The Dovells

Hello:  The Dovells are an American rock and roll group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Originally they were called the Brooktones.  Members included, Leonard Borisoff (Len Barry), Arnie Silver, Jerry Gross (Jerry Summers), Mike Freda (Mike Dennis),Jim Mealey (Danny Brooks) and Mark Gordesky (Mark Stevens).  The first single for the Brooktones was NO, NO, NO a minor local hit for the group.  Following the single the Brooktones broke up with Jerry Summers and Mike Dennis leaving to form The Gems.  Jerry Sirlin and William Shunkwiler were added to the group and changed their name to The Dovells.

The first hit for The Dovells made its chart debut on September 11, 1961.  The Dovells recording on the Parkway Records label (part of the Cameo-Parkway record company) was the BRISTOL STOMP.  The Bristol Stomp was a dance song (popular in the 1960’s) and it ran up the Billboard Hot 100 to reach the #2 spot on the chart.  The Dovells hit remained on the Hot 100 for 16 weeks and sold over a million copies for which the group was awarded a Gold Record.

In January of 1962 DO THE NEW CONTINENTAL another dance song made its chart debut.  The Dovells second hit reached #37 and stayed on the Hot 100 for 10 weeks.  Their next record in May of 62′ was BRISTOL TWISTIN’ ANNIE, it reached #27 and was followed in August of 62′ with HULLY GULLY BABY another Top 30 hit, reaching #25.

Danny Brooks left the group in 1962.  The Dovells first hit of 1963 was their second Top 10 record.  YOU CAN’T SIT DOWN a very energetic song made its way up the Hot 100 to #3.  You Can’t Sit Down stayed on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks.  Two more records would reach the Hot 100 in 1963, they are BETTY IN BERMUDAS charting at #50 in August and STOP MONKEYIN’ AROUN’ at #94 in November.  Len Barry left the group in late 1963 to pursue a solo career.

There would be no more Hot 100 hits for The Dovells.  The group continued as a trio and recorded as The Magistrates for MGM Records.   Len Barry would chart a solo hit for Decca Records in 1965. 1-2-3 would reach #2 in America.  He would also have two other Top 30 hits, LIKE A BABY, #27 in January of 1966 and SOMEWHERE, #26 in March of 66′.

In two years recording for Parkway Records, The Dovells would chart 8 Hot 100 hits, 2 Top 10’s and a million seller, the Bristol Stomp.  A good chart record for a short period of time, just before the British Invasion of the mid 1960’s.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Jack Friedman.  Jack worked with me on the road helping set up the equipment before each event I spinned tunes at.  He was a good friend, I miss him.  Jack was a” HUGE” Dovells fan( his favorite group).  This is for you Jack, I know that where you are, you’re listening to The Dovells.

Till the next time—Joe


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