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The O'Kaysions are an American pop / blue-eyed soul group originally from Wilson, North Carolina. Today, they are known as Beach Music artists. The group first formed under the name The Kays in 1959, and scored a Top 10 hit in the U.S. in 1968 with the tune "Girl Watcher" (#5 Pop, #6 R&B). The song was first released on a local record label under the production of John I Whitfield, North State, before being released nationally by ABC Records. "Girl Watcher" received gold record status for a million sales from the R.I.A.A. in December 1968. It was their only major hit, and they released their full length album in 1969 entitled The O'Kaysions on the ABC label. In 1987, the song was reworked as "I'm A Wheel Watcher" and was used to promote the TV game show, Wheel of Fortune (as well as its French-Canadian and New Zealand versions). This reworked version was performed by Kool & the Gang.
Since the song was recorded at Pitt Sound Studio, Greenville, NC, a budget studio, the master tape is missing. A needle-drop of The North State single was used by ABC to create the nationally released hit single. That "master" is now the property of MCA Records and is leased to other record labels. The group still receives royalties from MCA.
The group still performs today with a different line-up. Wayne Pittman is the only original member remaining active in the band. He also serves as the manager of the group.
In November 2003, the original line-up reunited for a one-time show at the Alabama Theater in Myrtle Beach, SC, where they received a CBMA Hall of Fame Award. It was the first time the original members had played together since the end of 1968.
Original band members
- Donnie Weaver - vocals, organ
- Wayne Pittman - guitar
- Eddie Dement - trumpet
- Gerald Toler - saxophone
- Jimmy Hinnant - bass
- Steve Watson - drums
- MurrellI, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 245. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Biography, Allmusic.com
- "Official Website of The O'Kaysions - Hit Single "Girl Watcher"". Theokaysions.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- Donnie Weaver, personal email, dated 06-09-2011
- Billboard, Allmusic.com
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