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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A-Coco-Wika-No, A-Coco-Wika-Shay: The Chimes and Zindy Lou

I should include a warning that listening to "Zindy Lou," may cause an uncontrollable urge to repeat the phrase, a-coco-wika-no, a-coco-wika-shay for an indeterminate length of time.

"You can always trust a vocal group with a guy named 'Pookie' in it, and The Chimes are no exception." ~ Bob Dylan, Theme Time Radio Hour, "Women's Names"

It's difficult to locate much information on The Chimes, not least because there were several other groups called The Chimes around the mid-`50s, plus the personnel who made up The Chimes - Charles Jackson, David Cobb, Pookie Whooten and John Talbert - played it fast and loose on whatever they were calling themselves on any given day, as they specialized in backing vocals for other singers when they were with Specialty Records. "The Champs," is what they were called when they backed Tony Allen on his first hit, "Nite Owl."  Reports have it that they also released one single on the Jade label as the El Reyes. Three of the four Chimes would go on to form The Lions in 19 and 60, and later reformed as The Resonics.

A song with an irresistible hook, "Zindy Lou" was written by Eddie Smith and Johnnie Moore and released on the Specialty label in September 19 and 55 as the B-side to another Chimes' song worth searching out,, "Tears On My Pillow."

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