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The Edsels

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A brief encounter with fame came for the Edsels when they recorded the doo wop masterpiece "Rama Lama Ding Dong." Originally released in 1959, the single became a hit some three years after its initial release, thanks to the efforts of diligent record collectors and disc jockeys. Taking their name from Ford's legendary failed automobile, the Edsels formed in the tiny mill town of Campbell, OH, in the late '50s. The group consisted of lead vocalist George Jones, Jr., James Reynolds, Marshall Sewell, Harry Greene, and Larry Greene. The group auditioned for a local Ohio music publisher in 1958. Through the publisher, the group landed a record deal with the small Dub Records. The Edsels' first single was a song Jones had written, "Rama Lama Ding Dong." The first pressings on Dub Records were mislabeled "Lama Rama Ding Dong." "Rama Lama Ding Dong" became a local hit, but made no impact nationally. In 1961, disc jockeys began playing the song again because it sounded similar to the Marcels' current hit, "Blue Moon." Within a few months, the single was re-released on Twin Records -- this time with the correct song title -- and it quickly scaled the pop charts, peaking at number 21. Ironically, the group had broken up by the time "Rama Lama Ding Dong" became a hit in 1961. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Cub Koda

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1959 in Youngstown, OH

Years Active:

'50s, '60s