The Impalas were an American doo-wop group in the late 1950s, best known for their hit, "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)".
The group formed in 1958 in Brooklyn, New York, and was composed of lead singer Joe "Speedo" Frazier (born September 5, 1943), Richard Wagner, Lenny Renda, and Tony Carlucci. They were a racially integrated group - Frazier was the only black member.
They recorded for the small Hamilton record label, before they were discovered by songwriters and promoters Artie Zwirn and Aristides "Gino" Giosasi, who had written the song "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)". Early in 1959 disc jockey Alan Freed heard the group, added his name to the writing credits for the song, and secured them a deal with the MGM Records subsidiary label Cub. The record reached #2 on the U.S. pop chart, #14 on the R&B chart, and #28 in the UK Singles Chart. The song sold over one million copies earning gold disc status.
The group recorded follow-ups including "Oh What A Fool", and an album for Cub, and one further single for the 20th Century label, before disbanding in 1961. Frazier went on to sing with Love's Own in 1973, and in 1980 resurrected the Impalas as a touring act.
The Impalas Biography
The Impalas were a racially integrated vocal group from Brooklyn who are best remembered for their 1959 hit "Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)," which scored them their only Top 20 hit (number two pop, number 14 R&B). Forming in 1958, the group -- Joe "Speedo" Frazier (the only black singer), Richard Wagner, Lenny Renda, and Tony Carlucci -- were signed to the Cub label, a subsidiary label of MGM that also issued high-quality stereo recordings by the Five Satins, the Harptones, the Stereos, the Velours, and the Wanderers, to name a few. In August of 1959, Cub issued an album, Sorry I Ran All the Way Home, which featured other recordings the Impalas made for the label. Unfortunately, no further hits ever came, and they disbanded in 1961. ~ Bryan Thomas, All Music Guide
Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)  Written by Artie Zwirn and Aristides "Gino" Giosasi
With the poor success of the last singles of The Impalas Cub stop another future recordings of the group this are innactive for a long time when in 1966 Red Boy Records released one single of the group but with a modern sound.
In 1959 cub Records released an Impala's complete album The Impalas"Sorry(I Ran All The Way Home).this contain the tune_Woodchuck Song.
The group at Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beechmut Show.
By the mid spring "Sorry" is one of the top sellers in the country. In May, The Impalas appear at a big benefit concert in Detroit presented by WJBK radio. In June the group goes back into the studio and records a follow up to their smash hit. The result is "Oh What A Fool" and "Sandy Went Away" on Cub # 9033. By August Cub issues a LP album by The Impalas on # 8003 to capitalize of "Sorry". The group's second record for Cub could not duplicate the success of their initial effort and so they tried again. In October Cub Records releases the newest effort by the group with "Bye Bye Everybody" and "Peggy Darling" on # 9053. In November the group appears at a MGM Records promotional tie in with the F.W. Woolworth chain of stores celebrating their long time presence in the Times Square area of New York City. That month The Impalas do a television spot with Clay Cole in New York. Reports in the trade press claim that "Peggy Darling" is selling well in Chicago and Gary, Indiana. However the record does not break nationally on the hit charts.
In 1960 the group has one last release issued by Cub Records. This time they are listed as Speedo & The Impalas. The songs are "All Alone" and "When My Heart Does The Talking" and are issued on Cub # 9066. After that the group reforms at sporadic times through the nineteen sixties, and there is one last forgettable record for Red Boy Records in the mid sixties. And so - that is the story of The Impalas who recorded one of the great songs that defined the late 1950s for all of us. "Sorry I Ran All The Way Home" had that certain something that made it part of the soundtrack of our lives all those years ago.
The group recorded follow-ups including "Oh What A Fool," and an album for Cub, and one further single for the 20th Century label, before disbanding in 1961. Frazier went on to sing with Love's Own in 1973, and in 1980 resurrected the Impalas as a touring act.
