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Joe Bennett and The Sparkletones reached number 17 on the charts October 14, 1957 with their rendition of Black Slacks, written by Joe Bennett and Irv Denton. This great rock song with a rockabilly flavor is another of those good songs that are rarely played on oldies stations. The tune took advantage of a style of pants worn by young men of the time, black pegged denum trousers. At the height of their popularity Bennett and the group ranged in ages 14 to 17. The group was formed at Cowpens High School in Spartanburg in 1956. They were all churchgoing boys, born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Black Slacks was their first release and it remained on the Billboard charts for more than four months. Their follow-up called "Penny Loafers and Bobby Socks" managed to reach number 42 on the top 100. However that was their 2nd and last song to ever chart. The group appeared at an Alan Freed stage show and also made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
The group consisted of:
Joe Bennett (vocals and lead guitar)
Wayne Arthur (standup bass)
Howie Sparky Childress (guitar)
Jimmy Sticks Denton (drums)
(We have received word that Joe Bennett passed away Saturday June 27th 2015 at the age of 75. R.I.P. Joe.)
'More info on Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones can be found at the 'Rockabilly hall of fame website.
Bopper Bob Hennessey
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