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The Capitols

 

The R&B trio formed in 1962 as "The Caps," with Samuel George as the lead vocalist and drummer, Don Storball (birth name: Don Norman) on backup vocals and guitar, and Richard Mitchell (birth name: Richard McDougall) on backup vocals and keyboard.After playing predominantly small gigs, they were discovered by former Ann Arbor radio DJ Ollie McLaughlin after performing at a local dance headlined by Barbara Lewis. After signing with the Karen record label, owned by McLaughlin, the group went on to record and release their first single in 1963, "Dog and Cat/The Kick". The record displayed the upbeat energy of their later work, however the juvenile nature and lyrics of the song couldn't find a substantial audience. In light of the disappointing performance of their debut single, the group dissolved and pursued other ventures.

Creators of the classic dance record "Cool Jerk," Detroit R&B trio the Capitols formed in 1962, comprising lead vocalist/drummer Sam George, guitarist Donald Norman Storball, and keyboardist Richard Mitchell McDougall. Originally dubbed the Three Caps, the group was performing at a local teen dance headlined by singer Barbara Lewis when they met Ollie McLaughlin, Lewis' producer and owner of the Karen record label; McLaughlin soon helmed the Capitols' 1963 debut single "Dog and Cat," but when the release went nowhere, the group dissolved.

Three years later, McLaughlin received a phone call from George, who told him the Capitols had re-formed and that Storball had written a potential hit called "Cool Jerk" that capitalized on the current vogue for dance songs. McLaughlin quickly blocked out studio time, and although the horn section contracted for the date failed to show, the Capitols recorded the song anyway. Issued on Karen in the spring of 1966, "Cool Jerk" cracked the pop Top Ten and hit number two on the R&B charts. But when the follow-ups "Zig Zaggin'" and "We Got a Thing That's in a Groove" failed to match "Cool Jerk"'s success, the trio opted to write and record virtually nothing but dance songs, resulting in a series of lackluster efforts like 1967's "Cool Pearl" and the following year's "Afro Twist" (which even included "Cool Jerk '68" as its flipside). By the time the Capitols attempted to right the ship, it was too late — Karen issued three final singles (1968's "Ain't That Terrible" and 1969's "When You're in Trouble" and "I Thought She Loved Me") before the group dissolved at the turn of the decade. While Storball later served as a Detroit policeman, on March 17, 1982 George was fatally stabbed in a domestic dispute; he was just 39 at the time of his death.

The Capitols were a Detroit, Michigan-based soul trio widely known in the late 1960s for their Billboard hit single "Cool Jerk".
"Cool Jerk" has been covered by many bands, most famously by the Go-Go's, who recorded no fewer than three studio versions of the song.
- When the Capitols attempted to release "Cool Jerk" in England, a copyright infringement charge was brought before them because another well-known band in England was performing under that title. As a result, they released the single under their prior group name, the "Three Caps".
-Todd Rundgren played a version of "Cool Jerk" as part of a medley on his famous "A Wizard, A True Star" album.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Cool Jerk

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