Surprising how many of my favs were recorded by tiney indie labels who ended up selling the masters to one of the big boys. First heard the word doo wop on a Johnny Moran pirate radio show, Radio North Sea International I think which could be heard in North Wales during the clear summer evenings, most of my collection was classic uptempo rock n roll/rockabilly leavend with some Cruisin albums. One he played regularly was the great one hit wonder One Summer Night by the Danleers. For years, my only copy was the song taped off the radio, before buying a repro in London on a visit to see Swansea play West Ham, always handy for Moondog's shop.
Bill Lasley's Amp 3 record label started in summer of 57, a white vocal groupthe Vox poppers recorded Wishing For Your Love(recorded by the Clovers on their final Atlantic session). It became a small sleeper hit for Amp3, making the top 50 after their masters were bought out by Mercury. Mercury kept their eye on the label. The Danleers were a black street corner group from Brooklyn,their break came when manager/songwriter danny Webb took them under his wing, naming them after his Christian name. They recorded a split session with Pearl Galloway (also a Webb wanabee) at a Lasley leased studio. The Danleers recorded the uptempo Wheelin' n Dealin' before attempting a whistful ballad penned by Webb. Lead singer Jimmy Weston's gave his all from the spine chilling split syllable intro onwards. This memorable intro/hook would grab the attention of djs and listeners alike. The wax span around evoking hot romantic nights before the dreaded John and Olivia were let loose on the world. The rest of the group and the sparse instrumentation all provided a nice under stated bedrock for Jimmy to soar and soar again with the now classic One Summer Night.
Hit record, easy as falling off a long, buy some suits and a caddy, dream of a new home for mom n pop, a long hit laden caeer in show biz beckons, er no actually.Amp 3 released the disc in May 58 (originally mis labelled as by the Dandleers on early pressings),it hit locally in Brooklyn and NY. Mercury picked up the buzz, remembering the Voxpoppers success,then bought up the Danleers and successfully promoted it into the national top 10 in the lazy, crazy and hazy days of the summer of 58. Ten weeks in the charts before the kids returned to school and turkeys became nervous.
Follow ups flopped, the Platters hit big again on Mercury with Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and the Mercury promo machine left Brooklyn, Atlantic added strings to the Drifters and styles changed again. Despite frequent summer revivals on the airwaves the Danleers never graced the charts again, joining fellow 58 one hit wonders like The Silhouettes, Robin Luke, The Elegants, The Shields and The Monotones. These acts like the Danleers, made some tv shows, played a few big package shows before returning to their neighbourhoods and mumbling "I Was a contender Johnny" to anyone who listened, baffled by some of the banal stuff that made the charts in 59/60/61. Mercury poured salt on the wound by promoting the Diamonds cover into the top 30 in 61, taking advantage of the regular plays the original had during each summer holiday.
Our heroes had had their shot at the brass ring and remain a staple on oldies radio. Bear family have duly collated their biggie and failed follow ups on Mercury and their fading career on Epic, Everest and back on Mercury subsidiary Smash in 64 on the neat One Summer Night cd, well worth checking out if you've a mind to. Good detailled booklet as per usual. In the late 80s they reformed and sang at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.
Their BF album often brightens the dark Welsh winter gloom and is one of my all time doo wop favs.
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