The Dovells

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The Dovells in 1962.

The Dovells were an American music group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name 'The Brooktones'. The members were Arnie Silver, Mark Gordesky, Len Borisoff (better known as Len Barry), Jerry Gross, Mike Freda and Jim Mealey (alias Danny Brooks). Their first single was "No, No, No", which was a minor local hit for The Brooktones, who soon broke up. Summers and Dennis left the group, forming The Gems with Mark Stevens and Alan Horowitz in 1960. The remaining Brooktones signed to the Parkway record label and added Jerry Serlen and William Shunkwiler to the group, while changing the band's name to The Dovells.

Their first hit was "Bristol Stomp", a dance song with the lead vocal on that and all other Dovells hits sung by Len Barry. This was followed by the similar hit "Do the New Continental" (featured in the John Waters movie Hairspray for a minute). "Bristol Stomp" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] They appeared performing both songs in the Chubby Checker movie Don't Knock The Twist in 1961. They released a series of singles over the next few years. These included "You Can't Sit Down", a #3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. Len Borisoff left in 1965 for a solo career under the name Len Barry. The high point of his solo career was "1-2-3" in 1965.

The Dovells released "If You Wanna Be Happy" on the album You Can't Sit Down in 1963. The song was previously released by Jimmy Soul earlier that year and based on the song "Ugly Woman" by Roaring Lion released in 1934.

The Dovells continued as a trio, and recorded as The Magistrates for MGM in 1968. As the Magistrates they recorded the chart hit "Here Comes the Judge," taking advantage of the popularity of the skit of the TV show Laugh-In.

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Year Title Chart positions
1961 "Bristol Stomp" 2 7
1962 "(Do The New) Continental" 37
"Bristol Twistin' Annie" 27 28
"Hully Gully Baby" 25
"The Jitter Bug" 82
1963 "You Can't Sit Down" 3 10
"Betty In Bermudas" 50
"Stop Monkeyin' Aroun'" 94 28
1974 "Dancing in the Street" 105


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 134. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 

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