The Hollywood Argyles were a short-lived studio group assembled by producer/musician/songwriters Kim Fowley and Gary Paxton. They achieved popularity with their 60s music era hit single and now oldies music classic “Alley Oop,” and the group went on to become a one hit wonder. A bit more on The Hollywood Argyles in this article.
The Hollywood Argyles’ short-lived music career
The Hollywood Argyles were a short-lived studio act thrown together by songwriter/producer Kim Fowley and producer/musician Gary Paxton, who were also friends.
Fowley had produced a number of recordings and found his success with a few groups such as Skip & Flip, which consisted of Paxton (“Flip”) and Clyde Battin (“Skip”). The duo scored a couple of top 20 pop chart smashes with “Cherry Pie” and “It Was,” both of which were released in 1959.
After Skip & Flip disbanded, Patton and Fowley teamed up together and assembled a one-off studio group called the Hollywood Argyles, a doo-wop inspired act. The name was taken from the two streets in Hollywood, Los Angeles (where Patton and Fowley rented a room and lived together for a while) — Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Street.
The Hollywood Argyles also featured drummer/percussionist Sandy Nelson, whom Fowley had also worked before.
The group recorded “Alley Oop” co-produced by Fowley and Paxton. The song had been written and composed by country artist Dallas Frazier back in 1957, inspired by a comic strip which was popular during that time.
According to some reports, some guy named Norm Davis sang the lead vocals, but it was actually Paxton who did such duties. Nelson recalled that all the people (including Paxton and Fowley) involved in the recording were “hopelessly drunk” by the time they were making the record.
“Alley Oop” was released in May 1960, and shot to number one on the Billboard pop chart. The record sold more than a million copies and was awarded with a gold disc.
But since that the act was no more than one of Fowley’s one-off producing stints, the “group” didn’t bother for a follow-up, and Fowley and Paxton moved on.