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date: 20 February 2020

Little Anthony and the Imperialslocked

  • Steve Otfinoski

Extract

American rhythm-and-blues vocal group. The group, fronted by dramatic tenor “Little Anthony” (b Jerome Anthony Gourdine, New York, NY, 8 Jan 1940), with Ernest Wright Jr., Tracy Lord, Glouster Rogers, and Clarence Collins, formed in Brooklyn in 1957 as the Chesters, later changing their name to the Imperials. Their first recording session for End Records in 1958 produced what would become the classic doo-wop ballad “Tears on My Pillow” (no.4), backed by “Two People in the World.” They had three low-charting records before hitting gold again with the delightful novelty “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop” (no.24, 1960). The group broke up in 1961, but reunited two years later. They were signed to the DCP label where former teen idol Teddy Randazzo wrote and produced four songs that put them in the forefront of sophisticated soul with a new, sleek sound—“I’m On the Outside Looking In” (no.15, 1964), “Goin’ Out of My Head” (no.6), “Hurt So Bad” (no.10, ...

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