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The Exciters

With their no-nonsense, street-smart approach, the Exciters ushered in the heyday of the girl group sound via the 1962 classic "Tell Him." Queens, NY, classmates Brenda Reid, Carol Johnson, Lillian Walker, and Sylvia Wilbur formed the group in 1961 when they were all 17 years old. Originally dubbed the Masterettes, they were the sister act to the Masters, a local doo wop quintet with the End Records single "A Man Is Not Supposed to Cry" to its credit. When the Masters secured a record deal with the Le Sage label, they wrangled session time for the Masterettes as well, and in early 1962 the group issued its debut effort, "Follow the Leader."

Wilbur left the lineup soon after, and with replacement Penny Carter, the Masterettes auditioned for the famed writing/producing duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller -- Carter's tenure with the group proved brief, however, and following creative differences with his bandmates, Masters member Herb Rooney signed on with the Masterettes in time for their first session for United Artists. Galvanized by Reid's aggressive lead vocal, "Tell Him" -- credited to the Exciters, a moniker devised by Leiber & Stoller -- hit radio and retail in the fall of 1962, reaching the Top Five on the Billboard pop and R&B charts early the following year. Eschewing the demure puppy-love sensibilities of previous girl group records, "Tell Him" boasted an intensity that signified a sea change in the presentation and perception of femininity in popular music, paving the way for such tough, sexy acts as the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes.

The Exciters resurfaced in the spring of 1963 with "He's Got the Power" -- though as potent (if not more so) than "Tell Him," the single sputtered to a halt at number 57 on the Billboard chart, portending the commercial frustrations that dogged the group despite the uncommon quality of its output. The third Exciters single, "Get Him," climbed only as high as number 76, two spots better than its follow-up, the Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry-penned "Do Wah Diddy" -- British Invasion combo Manfred Mann nevertheless heard the song and recorded their own cover version, scoring an international number one smash just months later. After one last United Artists release, "Havin' My Fun," in 1965 the Exciters signed with Roulette Records to remake Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers' "I Want You to Be My Boy."

Early the following year, the group scored one last minor hit, a reading of the Jarmels' "A Little Bit of Soap," but its commercial heyday was over. The Exciters nevertheless continued recording throughout the decade for labels including Bang, Shout, and RCA Victor. Reid and Rooney, who had wed in 1964, continued leading the group long after Johnson and Walker broke ranks. After recording a handful of disco-era singles under the name Brenda & Herb, the couple finally eased into retirement. In the mid-'80s they separated, and while Rooney founded his own cosmetics firm, Reid launched a new Exciters with members of her family. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 20 Great Oldies I'll Always Remember, Vol.4

1. Honey

2. Tell Him

3. Bang Bang

5. Boom Boom

6. Elusive Butterfly

8. You're Sixteen

10. The Bird's The Word

11. Kind Of A Drag

12. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

13. I'm On The Outside

14. The Mountain's High

15. Let's Lock The Door

16. Walk Don't Run

17. Where Do You Go

18. Cara Mia

19. Happy Together

20. There's A Moon Out Tonight

x

Track List: Complete Sixties

Disc 1

1. You Got What It Takes

2. Little Boy Lost

3. Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

5. Let's Have A Party

6. Brontosaurus Stomp

7. You're Sixteen

8. You Talk Too Much

9. Perfidia

10. Goodness Gracious Me

12. Rubber Ball

13. Wings Of A Dove

15. Exodus

16. Blue Moon

17. A Scottish Soldier

18. A Hundred Pounds Of Clay

19. Mother-In-Law

20. Dream Girl

Disc 2

1. Time

2. Goodbye Cruel World

3. My Boomerang Won't Come Back

4. Let There Be Drums

5. Peppermint Twist

6. Wanderer

7. Old Rivers

8. I Remember You

9. Locomotion

10. From A Jack To A King

11. Boys

12. Surfside

13. Tell Him

15. Sukiyaki

16. Surf City

17. Danke Schoen

18. Painted, Tainted Rose

19. Not Responsible

20. You'll Never Walk Alone

Disc 3

1. He's My Blonde Headed Stompie Wompie Real Gone Surfer Boy

2. He Walks Like A Man

3. Hippy Hippy Shake

4. Little Children

6. The House Of The Rising Sun

7. Do Wah Diddy Diddy

8. Tobacco Road

10. Come A Little Bit Closer

11. I'll Never Find Another You

12. This Diamond Ring

17. The Hucklebuck

18. I Live For The Sun

19. A Lover's Concerto

Disc 4

1. Girls, Girls, Girls

2. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

5. Born Free

6. Bus Stop

10. Good Vibrations

12. I've Been A Bad, Bad Boy

15. Hi Ho Silver Lining

17. Ode To Billie Joe

18. To Sir With Love

Disc 5

2. She Wears My Ring

3. Honey

4. On The Road Again

5. The Weight

6. Kentucky Woman

7. Try To Remember

8. Lily The Pink

9. I'm The Urban Spaceman

10. Crimson And Clover

11. Games People Play

12. Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)

