In the mid to late 50s, the Bronx in New York was noted for producing a number of great street corner harmony singing groups which were subsequently associated with the term “Doo Wop.” Some of the more famous ones that made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 were Dion & the Belmonts, the Chantels, the Chiffons, Larry Chance & the Earls and the Excellents of “Coney Island Baby” fame.
In additions to the forementioned groups, there were a number of other groups who enjoyed regional success in the New York area. One such group, after a couple of bad breaks, did get their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ thanks to recording an updated cover version of a Glenn Miller tribute tune from 1942 …
The group was formed in 1956 and cut a record the following year called “Franny, Franny” which received a lot of airplay by legendary Deejay, Alan Freed, who was in his prime at the time. Unfortunately, it failed to garner national attention.
After some personnel changes and stints at Recorte Records and Marco records, the group’s next stop was Larry Uttal’s Madison label.
Their first recording for Madison in 1961 was a version of “Those Oldies But Goodies Remind Me Of You,” a song that was already making some noise on the West Coast by Little Caesar & The Romans.
New York was evenly split, giving both versions heavy airplay. In the end, Little Caesar & The Romans’ recording won out, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The record itself may have started a trend as it was nostalgic, paying tribute to successful songs of the day.
Ironically, later in 1961, the two groups next recordings were again both nostalgic. This time, Little Caesar & The Romans failed to get off the ground with “Memories Of Those Oldies But Goodies,” while our featured group, Nino and The Ebb Tides, finally made it onto the charts nationally with an updated remake of Glenn Miller’s “Jukebox Saturday Night,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
YouTube video of this song:
Epilogue: Bad luck became a bad decision when Bronx songwriter Ernie Maresca wrote a rocker for Nino & the Ebb Tides – they heard it but passed on it, so Maresca took the song to Dion. Dion picked up the song, recorded it with the Del-Satins. The song made it to the #2 position on Billboard Hot 100 in 1962. The song was “The Wanderer.”
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.