The Dixie Cups

The Dixie Cups came from New Orleans and had one giant hit along with several other records before slipping into rock history.

The three girls who comprised the group were Barbara Ann Hawkins [born 1943], her sister Rosa Lee Hawkins [born 1944] and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson [born 1945]. All were from New Orleans. Originally known as Little Miss and the Muffets, the girls were discovered at a talent contest. New Orleans record producer/singer Joe Jones, who had a top ten hit of his own in 1960 with You Talk Too Much, liked their act and brought the girls to the Brill Building in New York.

In 1964 they began to rehearse a song that had been written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector titled Chapel Of Love. Spector produced a version of the same song by one of his groups, the Crystals, that went unissued. He also produced a version by another one of his groups, the Ronettes, which coincidentally was also comprised of two sisters and their cousin. Although it appeared to everyone involved that Chapel Of Love had "hit" written all over it, Spector was somewhat apprehensive about releasing the song. Barry and Greenwich arranged a rehearsal for the girls from New Orleans at Red Bird Records, a new label that was owned by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The group was renamed the Dixie Cups, and their version of Chapel Of Love was released in 1964 on Red Bird. It became a huge international hit, a million seller, and a solid number one record in the United States. It also was a huge boost to Red Bird, which a short time later would become the home of another enormously successful girl group from New York City, the Shangri-Las. Spector later issued the Ronettes' version of Chapel Of Love on an album.

The Dixie Cups added two more top forty hits in 1964, People Say and You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me. When there was a pause in one of their recording sessions, the girls began a chanting song that they had learned in New Orleans called Iko Iko. It was a call-and-respond type of chant with some percussion in the background, and when they recorded it, it became their final top forty record, in the Spring of 1965. Iko Iko was covered by a British female band called the Belle Stars in the 80's, and when this version was used in the movie Rain Man it made a return to the top forty in 1989.

The Dixie Cups' run on the charts didn't last very long, but their brief run was enough to make them one of the memorable girl groups of the Sixties.

Most Recent Update: May 1, 2002

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