Here’s another classic golden oldie from the doo wop era. “Tears on My Pillow,” which was written by Sylvester Bradford and Al Lewis, has beautiful words of sadness and longing for beginning again. The original End Record single credits the group as The Imperials. Subsequent pressings feature lead “Little” Anthony Gourdine and credits “Little Anthony & The Imperials.” D.J. Alan Freed helped to promote the group on the air and gave Gourdine that nickname because of his youthful-sounding falsetto vocals. The nickname became an identifier. “Tears on My Pillow” went to #2 on the R&B Chart and #4 on the U.S. Pop Chart in 1959. It became a million seller. The B-Side featured the song “Two People in the World,” which was successful as well. The group members for this record were Jerome Anthony “Little Anthony” Gourdine, Clarence Collins, Tracy Lord, Ernest Wright, Jr., and Glouster “Nate” Rogers.
There have been many covers of the song, including versions by The McGuire Sisters, Sha Na Na, New Edition, Bobby Vee, Lou Christie, Martha and the Vandellas, Bobby Vinton, Johnny Tillotson, Neil Sedaka, Reba McEntire, and The Fleetwoods. Kylie Minogue’s version was an international success, going to #1 on the U.K. Chart.
Little Anthony and The Imperials, from New York, have enjoyed success and longevity as a group. They have a wide range of material in many genres (i.e., doo wop, r&b, soul) and great performances. Other popular songs from the group include “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-Bop,” “I’m on the Outside (Looking In),” “Goin’ Out of My Head,” “Hurt So Bad,” “Take Me Back,” and “Better Use My Head.”