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The Edsels

 

The Edsel was an automobile marque that was planned, developed, and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. With the Edsel, Ford had expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler and close the gap between itself and GM in the domestic American automotive market. But contrary to Ford's internal plans and projections, the Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsel's development, manufacturing and marketing. The very word "Edsel" became a popular symbol for failure.

A brief encounter with fame came for the Edsels when they recorded the doo wop masterpiece "Rama Lama Ding Dong." Originally released in 1959, the single became a hit some three years after its initial release, thanks to the efforts of diligent record collectors and disc jockeys.

Taking their name from Ford's legendary failed automobile, the Edsels formed in the tiny mill town of Campbell, OH, in the late '50s. The group consisted of lead vocalist George Jones, Jr., James Reynolds, Marshall Sewell, Harry Greene, and Larry Greene. The group auditioned for a local Ohio music publisher in 1958. Through the publisher, the group landed a record deal with the small Dub Records. The Edsels' first single was a song Jones had written, "Rama Lama Ding Dong." The first pressings on Dub Records were mislabeled "Lama Rama Ding Dong."


The Edsels were an American doo-wop group active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The name of the group was originally The Essos, after the oil company, but was changed to match the then-new Ford automobile, the Edsel. The Edsels recorded over 25 songs and had multiple performances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand . The Edsels were one of the few doo-wop groups to sign with a major record label, as most groups of that era found success with small independent labels. Before their national hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong," songs like "What Brought Us Together," "Bone Shaker Joe," and "Do You Love Me" helped the group land a major recording contract with Capitol Records in 1961.

Today, the group is known almost exclusively for their song, "Rama Lama Ding Dong." The song was recorded in 1957 and released, under the errant title "Lama Rama Ding Dong," in 1958. The song did not become popular until 1961, after a disc jockey in New York City began to play it as a segue from The Marcels doo-wop version of "Blue Moon." The song eventually became popular throughout the USA, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The group continues to perform today. In addition, James Reynolds performs with his five sons Jeff, Baron, Patrick, Chris and Carlise (as The Reynolds Brothers). That group released an album, The Reynolds Brothers, featuring songs written by James and fellow Edsels member George Jones, Jr.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Rama Lama Ding Dong

Members of this Group


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The Bee

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