The Olympics were a doo-wopgroup formed in 1957 by lead singerWalter Ward (born August 28, 1940 in Jackson, Mississippi — died December 11, 2006 in Northridge, California). The group included Eddie Lewis (tenor, Ward's cousin), Charles Fizer (tenor), Walter Hammond (baritone) and Melvin King (bass) and except for Lewis were friends in a Los Angeles, Californiahigh school. Their first record was credited to Walter Ward and the Challengers ("I Can Tell" on Melatone).
In 1960 the group recorded "(Baby) Hully Gully," which initiated the hully gullydance craze. "Big Boy Pete," which the group also released in 1960, served as inspiration for The Kingsmen's "Jolly Green Giant."
Over the next 10 years The Olympics recorded upbeat R&B songs, often about dances popular at the time.
Fizer was shot and killed during the Watts Riots in 1965. Shortly thereafter, King left the group after his sister died in an accidental shooting. A revamped group continued to record into the early 1970s, but were unable to attain popular chart success after the mid 1960s. The Olympics continued to perform on the "oldies group" circuit in the United States and other countries.