• The Impalas (1) (New-York)


    Personnel :

    Joe Frazier(Lead)

    Tony Carlucci(First Tenor)

    Lenny Randa(Second Tenor)

    Richard Wagner(Baritone)

    Discography :

    Singles :

    The Impalas (1)

    1958 - First date / I was a Fool(Hamilton 50026)

    1958 - Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home / Fool, Fool, Fool(Cub 9022)
    1959 - Oh what a Fool / Sandy went away(Cub 9033)

    1959 - Peggy darling / Bye everybody(Cub 9053)
    1966 - I cam't see me without you / When you dance(Red Boy-113)
    1982 - My Hero / There ain't nothing like a Dame (UGHA 17)

    Speedo & The Impalas (1)
    1960 - All alone / When my heart does all the talking(Cub-9066)


    Eps :

    1959 - Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home / Fool, Fool, Fool / Chum / All But The Memory Of You (Cub CX5000)

    1959 - Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home / Fool, Fool, Fool / Sandy went away / Oh, what a fool (MGM -EP-696)

LPs :


    Lps :

    1959 - The Impalas (Sorry I Ran All The Way Home) (Cub 8003)
    Sorry I Ran All The Way Home / Sandy Went Away / Woodchuck Song / Fool Fool Fool / She Belongs To Me / Cupid / Oh What A Fool / The Loves We Share / Chum / All But The Memory Of You / Mommy-O / You Want Too Much Too Soon


    Biography :

    The Impalas were a Brooklyn vocal group with the distinction of being one of the few white groups with a black lead singer. The distinction was blurred by the fact that Joe "Speedo" Frazier sounded as white as the rest of the group.  Lenny Renda (second tenor), Richard Wagner (baritone), and Tony Carlucci (first tenor) began practicing in the back room of a Canarsie candy store and on local street corners in the late 1950s; they were often heard by teenager Speedo.

    His offer to help their harmonies turned into a full-fledged front- running spot with the group. Their name idea was inspired by one of the teens dad's new car, a Chevy Impala. They issued a song called "First Date" on the small Hamilton label; it went unnoticed and they were back in the candy store in a flash. One evening their street-corner singing attracted the attention of Artie Zwirn and Aristedes Giosasi  (Gino of the act Gino and Gina, "Pretty Baby," #20, Mercury, 1958) who liked their sound and also had an original song titled "Sorry, I Ran All the Way Home."

    In early 1959 an introduction to Alan Freed led to an MGM audition and a record deal with their Cub subsidiary. "Sorry" became their first hit single, charting at number two Pop. (Only Dave "Baby" Cortez's "Happy Organ" was in front of the up-tempo tunes.) It managed to make it to England at number 28 by the summer. In less than two months the Impalas had gone from Canarsie corners to big-time touring with THE SKYLINERS, Chuck Berry, and Frankie Avalon, playing Alan Freed concerts, the Brooklyn Fox, and the Ed Sullivan and Dick Clark TV shows.


    With a million-seller under their belts the group issued "Oh What a Fool," another teen Top 40 pleaser penned by Zwirn and Giosasi. It started out swimmingly, but the record died at number 86 during the summer of 1959 )it possibly did too well on its own at first, prompting Cub to stop promoting).  Their last Cub single, "All Alone" (which was the first single to read Speedo and the Impalas), never had a chance although Billboard's March 28, 1960, review called it "a tender ballad, with chick chorus lending a good touch to the arrangement," and gave it four stars.


    In 1966 the group did a fine MAGNIFICENT MEN- styled recording for Dave Rick on Red Boy titled "I Can't See Me Without You." By the '80s the membership included Speedo, Randy Silverman of VITO AND THE SALUTATIONS, Ricky Shaw, and John Monforte.

    Of the originals, Richard Wagner became a phone company lineman in New Mexico, Lenny Renda became a New York City cop, and Tony Carlucci dropped out of sight, but the Impalas can be heard almost any time you turn on oldies radio in America;  "Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home" is a rock and roll standard.
    Jay Warner "American singing groups: a history from 1940s to today"




    Videos :

    Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)


    Songs :

    Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home             Oh What A Fool

    Bye Everybody                             Peggy darling

    Sandy went away                    All alone



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