Hello, The Coasters were one of the most successful R&B vocal groups of the late 1950s. From 1956 through 1959 they ruled both the Pop and R&B music charts. They charted 6 Billboard R&B Top 10 hits and 4 #1 hit records on the R&B chart during this period and 6 Billboard Top 100 hits and a #1 hit record during the same period. The Coasters were formed in Los Angeles, California in late 1955 from members of The Robbins. The group originally consisted of: Carl Gardner-lead, Billy Guy, Leon Hughes, Bobby Nunn and Adolph Jacobs. Cornelius Gunter joined in 1957 and left in 1961. Will “Dub” Jones replaced Nunn in late 1958. Earl “Speedoo” Carroll (Cadillacs) joined the group in 1961.
In May of 1957 The Coasters had a million selling hit record that started then off on a string of Pop and R&B smashes. SEARCHIN’ and the flip side (if you can call this a flip side) YOUNG BLOOD were two of the biggest hits of 1957. SEARCHIN’ was a #3 Top 100 hit and a #1 R&B hit, holding the #1 spot for 12 weeks. YOUNG BLOOD was a #8 Top 100 hit and a #1 R&B hit.
In June of 1958 The Coasters were back on the charts with a song that was written and arranged by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The song was a play on teenage life in the late 50s and mentions taking out the trash and the parents comeback “don’t talk back”. Of course the song is their classic hit recording of YAKETY YAK on Atco Records. The single made its Billboard Top 100 debut on June 2, 1958. The record spent 16 weeks on the Top 100 and became their only #1 (pop) hit single and sold over 1 million copies. On June 9, 1958 YAKETY YAK made its debut on the Billboard R&B chart and went right to the top of the chart. The single reached #1 and held the top spot for 7 weeks. The Coasters clowning humor comes through on this recording and future hits such as, CHARLIE BROWN, ALONG CAME JONES and POISIN IVY to name a few.
YAKETY YAK won a Grammy: Hall of Fame award, was selected by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the songs that helped shape rock and roll. On the flip side of The Coaster’s hit was the wonderful up-tempo doo-wop tune, ZING! WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART. This song should have been a monster hit of its own, but received limited radio play, probably because of the huge demand for YAKETY YAK. Just a spin of ZING! and its very evident that The Coaster could sing anything they put their mind to.
The Coasters hit with their classic line “Yakety Yak, Don’t talk back” is just one of their big hits that became a part of the music scene of the late 50s. They music is a wonderful reminder of the fun you could have with a song…The Coasters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987…their music remains in demand and they are one of the biggest acts from the “GOLDEN ERA OF ROCK AND ROLL”.