Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers was a band led by, of course, Les Cooper (1921-2013), an American R&B and pop/rock musician. Their band had a brief success during the early 60s music scene, with their only big hit “Wiggle Wobble.” Originating from Norfolk, Virginia, Cooper had been a doo-wop veteran, having performed in various groups such as The Empires and Whirlers, and managed another doo-wop act The Charts. His biggest hit along with his Soul Rockers with the instrumental record “Wiggle Wobble,” was a B-side. It became a hit on both pop and R&B singles charts in 1963. He had recorded for Everlast (the one that released “Wiggle Wobble”) and Enjoy labels, but “Wiggle Wobble” was his only hit, and therefore Cooper joined the ranks of one-hit wonders. He died this just August 3, 2013 (as of this writing) in New York, aged 92.
Short Career Summary on Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers
Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers was an R&B/rock n’ roll group led by Les Cooper (b. March 15, 1921, Norfolk, Virginia- d. August 3, 2013), a former member of the groups The Empires and The Whirlers. During the early 1960’s, Cooper formed Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers.
Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers’ only big hit with “Wiggle Wobble.”
The newly-formed Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers signed a deal with Everest Records which was owned by record producer Danny Robinson. There, the group recorded their debut single “Dig Yourself” (co-produced by Bobby Robinson) b/w “Wiggle Wobble” in 1962. However, the radio disc jockeys were not impressed with the carrier single. Instead, they flipped the record over and began playing the B-side, “Wiggle Wobble” which became more appealing to the listeners.
“Wiggle Wobble” was a national, registering at #12 in late 1963 on the Billboard R&B chart and #22 Billboard Hot 100 (pop) charts in early 1963. In the UK, it was issued as an A-Side in in December 1962 on Stateside imprint. The success of “Wiggle Wobble” was never duplicated with their follow-up singles: “Garbage Can” (1963), “Let’s Do the Boston Monkey” (1965) and “I Can Do the Soul Jerk” (1965). Because he and his Soul Rockers were never able to follow up the success of “Wiggle Wobble,” they joined the ranks of the “one-hit wonders.”
Bandleader Les Cooper died on August 3, 2013 at VNSNY Haven Hospice Specialty Care Unit in New York City, New York. Cooper was 93 years old.
Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers discography (list may be impartial)
Everlast Records (Sep 1962, US)
- A: Wiggle Wobble
- B: Dig Yourself
- A: Garbage Can
- B: Bossa Nova Dance
Enjoy Records (1965)
- A: Let’s Do The Boston Monkey
- B: Owee Baby
Arrawak Records (1965)
- A: I Can Do The Soul Jerk
- B: At The World’s Fair
More on Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers
- Les Cooper’s Wikipedia bio
- Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers Discography on Discogs
- Les Cooper and the Soul Rockers’ “Wiggle Wobble” lyrics on To40DB.net