In 1951 Lester went into business with Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber after recording a few of their very first records. Lester formed the Coasters and went on to manage the band for several years. The Coasters were one of the few artists in rock history to successfully straddle the line between music and comedy. With the connection from Lester to the legendary writing team of Mike and Jerry, The Coasters created a trademark for their catchy songs, witty lyrics and on-stage antics. That engaging and infectious combination made them one of the most popular early R&B/rock & roll acts, as well as one of the most consistently entertaining doo wop/vocal groups of all time.  The Coasters grew out of a successful Los Angeles doo wop group called the Robins, lead tenor Carl Gardner (a more recent addition) and bass Bobby Nunn formed the Coasters (named for their West Coast base), which maintained the Sill, Leiber & Stoller association. The initial Coasters lineup was completed by baritone Billy Guy (a gifted comic vocalist) and second tenor Leon Hughes, with guitarist Adolph Jacobs. Their first single, "Down in Mexico," became a Top Ten R&B hit in 1956, epitomizing the sort of humorous story-song Leiber & Stoller were perfecting. The Coasters hit again in 1957 with the double-sided smash "Young Blood"/"Searchin'," both sides of which reached the pop Top Ten.  The Coasters' first recording in New York was 1958's "Yakety Yak," which featured King Curtis on tenor sax. Its witty, slice-of-life lyrics about a teenager being hassled by his parents struck a resounding chord, and "Yakety Yak" became the Coasters' first number-one pop hit that summer, topping the R&B charts as well. "Charlie Brown," which cast Jones in the title role of class clown (and immortalized him with the catch-phrase, "why's everybody always pickin' on me?"), hit number two on both the pop and R&B charts in 1959, firmly establishing the Coasters' widespread crossover appeal. More hits followed: the Western-themed "Along Came Jones," "Poison Ivy," "Shoppin' for Clothes," and the group's final Top 30 hit, 1961's burlesque-dancer tribute "Little Egypt." Several incarnations of the group would follow throughout the years with Carl Gardner remaining the only original member since 1971. The Coasters became the first vocal group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.   CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
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