The Jive Bombers

The Jive Bombers (who are not to be confused with the rockabilly group bearing the same moniker) are best known for their Savoy single "Bad Boy" which reached number seven on the R&B charts in 1957. The group -- Earl Johnson, Al Tinney, William Tinney (aka "Pee Wee"), and lead vocalist Clarence Palmer -- were formed from the membership of two other vocal acts: Sonny Austin & the Jive Bombers and the Palmer Brothers. They were originally known as the Sparrows -- again, these weren't the Sparrows who recorded "Why Did You Leave Me?" for Jay Dee -- when they recorded early in their career for Coral in 1949; they later changed names back to the Jive Bombers when they switched over to Citation Records in 1952. The Jive Bombers' "Bad Boy" (written by Avon Long and Lillian Hardin Armstrong, better known perhaps as "Lil Hardin" and wife of Louis Armstrong from 1924-1938) was their only charting hit, it peaked at number 36 on the pop/number seven on R&B in 1957. Clarence Palmer's beautifully sung classic has been re-recorded by a number of artists, including the Escorts ('50s), Mink Deville, Ringo Starr, Sha Na Na, and many more. It was later featured prominently in the John Waters-directed movie, Cry Baby. ~ Bryan Thomas

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