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THE DIXIE CUPS — FEATURING BARBARA AND ROSA HAWKINS
Barbara Hawkins, Rosa Hawkins, and Athelgra NevilleTHE DIXIE CUPSPHIL C. BROWN PUBLIC RELATIONS THE DIXIE CUPS:New Orleans-base vocal trio The Dixie Cups, sporting a soothing vocal style, reached the top of the music charts in 1964 when they toppled The Beatles from their #1 spot with the Billboard Top 100 hit “Chapel of Love.” The threesome did equally well on popular Cashbox, a competitive trade magazine. Barbara Ann Hawkins, her sister Rosa Lee Hawkins, and cousin Joan Marie Johnson comprised the original Dixie Cups. Not only The Motown Sound and The British Invasion, but no other other musical movement. While attending high school — when they first became professionals — they called themselves Little Miss and the Muffets, but they changed the name to The Dixie Cups before their first record was released. In 1963, while intensely honing their glittering stage performance, the teens called themselves the Meltones. Shortly thereafter, Joe Jones, known for the satirical pop classic “You Talk Too Much,” decided to manage them and pursue a record deal. After working with them for months, he took them to New York City to sign with Red Bird Records, which was started by composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. This partnership led to the release of their debut single “Chapel of Love,” which to date is their biggest hit, reaching #1 on Billboards Hot 100 Chart in June 1964. The internationally recognized top hit sold more than two million copies, earning the songbirds a coveted gold disc. So powerful was the message in the song that it appeared in the1987 Full Metal Jacket soundtrack and in the film Father of the Bride, which showcased in 1991. In addition to these milestones, “Chapel of Love” reached 279 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of all time! (Below, watch Dixie Cups live):
DIXIE CUPS in 1964Other major hits by the group included “People Say,” a melodic mid-tempo ballad with touching lyrics and “You Should Have Seen the Way He Looked at Me,” a popish tune with a lovelorn hook, both released in 1964. These were followed by “Little Bell” and the hit “Iko Iko (#20 on Billboard Hot 100), which was released in 1965 and which tune was hummed in nearly every street in the world That same year, the group moved to New York-based ABC-Paramount record company. Interestingly, while living in New York, they became successful models and make-up artists, exploring other aspects of entertainment. Joan Johnson was replaced in the group by Beverly Brown, who left the group in mid-1960s. Joan passed away in 2005.
Interestingly, The Dixie Cups have maintained a squeaky-clean public image and remain popular in 2020 in the UK and other regions of the world; this is attested to by the continual downloads reported globally. Today’s Dixie Cups consist of the Barbara and Rosa Hawkins sisters and Athelgra Neville of the well-known Louisiana Neville musical family. In 2007, The Dixie Cups were inducted into the The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame, and during the pandemic, the continue to write songs an perform remotely. Despite their many accomplishments, including the many musicians they’ve influenced, especially female groups, the ladies feel they’ve much more to do. But after more than 50 years in show business, when finally inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as Barbara exclaimed: “We’d have done it all!”
Phil C. Brown
For additional information regarding the Dixie Cups, contact media Coordinator Phil C. Brown at (817) 681-6068.