On this day in music history: August 31, 1963 – “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on September 28, 1963. Written and produced by Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, it is the biggest hit for the girl group from South Orange, NJ. Formed in 1961 by sisters Barbara “Bibs” Allbut and Phyllis “Jiggs” Allbut as The Starlets, originally a quartet with Bernadette Carroll and Lynda Malzone. They record a handful of singles and also work as background singers. After Malzone leaves, she is replaced by Linda Jansen (aka Jankowski). They have another set back when manager Tom DeCillis decides to take on Carroll as his sole client, and drops the rest of the group. At this point, the Allbut sisters put their music career aspirations on hold to attend college after they’re turned down for a record deal by producer Gerry Granahan of Caprice Records. He has a change of heart and has the girls come back and record a song performed in their audition titled “Til”. Before it’s released, the group change their name to The Angels. Released in August of 1961, it peaks at #14 on the Hot 100 in January of 1962. They release four more singles, before Jansen leaves for a solo career. She is replaced by fellow New Jersey native Peggy Santiglia, formerly a member of The Delicates and a commercial jingle singer. Santiglia proves to be a perfect fit, and the group leave Caprice and are signed to Mercury subsidiary Smash Records. They are paired with songwriter and producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer (aka “The Strangeloves”). Feldman comes up with the initial idea for “My Boyfriend’s Back” after overhearing a high school girl rebuffing the advances of a male classmate. Initially intended for The Shirelles, they have The Angels record it as a demo. It is recorded at Associated Studios in New York City, and features Herbie Lovell (drums), Billy Butler, Bobby Comstock, Al Gorgoni (guitars), and Bob Bushnell (electric and acoustic bass). After hearing the finished recording, Smash discourages them from giving it away, and releases it on The Angels instead. Issued in July of 1963, “My Boyfriend’s Back” is an immediate hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #75 on August 3, 1963, it pole vaults to the top of the chart four weeks later. A male answer record titled “Your Boyfriend’s Back” (#98 Pop) by guitarist Bobby Comstock is released and charts briefly. Regarded as one of the classic girl group songs, it is also covered by The Chiffons, Martha & The Vandellas, Melissa Manchester, and Sarah Brightman. Originally released in mono only and edited for single release, the complete unedited take of The Angels original version is remixed into true stereo. “My Boyfriend’s Back” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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