You Lied To Me - The Re-Vels (Sound Records) 1956, 45 rpm! A Direct Recording!
A really nice, rare one!!
The group was formed in Philadelphia around 1954 as The Re-Vels Quartette (putting the accent on vels, instead of the natural tendency to put it on Rev) with lead singer John Kelly and high school pals John Grant, John Jones, Henry Colclugh and Bill Jackson. The combo clicked and began doing live appearances, cutting a record for the Atlas label, "My Lost Love." A deal with another label, Sound, came along the following year. Their single releases in 1955 and '56 included "So in Love," "You Lied To Me" and "Cha-Cha Toni" under a shortened name, The Re-Vels. The songs, particularly "Toni," received a smattering of airplay in Philly and a few Eastern U.S. cities, but none were hits. The guys bounced around for a couple of years and landed with Chess Records in 1958. "False Alarm" (also as the Re-Vels) picked up some airplay like the earlier singles, but despite its tight doo wop harmonies and a hot opening guitar riff, didn't quite catch on. Chess, riding high at the time with Chuck Berry and Harvey and the Moonglows, was apparently demanding that their acts deliver hits, and the Re-Vels were quickly cut from the roster.
It would seem the key to the success of the group, then, was dependent on two things: taking the hyphen out of the group's name, and recording something with a little more of a novelty flavor. A small startup label founded by Harold Nussbaum (a.k.a. Hal Norton) and William Goldstein and named after a mashup of their names, Norgolde Records signed the group as The Revels. 'Dressed in a top hat, cane and all, must have been going to a dead man's ball...may not believe it but it has to be told, a poor soul doing the dead man's stroll.' Jackson's lyrics weren't what one would expect to break the quintet onto the charts, yet it was meant to be.
"Dead Man's Stroll" was released in September 1959 with the idea of timing it to hit big around Halloween, and the song began popping up on radio stations, leading to a scheduled appearance on American Bandstand with Dick Clark at the end of the month. Clark objected to the "Dead Man" part of the title, so to appease him and avoid losing the much-needed TV exposure, the record's title was changed to "Midnight Stroll" (though the lyrics were left unchanged, with the word "midnight" nowhere in the song). The record broke into the national charts in mid-October, languishing near the bottom at first, as Halloween flew right by. Fortunately the song wasn't affected by the passing of the holiday, as it ascended soon after, reaching the top 40 near the end of November and remaining on the charts until just before Christmas.