1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
The Impalas Joe ‘Speedo’ Frazier, lead singer, Tony Carlucci, first tenor, Lenny Renda, second tenor, Richard Wagner, baritone
Famous Doo-Wop hit in the 50s: Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home) 1959
This was the only 50s top-ten hit recording for the Impalas.
Recording career with hits on the charts: 1959-1961 Record Label: Cub
This pop vocal quartet was unusual in that it was a racially integrated foursome. Sweet-voiced lead singer Joe ‘Speedo’ Frazier, the only black member of the Impalas, was from New York City, Richard Wagner, Lenny Renda, and Tony Calouchi were from the Carnesie section of Brooklyn. They were discovered by disc jockey Alan Freed and Artie Zwirn, who co-wrote the bright, brash novelty tune with Gino Giosasi (of the Gino and Gina vocal duo). Cub Records, an MGM subsidiary, signed them and in 1959 they had an overnight success with their first record Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home). Leroy Holms conducted the orchestra on the Impalas’ recordings. The follow-up, Oh What A Fool was a smaller hit. They made a few later recordings before disbanding in 1961.