60s Music

One-Hit Wonders the Aquatones

The AquatonesIntroduction to The Aquatones

The Aquatones were a 50’s music era doo-wop group out of Valley Stream, New York.  They are best known for their 1957 Fargo Records hit song (#21 Billboard Hot 100) “You,” which they wrote.  The group consisted of three guys, Dave Goddard, Gene McCarthy, Larry Vannata and one girl, lead singer Lynne Nixon.  Unlike many Doo Wop groups of their time, the guys all played instruments and wrote most of the 16 songs they recorded.  Goddard played piano, McCarthy played clarinet and tenor saxophone, and Vannata played both tenor and alto saxophone.  While Lynne Nixon, with her beautiful soprano voice, was usually the lead singer, all members of the group took their turn on lead vocals.  Even though the group is known for Doo Wop music they also took a stab at rock ‘n roll and country.  The group split in 1961 and each went their separate ways.  Sadly, Lynne Nixon died in January 2001.  In 1998 Goddard happened to hear Colette Delaney sing and noticed she sounded very similar to Lynne Nixon.  Goddard, McCarthy and Vannata regrouped, Delaney joined them, and they began performing again.  They released an album in 2001 titled “40 Years Ago” which contains some of their old songs alongside some new ones.  When you listen to The Aquatones with Lynne Nixon’s voice, it is hard to understand how she and the rest of the Aquatones didn’t become big stars as they should. Other Aquatones Songs include:  “For You, For You,” “My Treasure,” “Say You’ll Be Mine,” “Crazy for You,” “My Darling,” “Our First Kiss,” “Born in Brooklyn (Raised in the USA),” “My Own Desire,” “Drive-In,” “She’s the One for Me,” “So Fine,” “Every Time,” “There’s a Long, Long Trail,” “Wanted (A Solid Gold Cadillac),” “40 Years Too Late,” “What a Guy,” “Share,” “Dance With Me,” “It Must Have Been a Dream,” “I’m Movin,’ “Baby Please (Not While I’m Driving),” “Time Stood Still,” “I Can Still Rock & Roll All Night,” “I Love How You Love Me,” “Seeing Is Believing,” “It’s Not Easy Letting Go,” “Happy Happy Birthday Baby” and “To Know Him Is to Love Him.”

 

The Aquatones’ early years

The doowop group The Aquatones were formed in Valley Stream, Long Island in 1956. Initially, they were only a three-piece group consisting of Dave Goddard, Larry Vannata and Gene McCarthy. The three were individually talented as they could play instruments and sing as well. They soon added their friend Bob Boden as a drummer. Vannata later met a trained operatic soprano Lynne Nixon. After she was approved by Goddard and McCarthy, the 17-year old Lynne was added to the group.

 

 

“You” — The Aqutones’ lone hit

In 1958, The Aquanotes were signed to Fargo imprint, and released their debut single “She’s The One for Me.” However, the disc jockeys chose to play the B-side “You” which eventually  gained more attention. The song peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was also placed on a considerably high spot on the R&B chart at #11. By the time the song became a major hit, The Aquatones had several appearances on both radio and television which included the shows of Dick Clark and Alan Freed. They also embarked on tours which enabled them to perform along  with bigger names like Bobby Darin, The Shirelles, and Danny and the Juniors. They continued releasing singles for Fargo but all of these failed to repeat the success of “You.” So in this case they became one of the one-hit wonders. In 1961, they issued an LP called The Aquatones Sing for YOU.  

 

The Aquatones’ disbandment and the former members’ own pursuits

Even though The Aquatones reached the peak of their career, they soon disbanded in 1961. However, they still remained friends through the years.

In 1998, Colette Delaney caught the attention of Goddard for her singing voice which was similar to Lynne’s. With Delaney as the group’s new member, Goddard started writing songs again and reformed the Aquatones with Delaney, Rich Hornung and Paul King. In 2000’s, they were able to release several albums for Debra Records: 40 Years Later (2001), The Very Best Songs of The Aquatones (featuring their Fargo recordings, 2002), The Best of The New Aquatones (2003) and The Aquatones Sing It’s Christmas (2006).

In January 2001, former member Lynne Nixon died at the age of 59. The Aquatones, along with new lead vocalist Delaney, dedicated their album 40 Years Later to Nixon’s memory.

 

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