The Imperials began life as a classic street corner doo wop outfit centered on the infinitely plaintive falsetto of Anthony Gourdine. As their first single (and soon-to-be standard) “Tears on My Pillow” climbed into the Top 10 in 1958, DJ Alan Freed laid eyes upon Gourdine and dubbed the diminutive man with the soaring voice Little Anthony. In the early '60s, the group’s lineup went through substantial shake-ups; undeterred, Little Anthony & the Imperials staged one of the more unlikely revivals, resurfacing at the height of the British Invasion as a mellow soul group, scoring smashes like “Goin’ Out of My Head” and “Hurt So Bad,” and continuing to chart into the '70s. Decades later, the act continued to tour with four original members.
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