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  • The Olympics were a doo-wop group formed in 1957 by lead singer Walter 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, California high school. Their first record was credited to Walter Ward and the Challengers ("I Can Tell" on Melatone).
  • After the name change, they recorded "Western Movies" (Demon Records) in the summer of 1958. Co-written by Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, "Western Movies" made it to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song reflected the nation's preoccupation with western themed movies and television programs. It told the story of a man who lost his girl to TV westerns, and it included doo-wop harmonies as well as background gunshots and ricochet sound effects.
  • In 1960 the group recorded "(Baby) Hully Gully," which initiated the hully gully dance craze. "Big Boy Pete," which the group also released in 1960, served as inspiration for The Kingsmen's "Jolly Green Giant."
  • The Rascals later covered their song "Good Lovin'" and took all the way to #1.
  • 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.

50s, 60s Hits

Western Movies

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