"Alley Oop" is a song written and composed by Dallas Frazier. The song, heavily inspired by the V. T. Hamlin-created comic strip of the same name, was first recorded by Frazier as a country tune in 1957.
The Hollywood Argyles, a short-lived studio band, recorded the song in 1960, and it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the US R&B chart. It also went to #24 on the UK chart. It was produced by Gary Paxton, who also sang lead vocals. At the time, Paxton was under contract to Brent Records, where he recorded as Flip of Skip & Flip.
According to Paxton:
|“||There were NO Hollywood Argyles at the very beginning. I was the only lead singer. Kim Fowley helped me produce it, because we were partners in Maverick Music International/BMI at the time... The drummer was Ronnie Silico (Lloyd Price's road drummer). The piano player was Gaynel Hodge of the Penguins. The bass player was Harper Cosby, a jazz bassist in L.A. Sandy Nelson (of "Teenbeat" fame) played the garbage can and screamed on the record. The background singers were: Dallas Frazier...Buddy Mize, Scotty Turner, Diane ?? (A friend I knew), and [myself]. It was recorded at American Recorders, next door to Lawrence Welk's Palladium, and across from the Moulin Rouge on Sunset Blvd. near Sunset and Vine Street. A little bitty street (Argyle Street) was next door to the studio, so I said, 'Let's call ourselves The Hollywood Argyles!'||”|
Also in 1960, The Dyno-Sores released a version that went to #59 on the Hot 100 chart, and Dante & The Evergreens released a version that went to #15 on the Hot 100 chart. Both Dante & The Evergreens's and the Argyles's versions were credited as number ones in Cashbox magazine's singles chart.
The Beach Boys recorded and released their version on their 1965 album Beach Boys' Party! The British satirical art rock/pop group, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, recorded a version of "Alley Oop," which was released as their second single in October 1966. It was also performed by Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters on their self-titled album, released in 1967.
Actress-singer Darlene Love recorded a version of the song for the 1984 film Bachelor Party. George Thorogood also performed a version of this song with his band, the Destroyers, and it was on his live album that was released on February 15, 1989. Ray Stevens's version was on his album Gitarzan.