LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS, THE CRYSTALS & THE MARCELS
Little Anthony and the Imperials are an American rhythm and blues/soul/doo-wop vocal group from New York, 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 one of the very few doo-wop groups to maintain success on the R&B and pop charts well throughout the 1960s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009, 23 years after the group’s first year of eligibility for induction.
Over the decades, in a measure of their profound influence, several of The Imperials’ hit songs have been covered by numerous other artists of many different musical genres.
• Hurt So Bad, an Imperials’ Top Ten smash, was covered by Linda Ronstadt, as well as The Lettermen, and The Delfonics.
• I’m on the Outside (Looking In), a Top 20 hit for the Imperials, has been covered by The Miracles, Johnny Mathis, Amy Winehouse, The Lettermen, and The Jaggerz.
• Tears on My Pillow, the Imperials’ first million-selling hit, has been covered by Bobby Vee, Lou Christie, Martha and the Vandellas, Bobby Vinton, Neil Sedaka, Reba McEntire, Lorrie Morgan, Kylie Minogue, and The Fleetwoods.
• Goin’ Out of My Head, another Top 10 hit and a Little Anthony and the Imperials’ signature song, has had over 50 different cover versions by other artists, including The Delfonics, Vic Damone, Petula Clark, Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66, Ella Fitzgerald, Lou Christie, The Lettermen, Frank Sinatra, and The Miracles.
When Phil Spector discovered The Crystals, not one was yet out of high school. Their first recording, There’s No Other (Like My Baby) was also their first hit which catapulted them straight to the Apollo theatre. They continued their successful recordings with five more records: Uptown, He’s A Rebel, He’s Sure The Boy I Love, Da Doo Ron Ron, and Then He Kissed Me.
The Marcels are, as advertised, the guys who put the “Bomp” in the “Bomp-A-Bomp” back in 1961 when their first recording, Blue Moon, sold over two and a half million copies. The Marcels can boast of three record albums and numerous hit singles with sales in the millions. They also recorded The Greatest Love, the theme song for the motion picture The Interns and appeared with Chubby Checker in the film Twist Around The Clock. Their signature song, Blue Moon, has been used in at least four major motion pictures and various TV shows.
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