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Little Darlin'




Maurice Williams and his group, the Gladiolas, then known as the Royal Charmers, raised $46 to travel from their home in South Carolina to Nashville in 1956 to meet with Ernie Young. Young had a record store that sponsored Ernie’s Record Hop, a WLAC radio program. In the back of his store he had a makeshift recording studio. After Williams and his group had gone through several songs, Young asked them to sing what they considered to be their worst song. They sang Little Darlin’, which Williams had composed. Young was ecstatic. The Gladiolas recorded the tune with a calypso beat and it was released on the Excello label (Excello 2101) in December 1956. Within a few weeks a copy of the record got into the hands of Nat Goodman, manager of the Diamonds. The Diamonds quickly recorded their version of Little Darlin’, with David Somerville singing lead and Bill Reed performing the spoken interlude. Both records began climbing the charts. When the smoke cleared, the Diamonds’ version reached #2 on the Top 100 chart and #3 on the rhythm & blues chart. Sales were well over the million mark. The Gladiolas could only muster a high of #41 on the Top 100 chart and #11 on the rhythm & blues chart. In 1961 Bobby Rydell’s moderate hit, Cherie (Cameo 186), used the same music as Little Darlin’, but with different lyrics. At the home of Waco, Texas, disc jockey Eddie Fadal in the summer of 1958, Elvis sang along with the Diamonds’ recording.

Elvis’s single release was recorded in concert at Saginaw, Michigan, on April 24, 1977. Although it didn’t chart, Little Darlin’ was listed as “Bubbling Under”, at #112 for two weeks. 


Little darlin', little darlin'
Oh, where, are you, oo oo oo oo
Walla walla chipa mocka mogga
Oh, my love, oh, just for you, only you

My darling, I need you

(God, how I need you) to call my own
To hold in mine, your little foot, your hand
I knew someone would understand that
Hold my hand

My dear, I was wrong to try without you
Oo oo oo oo oo
Oh, oo oo oo
That my love was just for you, only you


Where it was released:

Released for the fist time on Moody Blue »

- Little Darlin’ / I’m Movin’ On (RCA 50476) October 1978. Standard Canadian single pressed on gold vinyl. Although this site is more devoted to American releases, we’ve chosen to include this single because it received wide distribution in the United States and is the only single appearance of Little Darlin’


- Moody Blue (1977) »

– Elvis - A Canadian Tribute (1978) »
– Elvis Aron Presley (1980) »

- Elvis Aron Presley (1998)

- A Canadian Tribute (1999)

- Dixieland Rocks (2001) – FTD »

- From Elvis in Memphis; Promised Land; Moody Blue (2001)

- Spring Tours ’77 (2002) - FTD »

- Big Boss Man (2005) – FTD »

- Southern Nights (2006) – FTD »

- America (2008) - FTD »

- Dixieland Delight (2009) - FTD »

- Another Saturday Night (2012) - FTD »

– Moody Blue (2013) - FTD »

- Home Town Shows (2016) - FTD »
– Spirit of Jackson, MS (2016) - FTD »

– The Bicentennial Show (2017) - FTD »

Holiday Season in Vegas (2018) - FTD »

Bootleg Releases:
- Forever Young, Forever Beautiful (1978) – Memphis Flash Records
- America’s Own (1979) – Geneva

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