Soul And / Or Related Artists
shirley ellis

Shirley Ellis

b. Shirley Marie Elliston (a.k.a. Shirley Marie O'Garra), 19th January 1929, The Bronx, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.

d. 5th October 2005, The Bronx, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.

Shirley Ellis was an R&B songstress/songwriter, who was born in New York.

Her family roots were West Indian.

Shirley (O'Garra) was born to William H. and Petra (Smith) O'Garra.

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the nitty gritty - 1963 / the name game - 1964 / the clapping song - 1965 / ever see a diver kiss his wife while the bubbles bounce about above the water? - 1965

Shirley is probably best remembered for the hit songs ‘The Nitty Gritty’ b/w ‘Give Me A List’ (which reached number 8 in the U.S. in 1963), ‘The Name Game’ b/w ‘Whisper To The Wind’ (which reached number 3 in the U.S. in 1964) and ‘The Clapping Song’ b/w ‘This Is Beautiful’ (which reached number 6 in the U.K. in 1965).

‘The Clapping Song’ sold over one million copies, and was later awarded a gold disc.

Shirley was an accomplished songwriter penning two songs in 1954 which were recorded by The Chords.

She was once a member of the group The Metronomes, later marrying the lead singer, Alphonso Elliston.

The Metronomes released 3 singles for the Maureen, Challenge and Riverside imprints in 1962.

Shirley EllisShirley Ellis

Shirley’s first single was released on the Shell Records imprint in 1961, entitled ‘Love Can Make You Know’ b/w ‘A Beautiful Love’.

In 1962, she released a single on Mercury, under the name of Shirlee May, entitled ‘Lonely Birthday’ b/w ‘Little Sally Walker’.

Lincoln Chase

lincoln chase (b. 29th June 1926. d. 6th October 1980)

Her own major Sixties singles were penned by Lincoln Chase and herself (Lincoln being Shirley’s manager and record producer.

Shirley EllisShirley EllisShirley EllisShirley Ellis

in action - 1964 / the name game - 1965 / sugar, let's shing a ling - 1967 / soul time (single) - 1967

Between 1964 and 1967, Shirley Released 3 albums, entitled 'In Action' (in 1964), 'The Name Game' (in 1965) and 'Sugar, Let's Shing A Ling' (in 1967).

Shirley saw further success in 1967 with the song 'Soul Time'.

Shirley recorded for several imprints, including the Kapp Records subsidiary Congress (12 singles), along with Columbia (3 singles), MCA (2 singles), Kapp Records (2 singles) and CBS (1 single).

Shirley Ellis

She retired from the music industry in 1968.

Shirley’s three main hits have been recorded by several artists, including Madeline Bell, The Belle Stars, Laura Branigan, Aaron Carter, Ricardo Ray, Pia Zadora, Southern Culture on the Skids, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Divine.

The group the Belle Stars recorded The Clapping Song' in 1982.

Shirley Ellis

Real Player


In Action (Congress Records 1964)

The Name Game (Congress Records 1965)

Sugar, Let's Shing A Ling (Columbia Records 1967)

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