Little Caesar & the Romans

Near the end of the doo wop era, this Los Angeles group made the Top Ten with the nostalgic "Those Oldies But Goodies (Reminds Me of You)," a piano-based ballad that sounded a bit like a bridge between the Five Satins and Little Anthony & the Imperials. Doo wop's days were numbered when this was a hit in 1961, and indeed the song's title would quickly become a catch-all phrase for rock records of all kinds that had left the charts several years ago. Little Caesar & the Romans went on to record a few singles, and an LP, for Del-Fi in 1961 and 1962, some in a quaint vocal group manner heavily derivative of "Those Oldies But Goodies," others in a rougher, uptempo R&B mold akin to fellow L.A. artists the Olympics. They made the middle of the Top 100 with the dance tune "Hully Gully Again," and topped out at #101 with "Memories of Those Oldies But Goodies," a single that was even more nostalgic than its prototype. The act, which performed in togas for a while, broke up in 1962, partly as a result of a silly dispute between lead vocalist Carl Barnett and David Johnson (who did the spoken bridge of "Those Oldies But Goodies") as to who was the real Little Caesar. ~ Richie Unterberger

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