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Get a Job by The Silhouettes (Ember, 1957)

Get a Job is one of the best known doo wop songs of the 50s. Released in October 1957, it was at the top of the pop and R&B charts by February 1958 and sold more than a million copies.

Silhouettes’ tenor Richard Lewis who wrote most of the lyrics was inspired by his mother. After returning from the service in the early 50s when Lewis didn’t rush back into work, she told him “to get a job.” The other three Silhouettes are credited as writers as they laid down the “sha na na” and “dip dip dip dip” hooks.

They performed the song regularly on American Bandstand. Get a Job was then featured on soundtracks for the films American Graffiti, Stand By Me and Trading Places. The Miracles took inspiration for their debut single by answering with Got a Job (hear their song below). The group Sha Na Na was also inspired in naming themselves.

The B side for Get a Job was I Am Lonely. (Guess they got too much job and their loved ones barely saw them.)

The Silhouettes continued recording, never to match the success of Get a Job. They broke up in 1968, reformed in the 80s and retired in 1993. The last remaining Silhouette, lead singer John “Bootsie” Wilson, died in September 2009.


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