Monthly Archives: April 2011

Little Joey and the Flips

When I look at One-Hit artists, this group was from Philadelphia and broke into the top 40 in 1962…

Little Joey and the Flips

Bongo Stomp/ Joy 262/ July 1962/ #33

Group from Upper Darby,Philadelphia formed in 1960 by seven guys from a School chorus. At this time they were known as “The Montels” and then “The Elads” and their lead singer was Jimmy Dilks (of The Clientelles). This formation recorded a demo, “African Twist“. which is the earliest form of “Bongo Stomp“.

In 1962 the group were a quintet and consisted of Jeff Leonard (Bass), Johnny Smith (Baritone), Joey Hall (Lead), Jimmy Meagher (2nd Tenor), and Fred Gerace (1st Tenor). At this point the then had  Sky Kaplan, Marc Levin and Barry Rich as managers, and a new name: “Little Joey & The Flips”.

They re-recorded (with the help of Jimmy Dilks in the falsetto part) the demo, “African Twist”, as “Bongo Stomp” (inspired by The Dovell’s hit, “Bristol Stomp”), but this song was quickly rejected by Swan, Chancellor, Newton and Cameo-Parkway Records.

The managers presented the demo to Eddie Joy, owner of Joy Records. He liked the song and released it as a single in 1962 with the B side, “Lost Love”.

The next recording on Joy records, “Bongo Gully”/”It Was Like Heaven” was released in late 1962 in the same days as the Dovell’s  “Hully Gully Baby” but with very little promotion the song failed in the charts.

The group broke with their managers and Joy Records and went to  Cameo-Parkway Records where they recorded in 1964 as Joey & The Flips the sides, “Fool Fool Fool”/”The Beachcomber”.

It was now 1965; Doo Wop groups were history and Joey & The Flips gigged as a  studio band for TV for over two years; but when Jeff Leonards was recruited for the Vietnam war the group broke up.

In 1976 Monogram Records released one single with two 1962 unreleased sides of the group, “The Mistery Of The Night”/”Hot Rod”

Also know is the existence of another recording on Joy Records of a group named The Flips from 1960, “Our Own Little World”/”My First Love Affair”. Considering the record date 1960 two years before, “Bongo Stomp” is most definitely no one of their recordings.