The Pixies Three
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2010)|
Having performed in local shows since 1955, the Hanover, Pennsylvania trio of Midge Bollinger (lead vocals), Kaye McCool (low vocals), and Debra Swisher (high vocals) were signed to Mercury Records in 1963 by producers/songwriters John Madara and Dave White, who had discovered the group at a show in Philadelphia (among the group’s previous successes were two appearances on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour).
Their first single, "Birthday Party" was a big success regionally and made the Top 40 nationally (The b-side, "Our Love" was written by Kaye). After their second single, “442 Glenwood Avenue" / "Cold, Cold Winter” (in which both made the charts), Midge Bollinger left the group and was replaced by Bonnie Long, who assumed the high vocals while Debby Swisher became the new lead vocalist. The first single by the revamped line-up was a cover of The Crows’ 1954 R&B hit " Gee". This was followed by their debut album, Party With The Pixies Three, an early rock and roll concept album based on a Friday after-school party. The album did not chart, but it has become an often sought-after item amongst record collectors.
The girls' fourth single caused a bit of controversy upon its release. "The Hootch" (with live audience dubbed in) was intended to be a new dance concept. However, it was revealed that "hootch" was a slang term for "booze", so disc jockeys started playing the B-side, "It’s Summertime U.S.A", which became the A-side.
The Pixies Three continued into 1965 with two more singles, "Orphan Boy" and "Your Way". A few unreleased demos followed, then the girls graduated high school and went their separate ways. The following year, lead singer Swisher made a solo single: a cover of The Beach Boys’ “You’re So Good To Me”, backed with a cover of The Angels’ “Thank You And Goodnight”. Ironically, she joined The Angels shortly thereafter, replacing Toni Mason as lead vocalist.
In 1991, The Pixies Three performed for the first time in twenty five years at their high school reunion. This led to a "second run" for the girls which lasted until 2010, releasing six CD's and performing several times a year in and around their hometown as well as Ohio, New England, and along the Atlantic coast. Three years later in June 2013, the original trio of Debby Swisher Horn, Kaye McCool Krebs and Midge Bollinger Neel reunited in their hometown for its 250th Anniversary celebration as well as the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Hanover and the 50th anniversary of their first single "Birthday Party".
Members (1955-1965, 1991-2010)
- Midge (Bollinger) Neel (1955-1964, 2000-2010 - born December 29 in Hanover, PA)
- Bonnie (Long) Walker (1964-1965, 1991-2010 - born September 6 in Hanover, PA)
- Kaye (McCool) Krebs (1955-1965, 1991-2010 - born October 1 in Uniontown, PA)
- Debra (Swisher) Horn (1955-1965, 1991-2000 - born February 26 in Hanover, PA)
- "Sincerely" / "Graduation Time" (Reco-Art Sound acetate, unreleased, shown as "The Pixies")
- "I Don't Care" / "Tell Me" (Reco-Art Sound acetate, unreleased, shown as "The Pixies")
- "Birthday Party" (Mercury 72130 - Autumn 1963 - Billboard #40, Cashbox #48 - B-side: "Our Love")
- "442 Glenwood Avenue" / "Cold, Cold Winter" (Mercury 72208 - Winter 1963-64 - A-side Billboard #56, Cashbox #51 - B-side Billboard #79)
- "Gee" (Mercury 72250 - Spring 1964 - Billboard #87, Cashbox #79 - B-side: "After The Party")
- "The Hootch" / "It's Summertime U.S.A." (Mercury 72288 - Summer 1965 - B-side Billboard #116)
- "Orphan Boy" / "Love Walked In" (Mercury 72331 - Autumn 1964)
- "Your Way" / "Love Me, Love Me" (Mercury 72357 - Winter 1965)
- Party With The Pixies Three (Mercury MG-20912 (Mono)/SR-60912 (Stereo) - Winter 1964)
- Now And Then (1995)
- Vintage Pixies (Originally released Winter 1999, re-released with different cover in Summer 2000)
- Our History (2001)
- Tribute To The Girl Groups (2001)
- 40 Years...and counting (2003)
- Dance The Night Away (2005)