Yo Yo’s, The

From: Brooklyn, NY, USA

There is very limited information on the Yo Yo’s. The band is not to be confused with the Swingin’ Yo Yo’s out of Memphis. The original line-up consisted of Frankie Vee (vocals), Larry Elliot (guitar), Tommy Zumba (guitar), Alan Aaron (bass), and Jeff Miller (drums.) Aaron originally formed a band called the Starfires. Vee brought in Elliot and Zumba to play guitar, and Zumba recommended his friend Miller for the drumming position. Pepe Cardona then took over as vocalist.

The name the Yo Yo’s came about when Lou Sudano and Barry Flickstein became the band’s managers. The two formed Louba Productions, and met the band through Lou’s son Bruce, a friend of Miller. Lou and Barry felt the band needed a better singer than Cardona, and strongly suggested that the band replace him. The managers suggested the band bring in Ray Sabatis who took on the name Christopher Shane. Cardona remained friends with the band and eventually formed Alive N’ Kickin’.

At the start of their career, the band won a number of local battle-of-the-bands and played clubs like Steve Paul’s the Scene, Joel Heller’s Eight Wonder, and the Cheetah. They also appeared on the John Zacherley TV show Disc-O-Teen and actually toured with the Lester Lanin Orchestra.

The Yo Yo’s only ever released one single, with “Crack In My Wall” / “The Raven” in 1966 on Coral Records. “Crack In My Wall” is a punk-garage rock tune, sounding very raw and gritty. Both songs were written by Elliot and Aaron and Shane wrote the lyrics to “Crack In My Wall.” Flickstein’s name appears on the credits to the song, but Aaron claims that Barry had nothing to do with the songwriting. The song appears on The Essential Pebbles Collection, Vol. 2 and Pebbles, Vol. 14.

Both sides of this single received a B+ rating in Billboard, but the label (Coral) did little to promote the band. In 1969, the Yo Yo’s broke up as a result of their equipment being stolen and the general feeling that they would never find success. Shane tragically committed suicide shortly after the band split.

Artist information sources include: Fuzz, Acid & Flowers by Vernon Joynson and Garagehangover.com

Feel free to use our Facebook page to discuss & ask any questions you have about this artist, a fellow PsycheHead is sure to have the answer.

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 single “Crack In My Wall”
Crack In My Wall

  • Crack In My Wall