This doo-wop classic was the only hit for The Chords, who were an R&B group from the Bronx. The five members of the group wrote the song. In a 1963 article in The Saturday Evening Post, Jerry Wexler, who was executive vice president of Atlantic Records, used the group as an example of the vacillating nature of the music business. Said Wexler: "What happens to them? They just disappear. We had one group - The Chords - that had a hit record for us in 1955 or 1956. It was called 'Sh-boom.' It was #1. But of all their subsequent records, none sold. Now, I think one is a house painter, one is a pants presser, one is writing songs and one is trying to get back into the business as a singer."
Suggestion credit: Adam - Saint Albans, WV
Later in 1954, a white group called the Crew-Cuts recorded a more mainstream version of this song, taking it to #1 on the Billboard charts. The Crew-Cuts were an example of what critics called "Sham-Rock," as they would release sanitized versions of songs created by black artists. Other R&B hits they covered include "Oop Shoop" by The Queens, "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" by The Penguins, and "Seven Days" by Clyde McPhatter. A young Pat Boone listened to the Crew-Cuts version of this song to figure out how he, too, could put his own spin on R&B singles.
Some of the many uses of this song in movies include the Disney/Pixar movie Cars and the Patrick Swayze film Roadhouse, which used the Crew-Cuts version.