Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
Vocal group formed in Philadelphia c'59. Originally a girl quintet in junior high school; lead singer Shirley Brickley (b 9 Dec. '44; shot to death 13 Oct. '77) re- formed with Steve Caldwell (b 22 Nov. '42), Rosetta Hightower (b 23 June '44), Marlena Davis (b 4 Oct. '44; d 27 Feb. '93), gigged with the Cashmeres, which became the Dovells; that group's lead singer Len Barry (b Leonard Borisoff, 6 Dec. '42) recommended them to their label Cameo-Parkway; they began recording '60, hit the USA top 20 five times '62-3 with "The Wah Watusi', "Don't Hang Up', "South Street' (all top 4), "Not Me' and "Cross Fire!'. They sang on records by labelmates Dee Dee Sharp, Bobby Rydell; had more minor hits '63-4. Caldwell left to manage a group; Brickley led the girl trio with less success until Hightower left to marry an English musician, re-formed again later and was gigging in Philadelphia '80s with Jimmy Lewis and Ella Webster. The Dovells were a male doo-wop quintet whose biggest hits were "Bristol Stomp' and "You Can't Sit Down' '61-2; Barry had solo top 40 hits on Decca '65-6 incl. "1-2-3'.