Hello,  The Olympics were an R&B vocal group from Compton, California.  Members of the group included, Walter Ward-lead, Eddie Lewis, Charles Fizer and Walter Hammond.  They recorded as The Challengers for Melatone Records in 1956.  Melvin King replaced Charles Fizer in 1958 and remained in the group when Fizer returned in 1959.

After changing their name to The Olympics they recorded their only Billboard Top 100, Top 10 song, ‘WESTERN MOVIES”.  It was on July 21, 1958 the “Western Movies” made its Top 100 debut.  The song considered to be a novelty song was a tale about a guys girlfriend who is hooked on western TV shows and their hero’s.  Complete with gunshots and ricochet sound effects the record was a big success and climbed the Top 100 to #8, it remained on the chart for 14 weeks.

In 1960 the group recorded “(Baby)HULLY GULLY” a song that helped to begin the hully gully dance craze.  The song itself charted at #72 on the Billboard Hot 100.  “BIG BOY PETE” charted in 1960, reaching #50 on the Hot 100.  The song is credited as inspiration for The Kingsmen’s “JOLLY GREEN GIANT”.

In the fall of 1960 The Olympics charted “SHIMMY LIKE KATE”, it would just miss the Top 40 climbing to #42 and in December they would reach #47 with yet another hit “DANCE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON”.  In April of 1963 they would reach the Top 40 for the last time with “THE BOUNCE”, it would peak at #40 and remain on the Hot 100 for 10 weeks.

In May of 1965 The Olympics would have a small hit with a song titled “GOOD LOVIN'”.  It would reach #81 on the Hot 100.  In 1966 a cover version of their record by a new group The Young Rascals would go all the way to #1 and be a million selling single for them.  In their charting career The Olympics would place 14 hits on the Billboard pop chart and one classic recording that is still an oldies favorite, “Western Movies”.  A revamped group continued to record into the 1970’s but were not able to reach the charts as they did between 1958 and 1966.  Fizer was shot and died during the Watts Riots in 1965.


Western Movies – 1958 #8 Hit Record

Till the next time—Joe


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