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You're no good till you do the hippy hippy shake
am 25. Januar 2005
One of several Liverpool pop groups to achieve international success in the sixties, the Swinging blue jeans were actually formed in 1958, when (acknowledging their hero, Gene Vincent), they called themselves the Bluegenes. They were already regular performers at the Cavern club when the Beatles made their debut in 1961 at that now-famous venue - indeed, the Beatles occupied the guest spot on their show. Later, the Bluegenes became regulars at other Liverpool venues as well as the Cavern. In 1963, they changed their name following a sponsorship deal with a jeans company. After that, things happened quickly, with appearances in Hamburg and their recording contract with a label within the EMI group.
A minor hit in the summer, It's too late now, was followed by the song for which they are best remembered, Hippy hippy shake, which entered the UK charts in December 1963. They recorded this song after hearing the Beatles play it in one of their guest spots at the Cavern club. It made number two in the UK charts and charted in many other countries including the USA. The American rockers, the Georgia Satellites, revived the song in the eighties.
In the spring of 1964, a cover of Good golly Miss Molly (the Little Richard classic) just failed to make the UK top ten, but they were much more successful with You're no good, which made the UK top three in the summer. This song started out as a minor American hit by R+B singer Betty Everett (best remembered for It's in his kiss - the shoop shoop song) but became an American number one hit for Linda Ronstadt in the seventies.
The group had only one more UK hit - it came in 1966, with a cover of Don't make me over (Dionne Warwick) but it failed to reach the top thirty. The group recorded it in 1964 and wanted it to be the follow-up to You're no good but the record label wanted a different song at the time. Maybe it would have been a big hit if it had been released earlier.
While the group played great music, they didn't write their own songs and this may explain their brief run in the charts. Nevertheless, they continued performing for many years afterwards (at least into the nineties - they may even be active still), albeit with line-up changes.
If you enjoy British pop music of the sixties, particularly the Merseybeat groups such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, you will enjoy the music of the Swinging blue jeans.