The Edsels

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The Edsels
OriginCampbell, Ohio, United States
Years active1957–1963
LabelsDub Records, Twin Records, Roulette Records, Tammy Records, Capitol Records
MembersMaurice Jones
Danny Friendly
Past membersJames Reynolds
George 'Wydell' Jones
Marshall Sewell
Larry Green
Harry Green
Emmett Perkins II

The Edsels were an American doo-wop group active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The name of the group was originally The Essos, after the oil company, but was changed to match the then-new Ford automobile, the Edsel. They recorded over 25 songs and had multiple performances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. The Edsels were one of the few doo-wop groups to sign with a major record label, as most groups of that era found success with small independent labels; before their national hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong", songs like "What Brought Us Together", "Bone Shaker Joe" and "Do You Love Me" helped the group land a major recording contract with Capitol Records in 1961.

Today the group is known almost exclusively for "Rama Lama Ding Dong", written by lead singer George "Wydell" Jones Jr. The song was recorded in 1957 and released, under the erroneous title "Lama Rama Ding Dong", in 1958. It did not become popular until 1961, after a disc jockey in New York City began to play it as a segue from the Marcels' doo-wop version of "Blue Moon". The song eventually became popular throughout the US, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is the official goal song of German soccer club VfL Wolfsburg.

The group continues to perform today. In addition, James Reynolds performs with his five sons Jeff, Baron, Patrick, Chris and Carlise (as the Reynolds Brothers).[1] That group released an album, The Reynolds Brothers, featuring songs written by James and fellow Edsels member George Jones.

Songwriter George Jones died in September 2008.[2]

Marshall Sewell died of esophageal cancer on June 5, 2013 at the age of 75.[2]

Emmett T. Perkins II died in February 2014 at the age of 75. [3]


Influence of the song "Rama Lama Ding Dong"[edit]

  • A cover version of the song was performed on The Muppet Show once: in Episode 89 (or season 4, episode 17), the episode that also had Mark Hamill, C-3PO, R2-D2 and Chewbacca from Star Wars as guests, a shepherd, his sheep and his girl perform the song.
  • British rock'n'roll band Showaddywaddy covered the song on their album The Very Best Of Showaddywaddy.
  • Rocky Sharpe and the Replays covered the song in 1979.
  • Serbian doo wop band Vampiri covered the song in 1991.
  • Barry Mann cowrote a song called "Who Put the Bomp" in 1961, in which he sings about his girl falling in love with him after listening to some doo-wop style songs with their recognizable nonsense lyrics. In the song he asks the question, who put the ram in the 'Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong'.
  • "Rama Lama Ding Dong" is heard in the Grease song "We Go Together".
  • "Rama Lama Ding Dong" is heard in the film Children of a Lesser God and is used by the character James Leeds (William Hurt) to teach his class of hearing-impaired teenagers.
  • "Rama Lama Ding Dong" is played in many German ice rinks when the local team scores, as well as by Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg.
  • Le Tigre's song "Deceptacon" featured the lyrics "Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?"
  • The song featured in the title sequence of an episode of Love/Hate
  • "Rama Lama Ding Dong" is parodied as "La canción de la vieja l'visillo" by Spanish comedian José Mota in one episode of his TV show.
  • On July 2, 2013, British national newspaper The Sun used the headline "Ramadan A Ding Dong" after Channel 4 broadcast a controversial Muslim call to prayer.[7]


  1. ^ "The Reynolds Brothers | The Reynolds Brothers | CD Baby Music Store". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  2. ^ a b c Grant Segall (June 7, 2013). "Marshall Sewell sang bass for the Edsels and patrolled Cleveland streets: news obituary". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Tributes". The Vindicator.
  4. ^ "Youngstown News, Youngstown singer-songwriter George Jones of The Edsels dies". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  5. ^ "Marshall Sewell". The Vindicator. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2013 January to June". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  7. ^ Beal, James (2013-07-02). "Channel 4 plans to screen Muslim call to prayer every day during Ramadam – as it's 'more relevant' than Diamond Jubilee | The Sun |News". The Sun. Retrieved 2014-07-03.

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