The group formed in 1958 in Brooklyn, New York, and was composed of lead singer Joe "Speedo" Frazier (born September 5, 1943), Richard Wagner, Lenny Renda, and Tony Carlucci. They were a racially integrated group - Frazier was the only black member.
They recorded for the small Hamilton record label, before they were discovered by songwriters and promoters Artie Zwirn and Aristides "Gino" Giosasi, who had written the song "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)". Early in 1959 disc jockey Alan Freed heard the group, added his name to the writing credits for the song, and secured them a deal with the MGM Records subsidiary label Cub. The record reached #2 on the U.S. pop chart, #14 on the R&B chart, and #28 in the UK Singles Chart. The song sold over one million copies earning gold disc status.
The group recorded follow-ups including "Oh What A Fool," and an album for Cub, and one further single for the 20th Century label, before disbanding in 1961. Frazier went on to sing with Love's Own in 1973, and in 1980 resurrected the Impalas as a touring act.