There’s been an MP3 file sitting in the stacks here for about ten years, a speedy little number called “The Girl I Love,” credited to a group called, um, the Beatles. This didn’t perplex me greatly — there were Supremes before there was Motown, after all — but I didn’t know anything about Quest Records in Hollywood, whence it came. The label says something about “A Miracle Production: If It Sells… It’s A Miracle.” And you may as well hear it.
Last night, running through some stuff at random, it occurred to me that some other disreputable piece of doo-wop I had on hand sounded like the same group.
The label design was a send-up of Lost Nite Records, a famed Philadelphia doo-wop and reissue label, which was a clue. A few fortunate clicks, and there was the real name of the group: the Lytations, who had cut an a cappella version of “Over the Rainbow” in 1963. Philly record dealer Val Shively apparently was responsible for the bogus renaming(s).
The Shits cut at least one more record, this one on the Chance label, although not the real Chance label — the original Chance 1163 was “Nervous Wreck” b/w “No More Love” by Chicago bluesman Willie Nix — before the group split.
Doo-wop was mostly dead by 1965, but I figure the Shits wouldn’t have gotten on the radio, even when the genre was at its peak.