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Bob & Earl

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Biography

Bob & Earl started out as one of several aliases under which Bobby Day (of "Little Bitty Pretty One" and "Rockin' Robin" fame) and Earl Nelson (aka Jackie Lee) (born September 8, 1928) recorded together for the Los Angeles-based Class Records label. The two harmonized beautifully, with a smooth, unshowy, yet powerful sound that reflected Nelson's background in gospel, and they had four singles released under that name (in addition to other sides credited to Earl Nelson & the Pelicans, Bobby Day & the Satellites, and the Hollywood Flames) starting around 1960 (some sources have them using the name as early as 1957), of which the slow, impassioned ballad "That's My Desire" and its rocking, comical B-side, "You Made a Boo Boo," got the highest exposure, released twice. Nelson parted company with Day and later formed a new partnership with a singer named Bobby Relf, and the two continued using the name Bob & Earl. The second version of Bob & Earl made an indelible mark on popular culture in 1963 by recording the original version of "Harlem Shuffle" (produced by Barry White), which was a modest success in America and a major hit in England. Bob Relf exited the duo in the mid-'60s and was replaced by Bobby Garrett, who kept the partnership with Nelson alive into the 1970s. ~ Bruce Eder
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