The Olympics recorded the golden oldie “Western Movies” in the summer of 1958, and the record was a hit and went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B chart. It mixes some doo wop harmonies with background gunshots and ricochet sound effects. The song tells the story of a man who lost his girl to Westerns on TV; he just can’t compete with them for her attention. This was not an unusual taste, since in the 1950s, Western-theme films and shows were very popular. The lyrics mention Wyatt Earp, Cheyenne, Wagon Train, Jim Bowie, Sugarfoot, Maverick, and Broken Arrow.
The Olympics consisted of lead singer Walter Ward, Eddie Lewis (tenor and Ward’s cousin), Charles Fizer (baritone), Walter Hammond (baritone). (Shortly after “Western Movies,” Fizer left for a while and they replaced him with Melvin King. And over the years, there were numerous other personnel changes.) They were from Los Angeles and high school buddies. They originally called themselves The Challengers but changed their name when they found out another group already had that one.
The Olympics’ song “(Baby) Hully Gully” was a minor hit in 1960 and started the hully gully dance craze. Their 1965 song “Good Lovin'” charted for them, but it was a #1 Billboard Hot 100 recording for the cover by The Rascals. So goes the music business.