#1187: Lovely Little Lady/Little Miss Twist by The Beau-Marks

Peak Month: January 1962
7 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #15
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Originally named the Del Tones when they formed in Montreal in 1958, the groups’ first single, called “Moonlight Party,” climbed to #1 in Montreal in May 1959. However, there were other bands with the same name. The Deltones had a single on Vee-Jay Records that was a minor hit in Chicago. That group had a minor hit in Philadelphia on another label in 1960 called “Strollin’ the Blues.” There was also a band from Australia called the Delltones. To avoid confusion, the Del Tones from Montreal changed their name to the Beau-Marks in 1959 in response to a political controversy. Their new name was a pun on the Bomarc, the worlds first supersonic long-range, anti-aircraft missile, developed by Boeing. The development of the Bomarc missile was accompanied by problems with its propulsion system. In 1958 the Conservative Government, led by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, was faced with two strategies for Canadian air defense. One was to produce the Avro Arrow, a very fast missile at a cost of over 12 Million per aircraft. It was created by the Canadian company, Avro Canada. The other option was to purchase Bomarc missles made by Boeing in Seattle, Washington, for 2 Million. The later missiles would be tipped with nuclear warheads. However, the Conservatives opted eventually not to have nuclear tipped missiles in Canada. With the cancellation of the Avro Arrow, the company lost over 14,000 jobs.

As the missile controversy swirled in the halls of the Canadian Parliament, the Beau-Marks had fun with their version of the missile’s name. Their debut album, The High Flying Beau-Marks, had the Beau-Marks wearing red and blue plaid suit jackets, white collared shirts, black ties and navy blue pants. Smiling in the sun, they stood and squatted on a tarmac in front of a jet plane.

The Beau-Marks were comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Raymond “Ray” Hutchinson, bass and guitar player Michel “Mike” Robitaille, pianist Joseph “Joey” Frechette and drummer Gilles Tailleur. Born in Montreal, in 1940, as a child, Ray Hutchinson had tuberculosis for twelve years. He got better and at the age of seventeen was writing and performing “Moonlight Party,” that became the Del Tones first hit, prior to the group’s name change.  The Beau Marks debut album contained a dozen tracks, five of which would be released on 45 RPM singles. The first four of these were “Clap Your Hands,” “‘Cause We’re In Love,” “Billy, Billy Went A Walking” and “Oh Joan” released through 1960. “Moonlight Party,” which was released as a single in 1959 by the Del Tones, also was a track on The High Flying Beau-Marks.

The group recorded and paid for all their recordings. They also wrote all their songs. Initially, they released “Clap Your Hands” without any hand clappers on the recording. Gary Copeland, who knew the group when they recorded in the studio recalls the  went on to market “they were finished, but they had some studio time left. Ray suggested to Joey that they record the Clap your Hands Song, but Joey said that nobody would like it. Well, Ray won and the rest is history.” They recorded the record twice, the second time they added hand clapping. It was the response to “Clap Your Hands” that got the quartet bookings in both Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall and Peppermint Lounge’s as well as on American Bandstand. They also were among the first  Canadian groups to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show. (The Four Lads had performed a number of times on the Ed Sullivan Show,  including on July 11, 1954. And The Crew Cuts had been on Ed Sullivan’s Toast Of The Town on December 12, 1954).

“Clap Your Hands” climbed to #1 in Australia for four weeks in August 1960. In the USA “Clap Your Hands” peaked at #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #40 on the Cashbox Top 100 Singles chart. Each article posted on Vancouver Signature Sounds involves research into the chart runs on the Billboard Hot 100 and the chart runs on the local radio stations in Vancouver, and selected radio markets of interest elsewhere. However, I don’t typically include that data in the “References” section below. On my “Resources” page on this website, readers can access links to the Billboard archives and Vancouver Top 40 Radio.com, where most of the weekly charts for CKWX, CFUN and CKLG between 1958 and 1969 can be viewed. However, in the case of “Clap Your Hands,” there is a lot of misinformation online about how well this song did on the national charts in the USA and in Canada. Numbers of online sites claim the song peaked at #1 in the USA, or #15. But it’s best chart run was for 15 weeks on Cashbox where it peaked at #40. And in Canada the song was not a #1 hit in the nation. It peaked on 1050 CHUM-AM in Toronto at #14, and also at #14 on CFUN in Vancouver. On CJAD in Montreal, “Clap Your Hands” climbed to #21. It made the Top Ten in Calgary, but access to complete chart information on 960 CFAC radio in Calgary is not available online.

The final single from their debut album was released as a B-side in 1962. It was titled “Lovely Little Lady,” a track from their third album, The Beau-Marks. The A-side of their final single release from their debut album was “Little Miss Twist.”

Lovely Little Lady/Little Miss Twist by The Beau-Marks

There’s a cute little chick going round and round,
‘causing commotion all over town.
A twisting little twister that I can’t resist,
I guess I gotta learn how to do the twist.

Round and round and round and round,
and up and down she goes.
Who’s that girlie goin’ round and round?
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
That classy little lassie going up and down?
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
Just look at the way that little lady goes,
she really is a twisting from her head to her toes.
I gotta meet the chick that makes me feel like this,
she’s known around town as Little Miss Twist.

The lovely little lady is a twisting queen,
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
The cutest little queen that I have ever seen.
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
(she’s going round and round…look at her).
Round and round and round and round,
and up and down she goes.

I never saw a girlie do the twist so good,
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
This twisting little twister and the way she shook.
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
Did you ever see a miss with such a pretty smile,
a twisting little miss, she’s got the greatest style.
The guys on the street want to catch her eye,
when Little Miss Twist goes a twisting by.

