One Hit Wonders #18: “Lies” by The Knickerbockers (Challenge Records 1965)

“Hey, did you hear the new Beatles song?”, screamed virtually every teenybopper in 1965, only it wasn’t The Beatles , but New Jersey’s own The Knickerbockers singing the Top Twenty smash “Lies”:

The Knickerbockers consisted of brothers Beau (vocals, guitars) and John Charles (vocals, bass), Jimmy Walker (vocals, drums), and ex-Royal Teen Bobby Randell (vocals, sax), who scored a hit in 1958 with “Short Shorts” (also featuring future Four Season Bob Gaudio and future Blues Project/Blood, Sweat, & Tears/solo artist Al Kooper):

The tight-knit harmonies and John Lennon-sounding lead vocals had many people fooled into thinking The Beatles had recorded “Lies” under an alias, but the world soon found out it was just a bunch of Jersey kids doing an incredible facsimile. The Knickerbockers became featured regulars on Dick Clark’s five-days-a-week ABC-TV teen dance show WHERE THE ACTION IS (1965-67), along with Paul Revere & The Raiders, Keith Allison, and Linda Scott, but their small record label failed to produce another hit. By the late Sixties, The Beatles had moved on to a more mature sound, and The Knickerbockers faded into obscurity, save for that one brief, shining moment when everybody listening to their AM radios thought four kids from New Jersey were THE Fab Four.

Enjoy other “One Hit Wonders”:

The Night Chicago Died (Paper Lace)  – One Tin Soldier – Theme from BILLY JACK (Coven) – Long, Lonesome Highway (Michael Parks) – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam) – DOA (Bloodrock) – Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl? (The Barbarians) – Why Can’t We Live Together (Timmy Thomas) – They’re Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV) – In the Year 2525 (Zager & Evans) – Summertime Blues (Blue Cheer) – Little Girl (Syndicate of Sound) – I Had Too Much To Dream (The Electric Prunes) – The Ballad of The Green Berets (SSgt. Barry Sadler) – Smell of Incense (Southwest FOB) – In The Summertime (Mungo Jerry) – The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats)


9 Replies to “One Hit Wonders #18: “Lies” by The Knickerbockers (Challenge Records 1965)”

  1. They also provided the title theme song for the John Carradine vehicle THEY RAN FOR THEIR LIVES, issued as an unsuccessful single. The movie was directed by its star John Payne, and also featured Scott Brady, Jim Davis and Anthony Eisley.

    Liked by 1 person

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