Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Olympics - All-Time Greatest Hits!
Genres: Pop, R&B
Olympics All-Time Greatest Hits
Don McDonald | Los Angeles, CA | 02/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Twenty-three Olympics recordings, plus two by other artists. I may not be an impartial judge of this CD, because the Olympics may be my all-time favorite vocal group. From 1960-1963 there was no group that could match the chilling excitement of the Olympics' R&B-rock recordings. Of the 14 songs they had on Billboard's top 100, this CD has 9, with The Bounce being the biggest hit lacking on the CD. I played original 45 singles of Big Boy Pete, Shimmy Like Kate, and Dance By the Light of the Moon (plus their flip sides) along with the CD, and the CD has all exact reproductions of the originals, same length, same mix, exact, complete with Arvee label's hits' missing most of the "S", "C" and "T" sounds. The liner notes are excellent, including notes on audio quality, and that to preserve the original sound, only two of the songs are presented in stereo. "Western Movies" (the only song on the CD from the Demon label) has the "S" etc. sounds, but interestingly it sounds like the CD was made from vinyl as you hear a bit of popping at the start. All-in-all, the producers of this CD (and, of course, the Olympics, too) deserve a lot of tribute, undoubtedly more than they get."
Almost Perfect Compilation of the Hard To Find
James G. Mcfarland | Gig Harbor, WA United States | 10/14/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Olympics, an L.A. based group fashioned after the Coasters, had a couple of national and quite a few regional hits on several small labels. Titles like Good Lovin' and Big Boy Pete were either directly covered by or inspired hits recorded later by others. I wore out my vinyl versions of their albums before the 60's ended. As you rarely hear their music played, this well remastered collection was a welcomed fine. A bonus are extensive and well researched liner notes. I was disappointed that the extended album version of Hully Gully (one of their bigger hits) was not selected along with their outstanding rendition of What'd I Say (one of the best recordings - except for Ray Charles original - of this classic). Why El Pizza (not an Olympics record) was included I have not a clue - but I had forgotten this great send up of El Paso and it was fun hearing it again. Alternate versions and unreleased material will add appeal to any die hard fans, but there is plenty here to interest anyone who loves classic R&B."
Complete Compilation Of Their Demon/Arvee Hits With Great Li
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If one searches for this under the album title "Doin' The Hully Gully" it takes you to this same volume, but where there are no contents showing and no previous reviews. Even the track listing above is off as track 5 is (I Wanna) Dance With The Teacher. The rest are numbered one up accordingly to 26 tracks - not 25. Amazon may wish to rectify that.
The Olympics first formed up as The Challengers while still high schoolers in Compton, California, consisting of lead Walter Ward, tenor Eddie Lewis, and baritones Charles Fizer and Walter Hammond. They actually cut some sides for Melatone in 1956, none of which charted. After changing their name to The Olympics (the summer games that year were in Melbourne, Australia) they got their first big break in summer 1958 when the catchy novelty tune Western Movies, complete with rifle ricochets, climbed to # 8 Billboard Pop Hot 100/# 7 R&B by September b/w Well! for the small Demon label. It was also in 1958 that Melvin King replaced Fizer in time for their next hit, (I Wanna) Dance With The Teacher which made it to # 71 Hot 100 in January 1959 b/w Ev'rybody Needs Love (neither B-side is included in this 1991 release by DCC Compact Classics/Arvee).
Fizer then returned to take Hammond's place by which time they had moved to Arvee Records where Private Eye, a B-side, made it to # 95 Hot 100 in September 1959. The A-side, (Baby) Hully Gully, did not peak until February 1960 when it settled at # 72 Hot 100. Neither could crack the R&B Top 100, but Big Boy Pete did when it climbed to # 10 R&B/# 50 Hot 100 in September 1960 b/w The Slop.
A month later, Shimmy Like Kate reached # 42 Hot 100 b/w Workin' Hard, but again failed to dent the R&B charts, as did Dance By The Light Of The Moon, a # 47 Hot 100 in late 1960/early 1961 b/w Dodge City, Little Pedro, which finished at # 76 Hot 100 in April 1961 b/w Bull Fight (Cappy Lewis), and Dooley, a # 94 Hot 100 in June b/w Stay Where You Are.
After being shut out in 1962 they resurfaced in 1963 with Tri Disc and what would become their second best Pop hit, The Bounce. With Fireworks as the flip, it hit # 22 R&B/# 40 Hot 100 in June, followed in July by Dancin' Holiday, adapted from Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which made it to # 86 Hot 100 b/w Do The Slauson Shuffle. When they became one of many North American groups to be blanked in 1964 by the British Invasion, they moved over to Loma Records to record Good Lovin' and that settled in at # 81 Hot 100 in May 1965 b/w The Olympic Shuffle, the last hit on which Fizer appears as he was killed in the Watts riots in August.
His replacement, Julius McMichael ("Mack Starr"), formerly the lead with The Paragons, appears on their last charters, Mine Exclusively (# 25 R&B/# 99 Hot 100 in May 1966 b/w Secret Agents), and Baby, Do The Philly Dog (# 20 R&B/# 63 Hot 100 in October 1966 b/w a re-make of Western Movies).
As for Peanut Butter by The Marathons at track 25, all I'll tell you is that it was a # 20 Hot 100/# 25 R&B hit in 1961. For the fascinating story behind it, as well as El Pizza, you'll have to read the seven comprehensive pages of liner notes written by Todd Everett in April 1991.
Just a wonderful compilation all 'round with excellent sound quality."