The Hollywood Argyles

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The Hollywood Argyles were an American musical ensemble, assembled for studio recordings by the producer and songwriter Kim Fowley and his friend and fellow musician Gary S. Paxton. They had a US number one hit record, "Alley Oop"[1] (Lute Records 5905),[2][3] in 1960.

"Alley Oop"[edit]

According to Paxton—who, at the time, was half of Skip & Flip—"Alley Oop" was written by Dallas Frazier[4] as a country tune:

"As for the name, Kim Fowley and I were living in a $15-a-week room in Hollywood. ... Since I was still under contract (to Brent Records) as 'Flip,' I couldn't put my name on 'Alley Oop.' Seeing that the studio was on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Argyle Street, I decided on Hollywood Argyles. Other than myself, there were no actual Hollywood Argyles. Everyone else on the track was either a friend or a studio musician who I paid $25 apiece for the session. When 'Alley Oop' suddenly took off and people wanted to book us for concerts, there was no such group."[5]

The "Alley Oop" session was produced by Fowley, who recalled that "all the participants were hopelessly drunk on cider by the time they recorded the song."[6] According to some reports, the lead vocalist on the track "Alley Oop" is Norm Davis,[7] although the voice on the record has been identified as a match with other recordings sung by Paxton from the same era, such as "Spookie Movies".[8]

According to Paxton, the group consisted of Ronnie Silico on drums, Gaynel Hodge on piano, Harper Cosby on bass, and Sandy Nelson (of "Teen Beat" fame) playing percussion on tambourine and a garbage can. Nelson also provided background screams in the song. The background singers included Dallas Frazier, Buddy Mize, Scott Turner, and a woman named Diane.[5]

"Alley Oop" was the first song played on WLS-AM Radio in Chicago on May 2, 1960, when it changed format from farm programming to rock and roll.

"Alley Oop" charted for 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number one for the week of July 11, 1960.[1] The song sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.[4]

Other versions[edit]

According to Jerry Osborne, two other groups—Dante and the Evergreens (Madison 130) and the Dyna-Sores (Rendezvous 120)[9]—had versions of "Alley Oop" on the Billboard charts at the same time, peaking at No. 15 and No. 59, respectively.[5][10]

Later activities[edit]

Frazier is perhaps best known for writing the song "There Goes My Everything", a hit song for Jack Greene in 1966 and Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967. Frazier also wrote and recorded "Elvira", which became a 1981 country hit for the Oak Ridge Boys.[11][12]

Paxton later formed Garpax Records[10][13] and became a gospel artist.[14]

Fowley soon produced the Murmaids' 1963 hit "Popsicles and Icicles" (US No. 3).[15] He also helped bring together the Runaways in 1975,[15] as well as the Orchids (not the Scottish band, but another American all-female band).[16] Their 1980 album, The Orchids, was released on MCA Records as MCA-3235.

Discography[edit]

  • "Alley Oop" / "Sho Know a Lot About Love" (1960, Lute 5905)
  • "Gun Totin' Critter Named Jack" / "The Bug Eyed Man" (1960, Lute 5908)
  • "Hully Gully" / "So Fine" (1960, Lute 6002)
  • "You've Been Torturing Me" / "The Grubble" (1961, Paxley 752; credited to Gary Paxton and the Hollywood Argyles)
  • "Long-Hair-Unsquare Dude Called Jack" / "Ole" (1965, Chatahoochee 691)
  • "Alley Oop '66" / "Do the Funky Foot" (1966, Kammy 105)

"Gun Totin' Critter Named Jack" and "You've Been Torturing Me" are covers of the Four Young Men (e.g. Crest Records 1076).[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Hollywood Argyles". Billboard. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  2. ^ Dalrymple, Robert (2005-12-25). "Lute 5905 - Alley-Oop - Hollywood Argyles | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  3. ^ "Lute Records". Kavelinmusic.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  4. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 125. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  5. ^ a b c ""Mr. Music"". Jerryosborne.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  6. ^ Charlie Gillett (1996). The Sound of the City: The Rise of Rock and Roll. Da Capo Press. pp. 104–5. ISBN 9780306806834.
  7. ^ "Rochester Poet On Top 40". Therefrigerator.net. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  8. ^ "'Alley-Oop' (1961) - The Hollywood Argyles". The Song ID Blog (songids.blogspot.com). Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  9. ^ Mitch Rosalsky (2002). Encyclopedia of Rhythm & Blues and Doo-Wop Vocal Groups. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 74. ISBN 081084592X.
    "Jimmy Norman teamed up with H.B. Barnum and Ty Terrell (Robins). This group was the Dyna-Sores and they recorded on Rendezvous 120."
  10. ^ a b Joel Whitburn (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). Billboard Books. p. 281.
  11. ^ Paul Kingsbury (2004). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Sourcebooks, Inc. p. 182.
  12. ^ "Dallas Frazier". Nashville Songwriters Foundation. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010.
  13. ^ "45 Discography for Garpax Records". Globaldogproductions.info. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  14. ^ Gary S. Paxton. "Testimony - Partial - Less Than - (About Two Per-Cent of It)". Garyspaxton.net. Archived from the original on 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2008-07-28.
  15. ^ a b "Kim Fowley". Spectropop.com. 2003-09-18. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  16. ^ "When The Orchids were in Bloom". Lost In The Grooves. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  17. ^ "Wayne Moore - Four Young Men". Members.chello.at. Retrieved 2015-08-18.

Bibliography[edit]