The Coasters

"Of all the record sessions we ever produced, the ones with The Coasters were the most fun." -- Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller

The Coasters can be considered one of the early “doo-wop” groups but their sound is almost the opposite of the Platters. Both groups were exceptions to the “doo-wop” trend of one-hit wonders -- The Coasters' recording success continued from 1957 into the early 1960’s. 1957 was their breakthrough year with their third release from Atco records, “Searching” entering the charts in May and going to #3. Its flip side, “Youngblood,” was also a big success, reaching #8. G & T ranked “Searchin” the #30 song of 1957. The Coasters had begun their recording career as The Robins. In 1955, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller signed the group to their Sparks label and recorded their song, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” It became a regional hit and got the group signed to Atco records with Leiber and Stoller as independent producers. In 1957 lead singer, Carl Gardner, and bass man, Bobby Nunn split and took the new name, “The Coasters” (they had met on the West Coast). The Coasters were as much a stage act as a recording group. Their songs can be described as “playlets” and their stage act has been compared to the Marx Brothers. Will “Dub” Jones replaced Nunn as bass man in 1958 and would sing on most of the Coasters major hits. They would have their biggest hit in 1958 with “Yakety Yak” which would be a #1 record. In 1959 they followed with three more top 10 hits: “Charlie Brown” (#2), “Along Came Jones” (#9) and “Poison Ivy” (#7). They joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
title week debuted highest ranking weeks on chart
Searchin' 5/20/1957 3 22
Young Blood 5/20/1957 8 11
Yakety Yak 6/9/1958 1 15
Charlie Brown 2/9/1959 2 12
Along Came Jones 6/1/1959 9 8
Poison Ivy 9/7/1959 7 11
Little Egypt 5/29/1961 23 6