The Dixie Cups

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The Dixie Cups
The Dixie Cups at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, 2006
Background information
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana
Genres Rhythm and blues, Pop
Years active 1964–present
Labels Red Bird
ABC Records
Website The Dixie Cups' official site
Members Barbara Ann Hawkins
Rosa Lee Hawkins
Athelgra Neville Gabriel
Past members Joan Marie Johnson
Beverly Brown
Dale Mickle

The Dixie Cups are an American pop music girl group of the 1960s. They are best known for their 1964 million-selling record "Chapel of Love".


The group hit the top of the charts in 1964 with "Chapel of Love," a song that Phil Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich had originally written for The Ronettes.[1] The trio consisted of sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins; plus their cousin Joan Marie Johnson, from the Calliope housing project in New Orleans. They first sang together in grade school. Originally they were to be called Little Miss and the Muffets, but were named the Dixie Cups just prior to their first release.[2]

By 1963 the trio had decided to pursue a career in music and began singing locally as the Meltones. Within a year Joe Jones, a successful singer in his own right with the Top Five 1960 single "You Talk Too Much," became their manager.[3] After working with them for five months, Jones took them to New York, where record producers/songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller signed them to their new Red Bird Records.[1]

Their first release, "Chapel of Love," proved to be their biggest hit, although they had other hits with "People Say" (#12, 1964), "You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me" (#39, 1964), "Iko Iko" (#20, 1965), and "Little Bell" (#51, 1965).[4] "Chapel of Love" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[5]

"Iko Iko", a New Orleans R&B standard, was recorded in 1964 but later was released as a single early in 1965. Barbara Hawkins had heard her grandmother sing the song, first recorded in 1953 as "Jock-a-Mo" by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford. Barbara Hawkins: "We were just clowning around with it during a session using drumsticks on ashtrays. We didn't realize that Jerry and Mike had the tapes running". Leiber and Stoller overdubbed a bassline and percussion, and released it. It was The Dixie Cups' fifth and last hit.

In 1965, the Dixie Cups moved to the ABC-Paramount record label before a recording hiatus in 1967 temporarily halted their careers. In 1969 the Hawkins sisters moved from New York to New Orleans, where Rosa Hawkins began a successful modelling career. Both Rosa and Barbara also worked as make-up artists. They continued to tour and make personal appearances, with another New Orleans singer Beverly Brown replacing Joan Johnson who became a Jehovah's Witness and abandoned her music career.[2] Brown who had recorded two solo discs in the early 1960s stayed as the third member until the early 80s when she became ill and was replaced by Dale Mickle.

In 1987, the song "Chapel of Love" appearred in the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana, flooding and flattening most of New Orleans and displacing Barbara and Rosa Hawkins, who subsequently relocated to Florida. Joan Johnson relocated to Texas.

In April 2007, The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame honored The Dixie Cups for their contributions to Louisiana music by inducting them into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

The Dixie Cups continue to perform and make personal appearances. The current line-up consists of the same Hawkins sisters along with Athelgra Neville, sister of the singing Neville Brothers.



  • "Chapel of Love" / "Ain't That Nice" (1964) Red Bird Records / U.S. Chart (Billboard) #1[6] UK #22
  • "People Say" / "Girls Can Tell" (1964) Red Bird/ U.S. Chart (Billboard) #12[6] R&B #7[7]
  • "You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me" / "No True Love" (1964) Red Bird/ U.S. Chart (Billboard) #39[6]
  • "Little Bell" / "Another Boy Like Mine" (1964) Red Bird/ U.S. Chart (Billboard) #51[6] R&B #21[8]
  • "Iko Iko" / "I'm Gonna Get You Yet" (1965) Red Bird / U.S. Chart (Billboard) #20[6] R&B #20[9] UK # 23
  • "Iko Iko" / "Gee, Baby, Gee" (1965) Red Bird/ U.S. Chart (Billboard) #20
  • "Gee, The Moon Is Shining Bright" / "I'm Gonna Get You Yet" (1965) Red Bird / U.S. Billboard #102[6]
  • "That's Where It's At" / "Two-Way-Poc-A-Way" (1965) ABC-Paramount Records /Written by Harold Fedison
  • "I'm Not The Kind Of Girl (To Marry)" / "What Goes Up Must Come Down" (1965) ABC-Paramount Records
  • "A-B-C Song" / "That's What The Kids Said" (1965) ABC-Paramount Records
  • "Love Ain't So Bad (After All)" / "Daddy Said No" (1966) ABC Records


  • Chapel of Love (1964) Red Bird Records/ Billboard 200 #112[10]
  • Riding High (1965) ABC-Paramount Records
  • Doing It Our Way (2011) Iri Records


  • The Best Of The Dixie Cups (1985) Back-Trac Records

Original group members[edit]

  • Barbara Ann Hawkins (born October 23, 1943)[11]
  • Rosa Lee Hawkins (born September 24, 1944)
  • Joan Marie Johnson (born January 15, 1945)


  1. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard's Hot 100 from 1955 to the Present (5 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 149. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6.
  2. ^ a b Dillon, Charlotte. The Dixie Cups at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Presents Across The Charts: The 1960s (first ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p.119.
  4. ^ The Dixie Cups // Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-28.
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 173–174. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 282.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Presents Across The Charts: The 1960s (first ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p.119.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Presents Across The Charts: The 1960s (first ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p.119.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Presents Across The Charts: The 1960s (first ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p.119.
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). Top Pop Albums 1955-1996 (4 ed.). Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation. p. 222. ISBN 0-89820-117-9.
  11. ^ Barbara Anne Hawkins at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-09-28.

External links[edit]