Ah, the music business can be fickle; sometimes the public prefers a spoof to the original. Such is the case with the classic R&B doo wop song “Little Darlin’,” which was written by Maurice Williams. He was from Lancaster, South Carolina, and grew up with music in the church. He first formed a group with friends and The Junior Harmonizers became the Royal Charms and then The Gladiolas (that is, before becoming Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs, but that’s a story for another day). Besides Williams, The Gladiolas consisted of Earl Gainey, William Massey, Willie Jones, and Norman Wade. They recorded “Little Darlin'” for the Excello records label. In 1957, the song went to #11 on the R&B Chart, but only made #41 on the U.S. Pop chart. Most people know the cover by The Diamonds, but The Gladiolas’ version has nice falsetto singing and a pronounced West Indian beat.
Loved all those old songs and used to dance to a lot of them I showed some young people how to do. Some of those old dances at work one night, swim mashed potatoes the monkey etc they were getting a kick out of them
If you can like to hear some of Jimmy Clayton songs. Ty
I grew up with the version by the Diamonds, but I like Maurice Williams and the Gladiolas better. More of a raw sound. I am a doo wop fan.
[…] Maurice Williams was born in Lancaster, South Carolina, growing up with music from his church. Williams formed a gospel group called the Junior Harmonizers, but their interests veered towards rock and roll and doo-wop, and they changed their name to the Royal Charms. In 1957, they changed their name to the Gladiolas and then in 1958 to the Excellos before settling on The Zodiacs. Williams wrote one of doo-wop’s anthems, “Little Darlin'” and recorded it with The Gladiolas. The Canadian group The Diamonds had the big hit with that song, though. If you would like to read about those two versions of “Little Darlin’,” please click here. […]
The Diamonds do a great version, but the real doo wop group is Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs.
Thx for keeping all of this great doo wop music alive. My favorite music.
I think I like the original better. That’s real doo wop music. But, on the other hand, the version I always heard was by The Diamonds, even if they were making fun of doo wop.
Cool. Knew about the diamonds but not the zodiacs. Both good in their way. Love doo wop and 1950s music!
[…] The Diamonds formed in Toronto, Canada, in the early 1950s. They had one of their biggest charting singles with “Little Darlin’,” which peaked at #2 and stayed there for 8 weeks on the U.S. Pop chart in 1957. The original members were Dave Somerville, Ted Kowalski, Phil Levitt, and Bill Reed. The group had many TV appearances, including the shows of Arthur Godfrey, Steve Allen, Perry Como, Vic Damone, Tony Bennett, Eddy Arnold, and Paul Winchell, as well as American Bandstand. The Diamonds were instrumental in bringing doo wop and rock n roll to a mainstream audience. If you would like to read about The Diamonds’ hit “Little Darlin'” and its beginnings, please click here. […]