The song “Charlie Brown” by the great R&B, doo-wop group The Coasters does not have anything to do with comic strip character Charlie Brown. This novelty song about a class clown who always causes trouble is known for the line: “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?” The famous team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote and produced the song. (They wrote for many artists, including Ben E. King, The Drifters, and Elvis Presley.) King Curtis plays the saxophone on the record. In 1959, “Charlie Brown” reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B Chart.
The Coasters formed in 1955 out of the group The Robins, a Los Angeles R&B group. There were a number of personnel changes, but the group for this recording was Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Cornell Gunter, and Will “Dub” Jones. The Coasters had many hits, including “Young Blood,” “Down in Mexico,” “Yakety Yak,” “Searchin’,” “Poison Ivy,” “Along Came Jones,” and “Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)” among many others. There were plenty of personnel changes after that, and The Coasters still perform today.