The Impalas Remembered
The group known as The Impalas originated in a neighborhood in the southern part of the borough of Brooklyn known as Canarsie. The group began as a trio with Lenny Renda, Tony Carlucci, and Richard Wagner getting together and hitting some notes hanging out on the streetcorners near their homes. One of the admirers of their sound was one Joe Frazier known by his nickname of "Speedo". He talked to the would be vocalists and thought he could help them polish up their sound. The fact that Frazier was Black and the others White did not seem to be any cause for concern among the singers. Looking for a name for the group was the next step and soon the guys agreed on the name The Impalas, after a popular model of Chevrolet in the late nineteen fifties. Now the next step was to find a record label interested enough in the new group to give them a shot at recording. They soon secured a chance with a small local record label called Hamilton Records and their two songs were "I Was A Fool" and "First Date" which was released on # 5006 in the late summer of 1958. The record went nowhere, but the Impalas did not immediately throw in the towel and decided to try again when they felt the time was right.
Late in the year the group made some important connections that would help them on their way. They were heard by music manager Artie Zwerin and performer "Gino" Giosasi which led to a chance meeting with Alan Freed who still had some clout in the New York recording industry despite his legal troubles and loss of his spot at radio station WINS in the city. Through him the group had a shot at a recording session with MGM Records. The group with Frazier singing lead had a new tune given to them called "Sorry Sorry" which MGM liked and so the recorded version of the song was released on a new subsidiary label called Cub Records on # 9022 in January of 1959. The song "Fool Fool Fool" was on the flip side of the new release. Almost immediately the record was a hit. The 'A' side now known as "Sorry I Ran All The Way Home" took off like a rocket in the Northeast and by the beginning of February it was on everybody's pick hit list. As the sales numbers add up the group is suddenly a hot commodity. They are signed to do the big Easter show at the Brooklyn Fox Theater, and are in demand for television and club appearances.
May 23th, 2009
JOE "SPEEDO" FRAZIER
JOE "SPEEDO" FRAZIER
Born 5 September 1943, New York City, New York
Joe Frazier was the lead singer and only black member of the Impalas, a vocal quartet from Brooklyn who are best remembered for their 1959 hit "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)". The group was formed in 1958 by Tony Carlucci (first tenor), Richard Wagner (baritone) and Lenny Renda (second tenor). They began practicing in the back room of a candy store and on local street corners, where they were heard by Joe Frazier, who called himself Speedo. His offer to help their harmonies turned into a full-fledged frontrunning spot with the group. They issued a song called "First Date" on the small Hamilton label, which went unnoticed. One evening their street-corner singing attracted the attention of Artie Zwirn and Aristides Giosasi (Gino of the act Gino and Gina, "Pretty Baby", # 20, 1958), who liked their sound and also had an original song called "Sorry, I Ran All The Way Home". In early 1959 an introduction to Alan Freed led to an MGM audition and a record deal with MGM's Cub subsidiary. "Sorry" became a # 2 hit single on the pop charts and peaked at # 14 R&B. It managed to make it to the UK at # 28 in the summer of 1959. The famous "uh-oh" at the beginning of the record was not intended, but a knee-jerk utterance by Speedo acknowledging that he had missed the cue given by Leroy Holmes, the arranger and conductor of the session. The A&R man said to leave it in there, so the "uh-oh" was repeated on the next take. The follow-up, "Oh What A Fool", also penned by Zwirn and Giosasi, had 100,000 advance sales. This led Cub to believe that no promotion was necessary and the single was given only the slightest exposure. A big mistake : the record died at # 86. Two more Cub singles and an LP followed, but there were no further hits and after a final single for 20th Century in 1961, the Impalas hit the pavement. "Speedo" Frazier went on to sing with Love's Own in 1973. In 1980, he resurrected the Impalas as a touring act ; they also issued one single, "My Hero" on UGHA in 1982.