Tuesday, September 6, 2016

SHG: The Impalas: "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)"

The Impalas: “Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)”
Entered the chart on: 4/13/1959
Peaked on: 5/11/1959
Weeks at #2: 2
Songs at #1: “The Happy Organ” by Dave “Baby” Cortez and “Kansas City” by Wilbert Harrison

Another one from my parents’ record collection! And I think this is the first one from the consolidated chart to be stuck at #2 behind two different #1 hits. The single (on MGM’s short-lived Cub subsidiary) “helpfully” contains the annotation “With Vocal Accompaniment.” Thanks for that, Cub, but aren’t the Impalas a vocal group? Despite having spun this on my crappy old GE Show ’n Tell record player (I now call it the Record Killer™) numerous times, I’m having difficulty remembering it clearly. Good sign or bad sign?

You can put the Impalas in the same box as the Crests in that they’re another multi-racial vocal group from Brooklyn. I wouldn’t put this on the same level as “Sixteen Candles,” which was simply stunning on every level from Johnny Maestro’s vocal on down. But this is a solid slab of peak-period doo-wop. Joe “Speedo” Frazier does a more than credible job singing lead, his voice having a youthful, innocent tone that has a touch of boyish irreverence to it (the repeated “Uh-oh!”). The song comes close to novelty song status without ever crossing the border.

Thanks to Leroy Holmes and his orchestra, this one has a fuller, more produced sound than a lot of rock & roll tunes of its era. And I think this might be the first trombone solo we’ve covered at Second Hand Goods since “A Blossom Fell” way back in ’55.

So, a good tune, indicative of its era, without being a classic. Worth listening to.

Rating: 4

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