#911: Little Egypt by The Coasters
The Coasters are rhythm and blues group that had six Top Ten hits on the Billboard pop charts in the late 1950’s. Their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and producing team of Leiber and Stoller. The Coasters formed in October 1955 from an earlier Los Angeles based R&B group named The Robins. They were the third “bird” group in the R&B scene, along with The Ravens and The Orioles. The Robins had a #9 R&B hit in 1954 called “Riot in Cell Block No. 9.” Then in 1955, they had an even bigger regional hit in California called “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” The song, written by Leiber and Stoller, was inspired by a real cafe, a beanery called “Smokey Joe’s” which was right next to an oil well at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and La Cienega. The record became popular enough that Atlantic Records offered The Robins an independent contract to produce the group for the Atlantic label. Only two of The Robins, Carl Gardner and Bobby Nunn, were willing to make the move to Atlantic and become part of what was renamed The Coasters. The original Coasters’ members were Carl Gardner, Billy Guy, Bobby Nunn, Leon Hughes, and guitarist Adolph Jacobs.