Gary U.S. Bonds

Down the Mississippi, Down in New Orleans

1961-headshotThe throbbing, reverberating hits of Gary U.S. Bonds were and remain an irresistible invitation to an instant party. At a time when real rock and roll was in dwindling supply, Gary came roaring out of Norfolk, Virginia in 1960 like a cyclone with the relentless pounder "New Orleans," followed closely by his immortal '61 pop chart-topper "Quarter To Three," the latter (and all of his followups) featuring the blistering sax of Gene "Daddy G" Barge and Legrand Records' studio band, the Church Street Five. More insanely infectious smashes followed in close proximity: "School Is Out" and its inevitable answer "School Is In," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist, Twist Senora," and two blasters that should have been hits but weren't, "Havin' So Much Fun" and "Where Did The Naughty Little Girl Go." Gary waged an incredible comeback in 1981 when producers Bruce Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zandt crafted "This Little Girl" for the singer, capturing the joyous vibe of his early hits anew. Dedication, the LP it hailed from, was also a spectacular success.

Bio by Bill Dahl

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