Friday, November 14, 2008


If you like snappy 60s R&B, then you know The Orlons. While I’m sure there are plenty of other groups named after cloth, The Orlons are probably the best remembered. They started out in the late 50s as a five-member girl group, Audrey and the Teenettes. After losing a couple of the girls down to a trio, they added a guy (and what a guy, what a voice!) and became The Orlons. They took their name from a popular 60s manmade fabric as a kind of spoof on a rival school group, The Cashmeres. Well, if we’re talking fabrics, cashmere has the rep for being real pricey and aristocratic compared to lowly synthetic Orlon, but since we’re talking about music…the Orlons win hands down. I’m not saying the Cashmeres didn’t have a sound, but …how many hits by The Cashmeres do you remember? As for durable Orlons, there’s “South Street” “The Wah-Watusi” “Don’t Hang Up” “Cross Fire” and my particular fave, “Not Me.” Not bad for a group named after a synthetic fiber. You know what they say: Better living through chemistry.

The Orlons: Rosetta Hightower, Shirley Brickley, Marlena, Stephen Caldwell.
"Don't Hang Up" - a song about a phone call between a teen girl and boy. The girl innocently goes out with some friends, winds up at a dance (not her idea) and decides, as long as she's there, to "be a sport" and have a dance. Wouldn't you know it - her boyfriend walks into the dance and catches her! But wait a sec, who was that chick he had clinging to his arm?!! Too bad we didn't get to hear the rest of the conversation. Is it too late for an 'answer song'?

Video by YT member hwaj5300
Photo at

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