The Hollywood Argyles were an American musical ensemble, assembled for studio recordings by the producer and songwriter Kim Fowley and his friend and fellow musician Gary Paxton. They had a USnumber one hit record, "Alley Oop" (Lute Records 5905)[1][2] in 1960.


 [hide*1 "Alley Oop"

"Alley Oop"[edit]Edit

According to Paxton – who, at the time, was half of Skip & Flip – "Alley Oop" was written by Dallas Frazier as a country tune:

"As for the name, Kim Fowley and I were living in a $15-a-week room in Hollywood.... Since I was still under contract (to Brent Records) as 'Flip,'[3] I couldn't put my name on 'Alley Oop.' Seeing that the studio was on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. And Argyle Street, I decided on Hollywood Argyles... Richard Podolor's studio American Recording Company in the Hollywood Palladium building is where the song was recorded... Other than myself, there were no actual Hollywood Argyles. Everyone else on the track was either a friend or a studio musician who I paid $25 apiece for the session. When 'Alley Oop' suddenly took off and people wanted to book us for concerts, there was no such group." [4]

The "Alley Oop" session was produced by Kim Fowley; Sandy Nelson was the percussionist.[4] Sandy Nelson recalled that "all the participants were hopelessly drunk on cider by the time they recorded the song...."[5]

According to some reports, the lead vocalist on the track "Alley Oop" is Norm Davis. He was paid a one-time fee of $25 for his work on the single. He is currently a poet in Rochester, New York.[6]

Gary Paxton recalls it a bit differently on his website.[7]

"Alley Oop" was the first song played on WLS-AM Radio in Chicago on May 2, 1960, when it changed format from farm programming to rock and roll.

Other versions[edit]Edit

According to Jerry Osborne, two other groups, Dante and the Evergreens (Madison 130, US #15) and the Dyna-Sores (Rendezvous 120, US#59),[8] had a version of "Alley Oop" on the charts at the same time.[4][9]

Later activities[edit]Edit

Frazier is perhaps best known for writing the song "There Goes My Everything," a hit song for Jack Greene in 1966 and Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967. Frazier also wrote and recorded "Elvira" which became a 1981 country hit for the Oak Ridge Boys.[10][11]

Paxton later formed Garpax Records[9][12] and became a gospel artist.[13]

Fowley soon produced the Murmaids' 1963 hit "Popsicles and Icicles" (US #3).[14] He also helped bring together the Runaways in 1975,[14] as well as the Orchids (not the Glaswegians, but another American all-girl band).[15][16]


  • "Alley Oop" / "Sho Know A Lot About Love" (1960, Lute 5905)
  • "Gun Totin' Critter Named Jack"* / "The Bug Eyed Man" (1960, Lute 5908)
  • "Hully Gully" / "So Fine" (1960, Lute 6002)
  • "You've Been Torturing Me"* / "The Grubble" (1961, Paxley 752; credit: Gary Paxton And The Hollywood Argyles)
  • "Long-Hair-Unsquare Dude Called Jack" / "Ole" (1965, Chatahoochie 691)
  • "Alley Oop '66" / "Do the Funky Foot" (1966, Kammy 105)

— * Note: some songs are covers of Four Young Men (e.g. Crest 1076)[17]

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