InStore @ Lost & Found Records: The Angels

img_7902My Boyfriend’s Back

Smash Records (MGS 27039) 1963

Originally named The Starlets, Jersey band The Angels were part of the early ’60s wave of American girl groups. The Starlets had a few early regional hits and mostly contributed backing vocals for other artists in the studio. After a series of personnel changes and lack of any meaningful success in the music business, original members Barbara and Phyllis Allbut went back to school.

As luck would have it, producer Gerry Granahan, who originally had rejected the band, decided to give them another shot based on their earlier demo of the tune “Till.” Barbara, Phyllis, and Linda Jansen renamed the band The Angels (according to the liner notes a local talent scout emcee commented “three girls who sing like angels) and recorded a proper full studio version of the song. Released on the Caprice label in 1961, “Till” made it to #14 on the US charts. Caprice released a full album in 1962.

Between records, Jansen left the band for a solo career and was replaced by Peggy Santiglia. The Angels early sound was more heavily doo-wop, but with Santiglia the band took on a tougher tone. They hooked up with the well-known Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer songwriting team, who wrote “My Boyfriend’s Back.” The Angels’ recording of the song was intended as a demo for The Shirelles’ consideration, but the producers liked their version so much that they instead decided to go ahead and release it. The song became a huge hit, climbing all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Altho they continued to record for several years, unfortunately The Angels were never quite able to re-capture the magic of “My Boyfriend’s Back.”

The Angels’ 1963 number one hit, “My Boyfriend’s Back,” is one of the half-dozen or so archetypal girl group classics. Hand clap beats, sassy vocals, slightly campy lyrics, and an arrangement paced by wailing horns and streetcorner harmonies; it was a surefire hit and one that the group could never live up to, although they continued to record for some time. — Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Listen to “My Boyfriend’s Back” here and come in to Lost & Found and check out this original Hi-Fi Mono LP.