From the Land of Band Box Records

Spotlight: The Jarmels

April 2, 2020

Billboard Magazine ran mini-biographies from 1959 into the early 1960’s sometimes providing us with interesting tidbits – Each biography was generally tied to a current release on behalf of the artist

The Jarmels (“A Little Bit of Soap”)

Peaked at Number 12 Hot 100 & Number 10 R&B Charts

The Jarmels, all high school chums – formed in 1957 first as the Cherokees and then changed their name to the Jarmels in 1959.  It would be Drifter Ben E. King who ‘discovered’ the group and encouraged them to travel to New York City.  It was from the Big Apple where they took their name – based on a Harlem street of that name.  A member of the white doo wop group. the Mystics, Jim Gribble became their manager via his association with Laurie Records.

Many members passed through their ranks, but only one original member, Ray Smith, is alive today.  One notable added member would be Major Harris in 1963.

The group released seven singles on the Laurie label – “Soap” was their only appearance on the nation’s charts.  One of their singles on Laurie was released under a different group name – “The Actors”.

Jarmels’ Debut Single March, 1961