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The Coasters

The Coasters were an American doo wop and early rock and roll group, evolving from The Robins, a Los Angeles based doo wop group. After The Robins signed with Atlantic Records (1955, after the massive chart success of "Smokey Joe's Cafe"), the group split up. Carl Gardner (tenor) and Bobby Nunn (bass) formed The Coasters.

The Coasters continued their association with the Robins' legendary songwriters, Leiber & Stoller. They soon added Billy Guy (baritone), Leon Hughes (tenor) and Adolph Jacobs (guitar), releasing their first single "Down in Mexico", a major R&B hit in 1956. In 1957, The Coasters crossed over with "Young Blood"/"Searchin'". This was followed by a dry period, and the group relocated to New York City. Nunne and Hughes left, replaced by Dub Jones (bass, of The Cadets) and Obie Jessie. Jessie was soon replaced by Cornell Gunter (The Flairs). This new line-up released "Yakety-Yak", which included King Curtis on tenor saxophone. The song was a huge mainstream hit, as was the follow-up "Charlie Brown". This was followed by "Along Came Jones", "Poison Ivy", "Shoppin' for Clothes" and "Little Egypt".

A series of line-up changes contributed to a lack of hits in the 1960s. The Coasters signed with Columbia Records, but were never able to regain their former fame. The Coasters last hit was "Love Potion No. 9" in 1971. Several groups used the name in the 1970s, touring throughout the country, though Gardner held the legal rights to it. Nunn died in 1986, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one year later. Gunter was murdered in Las Vegas in 1990. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Jones died in 2000.

External link

Vocal Group Hall of Fame page on The Coasters