The Olympics Northern Soul Monday

Northern Soul Monday with The Olympics

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Welcome back to Monday. Are you ready for another edition of Northern Soul Monday? its right here where we open up the dancefloor and share the best Stompers with you. We encourage you to Turn Up the Volume while you take some time to learn about the Song, the Artist, and a little Northern Soul History. Are you ready-set-go go? We sure are.

This Week’s Northern Soul Monday’s we are indulging in a Double Feature with two Tracks from The Olympics – “Baby Do the Philly Dog” and “The Duck” by The Olympics. Get ready for a double-dose of Northern Soul Goodness.

“Baby Do the Philly Dog” by The Olympics
from the Album, Something Old, Something New (1966, Mirwood Records)

“The Duck” by The Olympics
from the Album, Something Old, Something New (1966, Mirwood Records)

The Olympics was formed by lead Singer Walter Ward, in 1957. The group also included Eddie Lewis (Walter’s cousin, Tenor), Charles Fizer (Tenor), Walter Hammond (Baritone), and Melvin King (Bass). All but Lewis met each other while in High School, in Los Angeles. (from Wikipedia)

The Olympics first Records was actually credited to Walter Ward and the Challenges. Once the name was changed to The Olympics, in 1958, the Group recorded “Western Movies”, which made it to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The Song reflected the nation’s preoccupation with western-themed movies and television series. 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. (from Wikipedia)

“Western Movies” by The Olympics

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

In 1966, The Young Rascals covered The Olympics 1965 song, “Good Lovin'”, and took it to #1 on the US Hot 100. Since then, many recorded versions have been made by prominent artists, including The Who, The Grateful Dead, and Bobby McFerrin.

“Good Lovin'” (live) by The Who

Tenor Charles Fizer was shot and killed during the Watts Riots, in 1965. Shortly thereafter, Bassist Melvin King left the group after his sister died in an accidental shooting. A revamped group continued to record into the early 1970s but were unable to attain popular chart success after the mid-1960s.

Walter Ward’s song “Well (Baby Please Don’t Go)” (the b-side to “Western Movies”) was recorded twice by John Lennon, in 1971.

“Well (Baby Please Don’t Go)” by John Lennon

A June 1971 Lennon Performed the Song with Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention.

“Well (Baby Please Don’t Go)” (live) by John Lennon and Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention

A Little Bit of Northern Soul History:

Northern Soul Fashion

What was the dominant Fashion of Northern Soul? With the subcultures return in some cities, accompanied by the famous “all-nighters”, what will everyone be wearing in order to bring back the Northern Soul Fashion?

The wider than wide flares, nipped-in knit tanks and appliqued patches we’ve come to associate with the era were more than just a statement of belonging. In the heaving ballrooms and halls that hosted Northern Soul club nights in the late 60s and 70s, they were a matter of practicality. (from Dazed)

The era was characterized by the sped-up tempo and soulful vocals of mid-1960s Motown records, DJs would source the rarest North American vinyl and introduce them to whole new audiences in the North back home. Aspects of the clubgoers’ style were similarly inherited: early fashion nodded to a classic mod style, like Fred Perry button-down shirts, smart brogues, and Levi’s shrink-to-fit skinnies.

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Northern Soul Mondays. Be sure to check back here next week to see who we will be spinning, and take another step back into Northern Soul History with us. Until then, Keep the Faith.

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