The Playmates

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The "Beep, Beep" record cover

The Playmates were a late 1950s vocal group, led by the pianist Chic Hetti (born Carl Cicchetti, 26 February 1930), drummer; Donny Conn (born Donald Claps, 29 March 1930); and Morey Carr (born 31 July 1932), all from Waterbury, Connecticut.

Career[edit]

The Playmates, Donald Claps (a/k/a Donny Conn) drummer and lyricist, Carl Cicchetti (a/k/a Chic Hetti) pianist music composer and Morey Cohen (a/k/a Morey Carr) lead vocalist were an instrumental and vocal trio all from Waterbury Connecticut and in the early-1950s at the University of Connecticut, After graduation began touring The USA and Canada small lounges and night clubs in 1952 originally as the "Nitwits" later as the Playmates.

Signed to Roulette Records in 1958 as the label's first vocal group,[1] Anticapting a Calypso craze the group recorded an album called Playmates Visit the West Indies. They then released two notable top 40 singles — "Jo-Ann" and "Don't Go Home" — before having a surprise #4 hit (July 9, 1958) with the tempo-changing novelty record "Beep, Beep"[2] - which became a regular spin for Dr. Demento.

The "Beep, Beep" song was on the Billboard Top 40 chart for twelve weeks. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[3] Concurrently with this song, American Motors (AMC) was setting production and sales records for the Rambler models.[4] Because of a directive by the BBC that songs do not include brand names in its lyrics, a version of "Beep Beep" was recorded for the European market replacing the Cadillac and Nash Rambler with the generic terms limousine and bubble car.

They followed up with a chart listing single in 1959 with "What Is Love" and then again in 1960 with "Wait For Me".[5] After four albums for Roulette, the novelty group — which was known for its between-song comedy and banter as much for its repertoire — broke up in 1965. Morey Carr passed away from lung cancer in 1987.

Discography[edit]

Charted Singles (U.S.) / 45 rpm.

(Release Month/Year), Title, (Label), Billboard Chart peak

  • (January, 1958), "Jo-Ann" (Roulette), #19
  • (April, 1958), "Let's Be Lovers" (Roulette), #87
  • (June, 1958), "Don't Go Home" (Roulette), #22
  • (September, 1958), "The Day I Died" (Roulette), #81
  • (November, 1958), "Beep Beep" (Roulette), #4
  • (March, 1959), "Star Love" (Roulette), #75
  • (July, 1959), "What Is Love" (Roulette), #15
  • (October, 1960), "Wait for Me" (Roulette), #37
  • (March, 1961), "Little Miss Stuck-Up" (Roulette), #70
  • (July, 1962), "Keep Your Hands in Your Pockets" (Roulette), #88

Most Popular LP

Side one[edit]

  1. "Jo-Ann" – 2:35
  2. "Your Love" – 2:09
  3. "Darling It’s Wonderful" – 2:35
  4. "Substitute for Love" – 2:13
  5. "Magic Shoes" – 2:10
  6. "While the Record Goes Around" – 2:10

Side two[edit]

  1. "Beep Beep" – 3:01
  2. "The Day I Died" – 2:20
  3. "Give Me Another Chance" – 2:25
  4. "Lovable" – 2:16
  5. "Intimate" – 2:20
  6. "Don’t Go Home" – 2:30

References[edit]

  1. ^ Warner, Jay (2006), American Singing Groups: a history from 1940 to today, Hal Leonard Corporation, pp. 278–279, ISBN 978-0-634-09978-6 .
  2. ^ Lyrics Sniff.numachi.com
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 106. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  4. ^ "Rambler in High Gear", Time, 1958-12-08 retrieved on 2009-12-15.
  5. ^ Rubin's Rock N Roll Discography Index