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The Dixie Cups

A '60s girl group, the Dixie Cups consisted of one cousin (Joan Marie Johnson) and two sisters (Barbara Ann Hawkins and Rosa Lee Hawkins). All three young ladies were from New Orleans, as was producer and singer Joe Jones, who discovered the talented threesome and took them to New York.

The trio was almost known as the Meltones -- or worse, Little Miss and the Muffets -- but the name Dixie Cups was settled on by 1964. That was the year the girls recorded the well-remembered song "Chapel of Love" on the Red Bird Records label. The number was written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich, and Jeff Barry, and intended to be released by the Ronettes, Darlene Love, or the Crystals. That one single was enough to carry the group into music history. It became the Dixie Cups' biggest success, a million-seller, and a worldwide hit. A few other hits followed through 1964 and into 1965, like "You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me," "Little Bell," "Iko Iko," and "People Say." A year later, Red Bird Records was out of the picture. The trio moved to ABC-Paramount, but there were no more hits, and 1966 saw the end of the Dixie Cups. There had been other singles, like "Gee the Moon Is Shining Bright" and "Girls Can Tell," but there weren't enough fans to back the releases.

In 1974, Rosa Lee and her sister Barbara Ann left New York behind to return to New Orleans and found work as models for awhile. When the sisters began to sing and tour again, their cousin Joan Marie declined to join in, so her spot was filled by Dale Mickle.


The trio consisted of sisters Barbara and Rosa Lee Hawkins; plus their cousin Joan Johnson, from the Calliope housing project in New Orleans. They first sang together in grade school. Originally they were to be called Little Miss and the Muffets, but were named The Dixie Cups just prior to their first release.

By 1963 the trio had decided to pursue a career in music and began singing locally as the Meltones. Within a year Joe Jones, a successful singer in his own right with the Top Five 1960 single “You Talk Too Much,” became their manager. After working with them for five months, Jones took them to New York, where record producers / songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller signed them to their new Red Bird Records.

Their first release in 1964, “Chapel of Love,” proved to be their biggest hit, although they had other hits with “People Say” (#12, 1964), “You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me” (#39, 1964), “Iko Iko” (#20, 1965), and “Little Bell” (#51, 1965).

In 1969 the Hawkins sisters moved from New York to New Orleans, where Rosa Hawkins began a successful modelling career. Both Rosa and Barbara also worked as make-up artists. They continued to tour and make personal appearances, with Dale Mickle replacing Joan Johnson who became a Jehovah’s Witness and abandoned her music career. The Dixie Cups continue to perform and make personal appearances. The current line-up consists of the same Hawkins sisters along with Athelgra Neville, sister of the singing Neville Brothers.


The group hit the top of the charts in 1964 with "Chapel of Love," a song that Phil Spector, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich had originally written for The Ronettes. The trio consisted of sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins; plus their cousin Joan Marie Johnson, from the Calliope housing project in New Orleans. They first sang together in grade school. Originally they were to be called Little Miss and the Muffets, but were named The Dixie Cups just prior to their first release.
By 1963 the trio had decided to pursue a career in music and began singing locally as the Meltones. Within a year Joe Jones, a successful singer in his own right with the Top Five 1960 single "You Talk Too Much," became their manager. After working with them for five months, Jones took them to New York, where record producers / songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller signed them to their new Red Bird Records.
Their first release, "Chapel of Love," proved to be their biggest hit, although they had other hits with "People Say" (#12, 1964), "You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me" (#39, 1964), "Iko Iko" (#20, 1965), and "Little Bell" (#51, 1965).
"Iko Iko", a New Orleans R&B standard, was recorded early in 1965. Barbara Hawkins had heard her grandmother sing the song, first recorded in 1954 as "Jock-a-Mo" by James "Sugar Boy" Crawford. Barbara Hawkins: "We were just clowning around with it during a session using drumsticks on ashtrays. We didn't realize that Jerry and Mike had the tapes running". Leiber and Stoller overdubbed a bassline and percussion, and released it. It was The Dixie Cups' fifth and last hit.
In 1966, the Dixie Cups were moved to the ABC-Paramount record label and later temporarily retired from the record industry.
In 1969 the Hawkins sisters moved from New York to New Orleans, where Rosa Hawkins began a successful modelling career. Both Rosa and Barbara also worked as make-up artists. They continued to tour and make personal appearances, with Dale Mickle replacing Joan Johnson who became a Jehovah's Witness and abandoned her music career.
In 1987, the song "Chapel of Love" appears in the Full Metal Jacket soundtrack.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana, flooding and flattening most of New Orleans and displacing Barbara and Rosa Hawkins, who subsequently relocated to Florida. Joan Johnson relocated to Texas.
In April 2007, The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame honored The Dixie Cups for their contributions to Louisiana music by inducting them into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame.
The Dixie Cups continue to perform and make personal appearances. The current line-up consists of the same Hawkins sisters along with Athelgra Neville, sister of the singing Neville Brothers.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Chapel Of Love
Iko Iko

Members of this Group


YankMetGaiJet111

click67

Mike_yoyo

clubuser08

Jeff

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