Saturday, October 04, 2008

Doowopobit: George 'Wydell' Jones

The death has been announced of George 'Wydell' Jones, a member of the Edsels. Jones wrote - and, as a member of the band, performed on - Rama Lama Ding Dong.

The Edsels were originally formed under the no-less-branded name The Essos in Campbell, Ohio, in 1957. The band were cut a lucky break, as Rama Lama Ding Dong's moment had seemed to have passed without notice before a New York DJ resurrected it following the success of Blue Moon. Suddenly, a song whose time had passed had come again, just stalling outside the top 20 but lodging itself in the psyche of the nation - Grease's We Go Together and Who Put The Bop? both reference the title in their lyrics.

The delay between writing the song and hitting the charts proved difficult, though; the band had lost its impetus and attempts to capitalise on the hit didn't take. The band split in 1963, and although George Jones continued to tour, he did so in such obscurity that Joel Whitburn's book Top Pop Singles 1955-1999 listed him as dead.

George Jones was 71; his son told media that he died as a result of cancer on September 27th.

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