Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Dovells--Bristol Stomp (1961)

     The group formed as the Brooktones in 1957. The Philadelphia based group consisted of Jerry Summers, Mark Stevens, Len Barry, Mike Dennis, Arnie Satin, and Danny Brooks. Their early songs attracted a small amount of attention in the city, but not enough to warrant a look from any record company, so in the summer of 1960 Jerry and Mike left to form The Gems. 
     Things began to change however late that year as Cameo/Parkway records brought in The Brooktones for an audition and did well enough on the strength of two of Barry's songs to be signed. Jerry and Mike were asked to come back, as the group changed their name to The Dovells. During the late spring of 1961, while in the studio, a PR guy was talking to the group about a new dance that he came across at the Goodwill Fire Hall at Bristol. The dance was called, "The Stomp". Several of the guys thought it cool to write a song about it, and just over 24 hours later, they song was written and recorded.
     Although released in the summer of that year, the single went nowhere. Finally it began to catch in the midwest during the Fall, and it wasn't long before it became the number 2 hit in the nation. For the next two years, they hit the top 100 another 7 times. Most of the songs were related to dances that were popular at the time ("Do the New Continental", "Bristol Twistin' Annie"). They did reach the top five again in mid-1963 with the number three hit, "You Can't Sit Down". A dispute however in 1964 led Barry to leave the band for a solo career, where he had several top 40 hits. Summers and Stevens still tour as The Dovells today.
      Check them out at http://www.thedovells.com/index.html