Know A Lot About Love" (1960, Lute 5905)
  • "Gun Totin' Critter Named Jack"* / "The Bug Eyed Man" (1960, Lute 5908)
  • "Hully Gully" / "So Fine" (1960, Lute 6002)
  • "You've Been Torturing Me"* / "The Grubble" (1961, Paxley 752; credit: Gary Paxton And The Hollywood Argyles)
  • "Long-Hair-Unsquare Dude Called Jack" / "Ole" (1965, Chatahoochie 691)
  • "Alley Oop '66" / "Do the Funky Foot" (1966, Kammy 105)

— * Note: some songs are covers of Four Young Men ( e.g. Crest 1076) [16]

References

  1. ^ flickr.comphoto of 45
  2. ^ kavelinmusic.com, Lute Records
  3. ^ rockabilly.nl
  4. ^ a b c Ask “Mr. Music” - Jerry Osborne
  5. ^ []Charlie Gillett, The sound of the city: the rise of rock and roll. Da Capo Press, 1996, pp. 104-5]
  6. ^ Mitch Rosalsky, Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups. Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, p. 74ISBN 081084592X
    "Jimmy Norman teamed up with H.B. Barnum and Ty Terrell (Robins). This group was the Dyna-Sores and they recorded on Rendezvous 120."
  7. ^ a b Joel Whitburn, The Billboard book of top 40 hits. Billboard Books, 2004. 8th edition, p 281.
  8. ^ Paul Kingsbury, The encyclopedia of country music. Sourcebooks, Inc., 2004, p.182
  9. ^ Dallas Frazier
  10. ^ Garpax discography (partial?)
  11. ^ Gary S. Paxton. "Testimony - Partial - Less Than - (About Two Per-Cent of It)". Garyspaxton.net. http://www.garyspaxton.net/Testimony/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-28.  
  12. ^ a b spectropop.com, Interview with Kim Foley
  13. ^ lostinthegrooves.com
    The 1980 album 'The Orchids' was released on MCA Records as MCA-3235. Lead vocalist: Jan King.
  14. ^ see also myspace.com/theorchids1979
  15. ^ Gary Paxton
  16. ^ Four Young Men
  • Joel Whitburn. "Top 40 Hits". ISBN 0-8230-8280-6.
  • Steve Propes. "Golden Goodies". ISBN 0-8019-6220-X

External links

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