Little Girl

Album: Little Girl (1966)
Charted: 8

Songfacts®:

  • This was first released on the San Francisco label Hush Records in January 1966. After quickly selling 5,000 copies locally, it was picked up by the major Bell label who took over distribution of the single and also gave the band the opportunity to release an album. Don Baskin the band's vocalist told classicbands.com the story behind the release of "Little Girl": "We couldn't get 'Little Girl' played anywhere. No one wanted it. Everyone turned down 'Little Girl.' So, we decided with our producer's label, Hush, which was a rhythm and blues label out of Richmond, California, the Oakland-Richmond area. Our producer's parents had owned that label. He decided, 'let's put it out locally and see how it does,' and we sold 5,000 copies in the first week. An incredible number for that day and time in and around the Northern California area. A big (radio) station in San Francisco really broke our first record - KYA. That's what really made us take off. That's what really made Bill decide to take us on. We had our first big, big break-out in Oklahoma City and it started from there."
  • The band's sound has been hailed by some critics as one of the forerunners of Psychedelic Rock. In addition "Little Girl" has been recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, where it is on permanent rotation. A plaque is on display there, referring to the song as a pivotal song in the history of rock and roll.
  • Among the other artists to cover this song are English rock group The Banned who had a #36 hit in the UK with it in 1977.
  • Garage-rock quintet Syndicate of Sound formed in San Jose in 1964. After the follow-up single to "Little Girl," "Rumours," peaked at #55, the band went through some line-up changes and recorded some more singles without success. In 1970 the band opted to split and Baskin found work as a studio musician before moving into Country music. Since 1990, Baskin, bassist Bob Gonzalez and drummer John Duckworth have occasionally reunited with a couple of new members to perform as The Syndicate Of Sound at selected concert appearances.

Comments: 8

  • Uncle Don from El Cajon, CaLoved this one in my high school years, mid-60s. Best thing about it is the singer's gleefully cynical attitude, laughing all the way through.
  • Robert Malone from Virginia Beach Virginia Little Girl was one of many garage rock classics popular in June/July 1966. Also Dirty Water (Standells), My Little Red Book (Love), Hey Joe (Leaves), Oh Yeah (Shadows of Knight) and Double Shot of My Baby's Love (Swingin' Medallions). Not exactly garage rock but Paperback Writer (Beatles), Hanky Panky (Tommy James and the Shondells), Along Comes Mary (Association), Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Kjnks) and Wild Thing (Troggs) were very popular in the summer of 1966. It goes without saying that 1966 was my favorite year in music.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 29th 1966, "Little Girl" by The Syndicate Of Sound entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #78; and on July 3rd it peaked at #8 (for 2 weeks) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100 (the 2 weeks it was at #8 were its only 2 weeks on the Top 10)...
    The day after it peaked at #8 they appeared at the Dome in Virginia Beach, VA (see 2nd post below)...
    The group had two other Top 100 records; "Rumors" (reached #55 in 1966) and "Brown Paper Bag" (peaked at #73 in 1970).
  • Steve from Whittier, CaVery distinctive sound... I now have VERY much more respect for the fabled R&R Hall of Fame for playing this!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 4th of July 1966 the Syndicate of Sound opened for the Rolling Stones at The Dome in Virginia Beach, VA. If I remember correctly they sang only two songs, this one and their follow up, 'Rumors'...
  • John from Eugene, OrThe Syndicate of Sound's first double sided hit was "Prepare For Love" / "Tell The World" which saw chart action in the Bay area (San Jose)and the I-5 corridor (up to Medford,Oregon). These two recordings were issued on the Del-Fi label which is the same label Ritchie Valens recorded for.
    When "Little Girl" became a nation wide hit Del-Fi's owner, Bob Keene, released "Prepare For Love" & "Tell The World" on the Scarlet label. When the Syndicate of Sound was on an east coast tour John Sharkey, co-founder and musical arranger of the Syndicate of Sound, heard "Prepare For Love" being played on the radio in Maine. Bell Records got an injunction against Bob Keene preventing him from any more exploitation. "Rumors" was the Syndicate of Sound's follow up hit. It was also a hit in Europe, Scandinavia and Australia. "Rumors" was originally recorded in the same fashion as Jr. Walker & the All Stars with a sax solo featuring Don Baskin (one of the singers for SOS) and Sharkey playing the Hammond B-3 organ which was used on Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Bringing It All Back Home". Garrie Thompson, the Syndicate of Sound's producer, came running out of the engineer's booth saying,"What are you doing?" "You can't do this song in the same style as Jr. Walker, we'll get sued!" The next day John Sharkey re-arranged and re-recorded the song to the version released.
  • Bloodaxe from Lincoln, NeI remember this song as being "bad" but "good", as in if you listened to this song or played it, you were naughty. That made it very popular among the junior high school kids when I was at that age, and of course, among a lot older kids and adults too. It's amazing that this is the only song that the Syndicate of Sound wrote that made it... This is what managers are for, and why managers can ruin bands... It's like the story of the "Merry Go Round" and other bands of that mid 60's era.

    Anyway, this song is a true garage rock song and one of the first.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcI just love this song!!! It's one of my all-time favorites.
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