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The Marcels were a doo-wop group known for turning American classical pop songs into rock and roll. The group formed in 1959 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and signed to Colpix Records, with lead Cornelius Harp, bass Fred Johnson, Gene Bricker, Ron Mundy, and Richard Knauss. The group was named by Fred Johnson's younger sister Priscilla, after a popular hair style of the day, the marcel wave. In 1961 many were surprised to hear a new version of the ballad "Blue Moon" that began with the bass singer saying, "bomp-baba-bomp" and "dip-da-dip." The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It is featured in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

The disc went to number one in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and UK Singles Chart. In the U.S., additional revivals in the same vein as "Blue Moon" - "Heartaches" and "Melancholy Baby" - were less successful, although "Heartaches" peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold over one million copies worldwide.

In August 1961, due to problems encountered in the Deep South while touring because of the group being bi-racial, the white members, Knauss and Bricker left and were replaced by Allen Johnson (brother of Fred) and Walt Maddox. Mundy left soon after, leaving the group a quartet.

In 1962, Harp and Allen Johnson left, and were replaced by Richard Harris and William Herndon. There was a brief reunion of the original members in 1973. The group made several recordings in 1975 with Harp back on lead. Original member Gene Bricker died in 1983. Allen Johnson died in 1995. By the early 1990s the group included Johnson, Maddox, Harris, Jules Hopson, and Richard Merritt.

The group split around 1995. Fred Johnson formed his own group with new members, while the other four members recruited new bassist Ted Smith. Maddox won a lawsuit against Sunny James Svetnic, the manager of Johnson's group, for trademark infringement in 1996.(citation needed) Johnson reunited with Harp, Mundy, and Knauss in 1999 for the PBS special Doo Wop 50.


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Marcels : Summertime : 00  1 CD :  : 7030

Marcels : Summertime

Review: Beginning with this mixed (three black & two white) group's initial success with 'Blue Moon,' which was #1 on the Pop and R&B charts in 1961 (displacing none other than Elvis), the Marcels carved out an unmistakeable niche in the annals of pop history. It is their 'bomp baba bomp...da dang da dang, da ding a dong ding' bass intro, heard on 'Zoom,' 'That Lucky Old Sun' and others that is forever in the ear of every doo-wop audience, casual or otherwise. 'Blue Moon' is not on this CD, but pretty much of the rest of the Marcels recorded output is; like many other groups, personnel departed more consistently than they remained, so some cuts are stronger than others. Signature songs such as 'Summertime,' 'Over The Rainbow,' 'Sunday Kind Of Love' and 'I Put The Bomp' display a flair and musicality a cut above the average and are terrific R & B tinged doo-wop.

Songlist: Zoom, A Sunday Kind of Love, Teeter Totter Love, Over The Rainbow, I Could Have Danced All Night, Summertime, Where There's A Will, Why Do You Have To Go, I Put The Bomp, That Lucky Old Sun, You Gave Me Peace Of Mind, Spanish Harlem, Save The Last Dance For Me, I'll Be Forever Loving You, Two People In The World, Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart, Got A Job, Stormy Weather, When I'm With You, For Your Precious Love, That Lucky Old Sun, Close Your Eyes, Soul Dinner, You Gave Me Peace Of Mind

8815c | 00 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella

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