The Music of The Angels

Introduction to The Angels

The Angels were a New Jersey based 1960’s girl Group. They originally formed in 1961, by sisters Barbara “Bibs” Allbut and Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut, Bernadette Carroll (who left for a solo career and then returned in 1968) and Linda Malzone, as The Starlets.  They quickly changed their name to The Angels and began recording for Caprice Records. Bibs and Jiggs have been a constant through The Angels history.  Various other members, including Linda Jansen (formerly Linda Jankowski), Peggy Santiglia, Toni Mason & Debra Swisher, were in and out of the group at different times.  The group is best known for their #1 Billboard Hot 100 gold disc song, “My Boyfriend’s Back.”  It was written and produced by the Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer (FGG) songwriting team for Mercury Records subsidiary Smash Records.  The group had five other Hot 100 hit songs:  “Til” (#14), “Cry Baby Cry” (#38) , “I Adore Him” (#25) , “Thank You and Goodnight” (#84) and “Wow Wow Wee (He’s the Boy For Me)” (#41).  In 1965, due to a name dispute, they changed their names to The Halos but took the name back in 1967 and recorded several unsuccessful singles for RCA Victor Records.  In 1974 The Angels made another comeback attempt with Polydor Records with little success.  In 2008 The Angels did record “Love, The Angels” and they still continue performing today.  Other Angels hit songs:  “A Moment Ago,” “Poppa’s Side of the Bed,” “Everybody Loves a Lover,” “Merry Go Round,” “I’d Be Good for You,” “The Boy with the Green Eyes,” “Cotton Fields,” “If I Didn’t Love You,” “Snowflakes and Teardrops,” “You’ll Never Get to Heaven,” “Little Beatle Boy,” “I Had a Dream I Lost You,” “Dream Boy,” “World Without Love,” “Blow Joe,” “That’s All I Ask of You” (Love Me) Now,” “Java,” “With Love,” “So Nice” & “Jamaica Joe.”

Short career summary on The Angels

60s music era American girl group The Angels were formed in New Jersey in 1961, with the initial lineup consisting of Bernadette Carroll, Linda Malzone and the Allbut sisters Barbara “Bibs” and Phyllis “Jiggs.” They started as The Starlets.

Aside from being back-up singers in the studio, they also gained popularity in their hometown with their minor local hits. Shortly thereafter, Malzone left the group and was replaced by the new lead singer Linda Jankowski. The group was later abandoned by manager Tom DeCillis, except for Bernadette Carroll whom he focused managing. As a solo artist, Carroll achieved her own hit with the song “Party Girl.” Around that time, the Allbut sisters went back to school after being rejected by producer Gerry Granahan.  However, they were later picked up again by Granahan after the girls’ performance for an audition, singing their future hit song “Till.”

Making hits as The Angels

Under their new name, The Angels released their first single, now titled “Til,” which was also their first hit. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1961. In early 1962, another single was issued called “Cry Baby Cry” which went to #38 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well.  The Angels released an LP on the same year entitled And the Angels Sing, releasing under Caprice imprint.

Later that year, Jankowksi left the group to pursue a solo career and her position was filled in by the former Delicates member Peggy Santiglia. In 1963, they switched to Smash Records (a Mercury subsidiary) where they broke through with the single “My Boyfriend’s Back.” Penned by the songwriting team Feldman-Goldstein-Gottehrer, the song became the trio’s biggest hit, reaching #1 on the pop chart and sold over one million copies and gaining a gold disc. Their biggest hit was followed by moderately successful pop singles such as “I Adore Him” (#25, 1963) and “Wow Wow Wee (He’s The Boy For Me)” (#41, 1964) to name a few.

Later career

In 1965, The Angels were became The Halos and signed a record deal to Congress Records. Santiligia left and was replaced by Toni Mason. Two years after, ex-The Pixie Three Debra Swisher replaced Mason. With this lineup, The Halos reverted back to The Angels. Later, Carroll came back to the group as the new lead. However, none of the singles of The Halos and the newly-formed Angels charted.