Born 20 April 1932, Pittston, Pennsylvania
Singer / songwriter / label owner /producer
Of Irish descent, Gerry Granahan was associated with the '50s groups Dicky Doo and the Don'ts and the Fireflies and also recorded under his own name. He started out as a disc jockey and sports announcer at WPTS Radio in his hometown of Pittston, PA before switching to a music career. In 1956 he moved to New York City, determined to succeed in the music business. His Presley-like voice got him a job at the publishing company Hill & Range, recording demos for Elvis. The next year he was signed to the Atlantic subsidiary Atco and had two singles released on the label, one credited to Jerry Grant and the Rockbilly Bandits ("Talkin' About Love") and one under his own name ("Sweet Affection"). Also in 1957, Granahan befriended Dave Aldred, the drummer with Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids. Together they wrote a song, "Click Clack", and sent a demo to Dick Clark, the host of American Bandstand. Notwithstanding a blatant conflict of interests, Clark and his producer, Tony Mammarella, were planning to launch their own label, Swan Records, in partnership with businessman Bernie Binnick. They purchased Granahan's masters and made "Click Clack" the first release on Swan, in December 1957. As Gerry was still contracted to Atco, he couldn't use his own name and the record was credited to Dicky Doo and the Don'ts. When "Click Clack" charted (peaking at # 28), Aldred and Granahan formed a touring group and scored four further hits on Swan during 1958-59. Later Dave Aldred would legally change his name to Richard A. Doo.
While still with Dicky Doo and the Don'ts, Granahan was signed as a solo singer by the new Sunbeam label, owned by publisher Tommy Volando. His first Sunbeam single, the rocker "No Chemise Please", was a # 23 pop hit in the summer of 1958. Four more Sunbeam records followed, including a duet with Eddie Fontaine, but there was no further success and Sunbeam folded in 1959. In that same year Gerry cut two solo singles for Gone Records and joined the Fireflies (with Ritchie Adams as lead singer), who scored a # 21 hit with the ballad "You Were Mine", on Ribbon Records in the autumn of 1959, followed by "I Can't Say Goodbye" (# 74) in early 1960. By using substitute musicians as needed, Granahan was able to have three acts on the road simultaneously : Dicky Doo and the Don'ts, the Fireflies and, of course, Gerry Granahan.