It is never easy for any music group to make The Big Time, but it was particularly difficult in the 1960s. Hailing originally from Newark, New Jersey, The Ad Libs were one of many vocal groups vying for attention in a very competitive field at a time when America was engorged with up and coming one hit wonders. Besides the American contingent of musicians, there was also The British Invasion with which to contend. History remembers The Ad Libs predominantly for the song The Boy from New York City and not much else. This band is so difficult to find information about online, that it doesn't have anything remotely like an official web page. Even the Bay City Rollers have their share of web pages, for Pete's sake.

In their prime, The Ad Libs consisted of Mary Ann Thomas as lead vocal and Hugh Harris, Danny Austin, Norman Donegan, and Dave Watt as her backup vocalists. Originally in 1962 they recorded and performed for the T-Kay label as The Creators. Later they left T-Kay and recorded tracks for Blue Cat records. Released in December of 1964, The Boy From New York City hit radio stations and record stores across the country. By March of 1965, the song made it to number eight on the pop charts and number six on the rhythm and blues charts. However, the vocal group soon realized they couldn't compete with The Beatles or The Rolling Stones and their follow up attempts, He Ain't No Angel and On the Corner barely made it to the top 100 at all. They were dropped by the Blue Cat label.

In 1969 they signed on with Share Records and made it to #34 on the R&B charts with the song Giving Up but they never achieved the fame they had with their first and only top ten song. Despite these setbacks, the band continued to perform for audiences for twenty years, with sporadic changes to the talent line-up and further attempts to record lackluster tracks in the 1980s. They were a brief, brightly-lit comet on the American music scene who later wallowed in obscurity, but in 1996 the record label called Collectables gave them a brief revival with the release of the album The Ad Libs and Friends which included ten of their songs as well as well as other songs from bands like The Dixie Cups, The Charmettes, and The Poets. In 2001 their one hit found its way on the Clear Channel's list of questionable songs.

The Ad Libs and Friends
Label: Collectables
Original Release Date: August 27, 1996

1. Boy from New York City
2. Bottom of Soul
3. Kicked Around
4. Down Home Girl
5. He Ain't No Angel
6. Ask Anyone (Anybody)
7. Ooh Wee Oh Gee
8. Johnny My Boy
9. Slime
10. Nothing Worse Than Being Alone
11. Gee Baby Gee - Butterflies
12. Merry Christmas Baby - The Poets
13. La La Song - Roddie Joy
14. Sugar Boy - The Charmettes
15. Chapel of Love - The Dixie Cups
16. People Say - The Dixie Cups
17. Iko Iko - The Dixie Cups
18. Gee the Moon Is Shining Bright - The Dixie Cups

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