Finally learned the twist and boy it really did pay,
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).
’cause Little Miss Twist is my steady today.
(Little Miss, Little Miss, Little Miss Twist).

In 1959 Hank Ballard and The Midnighters had released a dance tune titled “The Twist.” It was successfully covered by Chubby Checker in 1960 and Checker took his version to #1 in both 1960 and again in early 1962. In the midst of the ‘Twist” craze, there were many songs recorded to cash in on the fad. These include Kissin’ and Twistin'” (Fabian), “Twistin’ USA” (Danny and the Juniors), “Dear Lady Twist” (Gary “U.S.” Bonds),  “Let Me Do My Twist” (Jo Ann Campbell), “Let’s Twist Again” (Chubby Checker), “Oliver Twist” (Rod McKuen), “The Peppermint Twist” (Joey Dee and the Starliters), “Spanish Twist/Twist Español” and “Florida Twist” (all by Bill Haley & His Comets), “Tequila Twist” (The Champs), “Twist and Shout” (Isley Brothers and later The Beatles), “The Alvin Twist” (The Chipmunks), “Arkansas Twist” (Bobby Lee Trammell), “The Basie Twist” (Count Basie),  “Bo’s Twist” (Bo Diddley), “Bristol Twistin’ Annie” (The Dovells), “Do You Know How To Twist?” (Hank Ballard and The Midnighters), “Everybody’s Twistin'” (Frank Sinatra), “Hey, Let’s Twist” (Joey Dee & the Starliters), “Jungle Twist” (The Fortune Tellers), “Kissin’ Twist (Kiss ‘n’ Twist)” (Connie Francis), “Percolator (Twist)” (Billy Joe & the Checkmates), “Slow Twist” (Chubby Checker and Dee Dee Sharp), “Soul Twist” (King Curtis) “Twist-Her” (Bill Black’s Combo), “Twistin’ All Night Long” (Danny and the Juniors), “Twistin’ Matilda (And The Channel)” (Jimmy Soul), “Twistin’ Postman” (The Marvelettes), “Twisting Bells” (Santo and Johnny), “Twistin’ the Night Away” (Sam Cooke), “Twist, Twist Senora” (Gary “U.S.” Bonds). While in film there were several ‘Twist’ movies: Twist All Night, Twist Around the Clock, (Hey) Let’s Twist and Don’t Knock the Twist.

To all of the twist mania, the Beau-Marks added “Little Miss Twist.” In the case of their song there is a guy who seeks a “girlie” who can twist from head to toe who catches his attention by the way she shakes. So he learns how to twist and ends up going steady with his Little Miss Twist. The take-away from the song was, if you want to get the girl and she likes to dance you better learn a few dance moves.

Lovely Little Lady/Little Miss Twist by The Beau-Marks

Come on lovely little lady,
you kiss my lips make me feel so good.
Come on lovely little lady,
I want to love you like I know I should.

I love you with all my heart,
I’ll never, never, let the teardrops start.
Hold me close, just treat me right,
I love you honey with all my might.

Come on lovely little lady,
you know I love you so. 
Come on lovely little lady,
I’ll never ever let you go.
never, never, never let you go.

Come on lovely little lady,
don’t you know I love you so?
Come on lovely little lady,
I’ll never ever let you go.

I love you with all my heart,
I’ll never, never, let the teardrops start.
Hold me close, just treat me right,
I love you honey with all my might.

Come on lovely little lady,
don’t you know I love you so?
Come on lovely little lady,
I’ll never ever let you go.
never, never, never let you go….

Presumably “Lovely Little Lady” was a song that the Beau-Marks got requests to sing in concert. As the tune had a durable message for teens, especially guys who wanted to go steady with someone, it was a good companion B-side to “Little Miss Twist.” The A-side climbed to #15 in Vancouver, #12 in Halifax and #17 in Toronto, while Halifax didn’t chart the B-side. In both cases DJ’s in the USA gave the single a pass.

In 1963 the Beau-Marks broke up and Ray Hutchinson joined Dave Nichol and The Coins. Eventually Hutchinson became a lounge act, as well as owning a restaurant in Montreal called Le Sentiment where he also performed. Gilles Tailleur lost his life at the age of 35 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Mike Robitaille went on build a career in video production. Lastly, Joey Frechette became the CEO of Capitol Records’ April Blackwood publishing. From there he moved on to work as a program director at CHOO radio in Ajax, Ontario. He released his own version of “Clap Your Hands” in 1987 billing himself as Joey Conrad.

July 7, 2017
Ray McGinnis

References:
Gary Copeland, The Beau-Marks/Ray Hutchinson, Russ & Gary’s “The Best Years of Music,”August 1, 2010
The Beau-Marks bio, Rockabilly.nl
The Beau-Marks, The Canadian Encyclopedia.ca
Ray Hutchinson bio, Ray Hutchinson.tripod.com.
Don’t Knock the Twist, Columbia Pictures, 1962.
Greg Garrison, (Hey)! Let’s Twist!, Paramount Pictures, 1961.
Oscar Rudolph, Twist Around the ClockColumbia Pictures, 1961.
William J. Hole, Twist All Night, American International Pictures, 1961.
Don McBrearty, The Arrow, Tapestry Pictures/CBC, 1996.
Sh-Boom, Wikipedia.org.
The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971), Episode 7.43, July 11, 1954, IMDb.com
Cashbox Top 100 Singles, July 2, 1960, Cashbox Magazine, USA.
Number One Singles of 1960 (Canada), CHUM charts, Wikipedia.org.

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