The Olympics are an American doo-wop group, formed in 1957 by lead singer Walter Ward (August 28, 1940 – December 11, 2006). The group included Eddie Lewis (tenor, Ward’s cousin), Charles Fizer (tenor), Walter Hammond (baritone) and Melvin King (bass) and except for Lewis were friends in a Los Angeles, California, high school.
History and influence
Their first record was credited to Walter Ward and the Challengers (“I Can Tell” on Melatone Records). After the name change, they recorded “Western Movies” (Demon Records) in the summer of 1958. Co-written by Fred Smith and Cliff Goldsmith, “
” made it to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song reflected the nation’s preoccupation with western themed movies and television programs. It told the story of a man who lost his girl to TV westerns, and it included doo-wop harmonies as well as background gunshots and ricochet sound effects.