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The Olympics

The Olympics

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The Olympics are an American doo-wop group, formed in 1957 by lead singer Walter Ward (August 28, 1940 – December 11, 2006). The group also included Eddie Lewis (tenor, Ward's cousin), Charles Fizer (tenor), Walter Hammond (baritone), and Melvin King (bass) and except for Lewis were friends in a Los Angeles, California, high school
Their first record was credited to Walter Ward and the Challengers ("I Can Tell" on Melatone Records). After the name change, they recorded "Western Movies" (Demon Records) in the summer of 1958. Co-written by Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, "Western Movies" made it to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song reflected the nation's preoccupation with western themed movies and television programs. It told the story of a man who lost his girl to TV westerns, and it included doo-wop harmonies as well as background gunshots and ricochet sound effects.

In 1959, the group recorded "(Baby) Hully Gully," which initiated the Hully Gully dance craze. "Big Boy Pete," which the group released in 1960,[1] served as inspiration for The Kingsmen's "The Jolly Green Giant". Over the next ten years The Olympics recorded upbeat R&B songs, often about dances popular at the time.

In 1965, The Olympics were one of the first to record "Good Lovin'", penned by Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick. In 1966, The Young Rascals version rose to No. 1 on the US Hot 100. Since then, many recorded versions have been made by prominent artists, including Mary Wells, The Ventures, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Bobby McFerrin and The Bobs.

Fizer was shot and killed during the Watts riots in 1965.Shortly thereafter, King left the group after his sister died in an accidental shooting.[citation needed] A revamped group continued to record into the early 1970s but were unable to attain popular chart success after the mid 1960s. The Olympics continued to perform on the oldies circuit in the United States and other countries.

Eddie Lewis, tenor singer and last original member of the Olympics, died on May 31, 2017.
Current and remaining members of The Olympics are Vel Omarr, Alphonso Boyd, and Samuel E. Caesar

Sites:Wikipedia , uncamarvy.com
Aliases:Walter Ward & The Challengers
Members:Charles Fizer, Eddie Lewis (2), Julius McMichaels, Kenny Sinclair, Melvin King (2), Walter Hammond, Walter Ward
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