14. Galveston

16. Good Morning Starshine

17. Put A Little Love In Your Heart

20. Think About Tomorrow Today

x

Track List: Music From And Inspired By The Big Chill

Disc 1

1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine

2. My Girl

3. Good Lovin'

4. The Tracks Of My Tears

5. Joy To The World

6. Ain't Too Proud To Beg

7. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

8. I Second That Emotion

9. A Whiter Shade Of Pale

10. Tell Him

11. Bad Moon Rising

12. When A Man Loves A Woman

14. Gimme Some Lovin'

15. The Weight

16. Wouldn't It Be Nice

17. Strangers In The Night

Disc 2

1. It's The Same Old Song

3. What's Going On

4. Too Many Fish In The Sea

5. Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing

6. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

7. Shotgun

8. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)

9. Ask Any Girl

10. You Don't Own Me

11. Like To Get To Know You

12. Monday, Monday

13. Nights In White Satin

14. Feelin' Alright

15. Game Of Love

16. I Got You (I Feel Good)

17. (We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet

18. Time Of The Season

19. Get It While You Can

x

Track List: Northern Girls: Heartbreak Revenge & The New Dance

1. I'm On My Way

2. Stop Knockin'

3. The Chaperone

4. Tell Him

5. What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am?)

6. Party Lights

7. Bad Boy

8. Is It True (What They Say About You)

9. Just A Little Bit

10. I'm Gonna Be A Fool Next Monday

12. Let Love Go By

13. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman

15. Take Your Heart

18. Wanted

21. The Sound Of My Man

22. The Hammer

23. Baby Please Don't Go

24. Miss You So

x

Track List: One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds, Lost & Found

Disc 1

1. Needle In A Haystack

2. He's Got The Power

5. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby

8. Boys

9. Big Bad World

10. Out In The Streets

11. Is It True

13. I'll Keep Holding On

14. Oh No Not My Baby

15. May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone

17. I Never Dreamed

18. He's A Bad Boy

20. Dream Boy

21. Try The Worryin' Way

22. I Can't Let Go

23. Go Now

26. Life And Soul Of The Party

29. He Did It

Disc 2

2. The Train From Kansas City

4. Let Me Get Close To You

5. I Have A Boyfriend

6. I'm Into Something Good

8. If There's Anything Else You Want (Let Me Know)

9. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

10. It Comes And Goes

11. Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)

12. Girl Don't Come

13. That's When The Tears Start

15. Don't Drop Out

16. The One You Can't Have

17. I'm Nobody's Baby Now

18. You're So Fine

20. My One And Only Jimmy Boy

22. Chico's Girl

23. Cause I Love Him

24. Bye Bye Baby

27. Egyptian Shumba

29. Walking In Different Circles

Disc 3

1. The Trouble With Boys

2. Lookin' For Boys

3. Dream Baby

5. Should I Cry (Alternate Take)

6. I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)

7. I've Been Wrong Before

8. Love's Gone Bad

9. Nightmare

12. Take Me For A Little While

13. Funnel Of Love

15. Terry

17. Sophisticated Boom Boom

19. Don't Ever Leave Me

26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad

29. When I Think Of You

30. Good, Good Lovin'

Disc 4

1. When The Boy's Happy (The Girl's Happy Too)

4. That's How It Goes

9. He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'

10. I Know You Love Me Not

11. Whatever Happened To Our Love

15. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face

16. Crying In The Rain

19. Hey, Tell Me Boy

20. Brink Of Disaster

21. Who Do You Love

25. Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya

27. Mister Loveman

28. Make The Night A Little Longer

x

Track List: Panama 2, Latin Sounds, Cumbia Tropical & Calypso Funk On The Isthmus 1967-77

2. Tamborito Swing

6. Descarga Superior

9. Dreams (Edit)

10. Ain't No Sunshine

11. Ese Muerto No Lo Cargo Yo

13. Borombon

14. Jazzy

15. La Escoba

18. Ceferino En Salsa

19. Si La Vez

20. Piculina

x

Track List: Panama! Latin, Calypso And Funk On The Isthmus 1965-75

1. Panama Esta Bueno Y... Ma

2. Exciters Theme

4. Soy Solo Para Ti

5. Maltrato

7. Old Buzzard

8. El Mensaje

9. New Bag

11. Con Los Caballeros

12. Let Me Do My Thing

13. Viva Tirado

x

Track List: Scootering Sounds

1. You Need Wheels

4. Time For Action

6. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

7. Plane Crash

9. Skinhead Love Affair

10. Livin' In The City

12. These Things

13. Saturday Night

14. Since I Found My Baby

17. Time Will Pass You By

Comments

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I want to go back to that time....my time.....

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