||Detroit, Michigan, United States
The Capitols were a Detroit, Michigan-based soul trio widely known in the late 1960s for their Billboard hit single "Cool Jerk".
Formation and Disbandment
The R&B trio formed in 1962 as "The Three Caps," with Samuel George as the lead vocalist and drummer, Don Storball (birth name: Don Norman) on backup vocals and guitar, and Richard Mitchell (birth name: Richard McDougall) on backup vocals and keyboard. After playing predominantly small gigs, they were discovered by former Ann Arbor radio DJ Ollie McLaughlin after performing at a local dance headlined by Barbara Lewis. After signing with the Karen record label, owned by McLaughlin, the group went on to record and release their first single in 1963, "Dog and Cat/The Kick". The record displayed the upbeat energy of their later work, however the juvenile nature and lyrics of the song couldn't find a substantial audience. In light of the disappointing performance of their debut single, the group dissolved and pursued other ventures.
Re-formation and Cool Jerk
The mid-1960s saw many dance crazes; one of the most popular ones was a dance called "the jerk."
Seeking to capitalize on the popularity of the dance, and dance songs in general, Storball wrote a song about the pimp jerk, renaming it "Cool Jerk" in order to prevent possible banning by radio stations. Realizing that the song had potential, the group re-formed and contacted McLaughlin in order to secure studio time to record the song.
The song was recorded at Golden World Studios in Detroit on March 14, 1966 with the legendary Motown house band The Funk Brothers. Though the song was meant to include a horn accompaniment, the contracted musicians failed to show up for the recording session and their parts were omitted from the track. "Cool Jerk" was released late March 1966 and was a hit, reaching as high as #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Billboard R&B charts.
Decline and dissolution
Attempting to exploit the success of their hit single, the Capitols released two albums in 1966, "Dance the Cool Jerk" and "We Got a Thing," both featuring mostly covers of popular Motown and soul songs. Both albums were somewhat of a commercial and critical failure, though "Dance the Cool Jerk" did spend one week in the Billboard Top 200 Albums at #95 in July 1966. The group released eight additional singles after "Cool Jerk", only two of which made the Billboard charts, getting no higher than #65, relegating the group to a One-Hit-Wonder. In late 1969, the group broke up for the final time.
Storball went on to a career in the Highland Park, MI Police Department, and still lives in Detroit. Richard McDougall died on February 19, 1984 of unknown causes. Samuel George died March 17, 1982 after he was fatally stabbed in a domestic dispute.
- Dance the Cool Jerk (ATCO 33-190) (1966)
- We Got a Thing (ATCO 33-201) (1966)
- Golden Classics (Collectables, ASIN B0000008HE) (1990)
- The Very Best of the Capitols (Marginal, ASIN B000A2EXOM) (1997)
- Dance the Cool Jerk / We Got a Thing (Collectables, ASIN B000641ZLS) (2004)
- Cool Jerk (Collectables, ASIN B000E3LHRS) (2006)
The Capitols - Dance the Cool Jerk
U.S. Atco 33-190 mono (1966).
The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.
Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.
The album cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minor signs of wear.
The album cover has a strong, undamaged spine, displaying very clear, printed script.
The album cover has a drill home by HM customs and excise towards the upper right corner, (see scan).
For full track listing see Own tab.