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From the Land of Band Box Records

Spotlight: Ronnie & the Hi-Lites

May 14, 2020
craigr244

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

Ronnie & The Hi-Lites (“I Wish That We Were Married”)

Charted Number 16 Hot 100 – March, 1962

Ronnie & The Hi-Lites formed in about 1961.  Their debut single, “I Wish That We Were Married” was released in the Spring of 1962 on the small independent Joy record label.  The plaintiff song led by Ronnie Goodson went all the way to number 16 on the Hot 100 charts but would fail to dent the R&B charts.

The Hi-Lites started off as the “The Cascades” this being prior to the addition of Goodson who came on board when only 12 years old!  The ad above states he was 14 when he sang on this track.  Joy Records was responsible for giving the group their new name focusing on their young lead vocalist.  The group never visited the Hot 100 again but did place two songs on the Bubbling Under charts before calling it a day in 1965.

The group came to the attention of husband and wife Marion and Hal Weiss – the founders of Joy Records.  Marion would take on the group’s management duties as well as provide them with her compositions.  The two also owned the Win Records’ label which focused solely on Ronnie and the Hi-Lites’ recordings releasing four of them.

The group did have a single released in 1982 on the U.G.H.A. label which was a tribute of sorts to the late Ronnie Goodson – Both sides of the recording were previously unreleased.  The U.G.H.A. label’s mission was “Preserving The Group Harmony Sound”.

Ronnie Goodson

Goodson was the victim of a brain tumor – passing away in 1980 at the age of 33.  Ronnie had apparently battled side effects of the tumor for years prior to his death – beginning when he was a teenager.

Ronnie & The Hi-Lites Discography

45 – Joy 260 – “I Wish That We Were Married” – Number 16 Hot 100 – b/w “Twistin’ & Kissin'” – March, 1962

45 – Joy 265 – “Be Kind” – Number 120 Bubbling Under Charts – b/w “Send My Love (Special Delivery)” – June, 1962

Ronnie & The Hi-Lites (7) - doo-wop

45 – Raven 8000 – “Valerie” b/w “The Fact Of The Matter” – January, 1963

45 – Win 250 – “A Slow Dance” – b/w “Valerie” – May, 1963

45 – Win 250 – “A Slow Dance” – Charted Number 116 Bubbling Under Charts b/w “What The Next Day May Bring” – August, 1963

45 – Win 251 – “You Keep Me Guessin'” b/w “The Fact Of The Matter” – September, 1963

45 – Win 252 – “High School Romance” b/w “Uptown-Downtown” – November, 1963

45 – ABC-Paramount 10685 – “High School Romance” b/w “Too Young” – June, 1965

45 – U.G.H.A. 16 – “For Lovers” b/w “What A Pretty Bride You’ll Be” – 1982

45 – Uptite 251 – Ronnie Goodson – “I Wouldn’t Give A Nickel” b/w “You Keep Me Guessing” – January, 1967

Spotlight: Little Joey & The Flips

April 1, 2020
craigr244

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

Little Joey & The Flips (“Bongo Stomp”)

(Peaked at number 33 Hot 100)

(This correction from “Euphonic” April 14th, 2020)

“What’s this about “Bongo Stomp” being an instrumental?!?!?!? I’ve only listened to it for thirty years or so, but I’ve always thought that it’s a vocal group. Singing. Lyrics.

Also, it’s no wonder that you don’t know who played bongos on it, as no bongos whatsoever can be heard, only an ordinary drum kit, with the percussion hook at the end of the chorus being played on a snare drum.

Have you ever actually listened to the record?

The group started off in 1959 – all teenagers when they signed on with Joy Records – They were a vocal group but Joy elected to release their instrumental “Bongo Stomp” – Not sure who was on the bongos for this song but assume that it was Jeff Leonard who did play drums.

Joy Records didn’t have a lot of chart success but had an interesting roster over time including Mindy Carson, Jamie Horton, Guy Mitchell and even one release by the Five Blobs.  Ronnie and the Hi-Lites were one of the labels’ highlights – a group out of New Jersey who took “I Wish That We Were Married” to number 16 in the spring of 1962.”

One more Joy single would follow in 1962 and then there would not be another recording until the summer of 1964 when they released “Beachcomber” b/w “Fool, Fool, Fool” on Cameo.  They released a rather obscure single on Monogram records – probably released in 1975 long after the group had disbanded.  Monogram was most likely a reissue label.