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 Hamilton record label, they were found by songwriters Artie Zwirn and Aristides "Gino" Giosasi, who wrote the song "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)". In 1959 disc jockey Alan Freed heard the group, added his name as a writer of the song, and got them a deal with 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.
Joe "Speedo" Frazier died on April 2, 2014.