The Dovells were an American vocal group, formed at Overbrook High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1957, under the name The Brooktones. Their first single was No, No, No, which was a minor local hit.
The group signed with Cameo-Parkway Records, which had just launched Chubby Checker and his Twist. They changed their name to The Dovells at the behest of label boss, Bernie Lowe (who named them after the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach, where he had recently vacationed).
The band members also changed their own names in order to sound less ethnic. Jerry Gross became Jerry Summers, Jim Meely became Danny Brooks, Mike Freda became Mike Dennis, Arnie Silver became Arnie Satin, and lead vocalist Len Borisoff became Len Barry.
Their first hit was Bristol Stomp (1961), a dance song, followed by the similar Do The New Continental. They appeared performing both songs in the Chubby Checker movie Don’t Knock The Twist in 1962.
The Dovells released a series of singles over the next few years, including You Can’t Sit Down, which became a #3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.
Danny Brooks (Meely), the bass singer, was eventually sacked from the group for alcoholism. He died in the early 70s.
Len Borisoff left the group in 1965 for a solo career under the name Len Barry. The high point of his solo career was 1-2-3 in 1965, which sold over 1.5 million copies in the US and 250,000 in the UK.
By 1968, second tenor Mike Dennis (Freda) had become a hippie, and dropped out to “get back to the land”. By the 1980s, he ran a landscaping business in Jacksonville, Florida.
Arnie Satin (Silver) remained a Dovell until 1972 before becoming a car salesman in South Jersey.
There was a sixth Dovell, who quit before Bristol Stomp and rejoined in 1968: Mark Stevens (Gordesky).
He and Jerry Summers (Gross) carried on the band and name using backing musicians and singers, primarily playing conventions and bar mitzvahs in Las Vegas and Tahoe.
They also ran an advertising agency in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, promoting doo-wop television spots.
Len Barry (Borisoff)
Arnie Satin (Silver)
Mark Stevens (Gordesky)
Jerry Summers (Gross)
Mike Dennis (Freda)
Danny Brooks (Jim Meely)