Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs

This is an ancient part of my collection. I can’t remember exactly where I got the Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs song, but it’s part of my “family” now for ages.

The Zodiacs seem to have been The Gladiolas, though earlier sources told me that they were different groups. I have an entry for The Gladiolas; they did the original version of Little Darlin’.

Besides Stay, the group had 2 records on the top 100, Come Along and I Remember, both in 1961, but the pièce de la resistance was a record called May I , which did not make the pop charts at all, (how could it? as Dave Marsh points out, with lyrics like “may I sleep with you” – this was 1962 remember), but it was as great a sample of beach music as one is likely to find.

Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs:

Stay – It was a short song, about a minute and a half, and a last minute recording, and it hit number 1 in the early winter of 1960, and it became a pillar of R & B / rock and roll. People have written treatises on transience, but nobody has dealt with the subject more eloquently than the Zodiacs, lamenting the shortness of the evening, the fleetingness of a romantic encounter, the belief in the ability to delay the inevitable. Amazingly what we remember is the falsetto, which really only lasts about 2 lines. And you can’t argue with the intro: 3 notes and “STAY!” . The song was covered by The Four Seasons and later by Jackson Browne (with altered lyrics). “Your mommy won’t mind if we have another dance.” A shag, no doubt…

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