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Vintage Vinyl: The Dearly Beloved 

The Dearly Beloved “Peep Peep Pop Pop”/”It Is Better

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click to enlarge LEE JOSEPH
  • Lee Joseph

KTKT's Dan Gates suggested the name Dearly Beloved, which was the title of a book that had caught his eye. As The Intruders/Qunistrells needed a new name, it was perfect for media hype. Their late '65 press release stated: "for they are no longer Intruders, they are now Dearly Beloved." Gates also insisted the Dearly's record a song he had high hopes for. The group initially hated the tune which Gates played for them off of a primitive demo recorded several years earlier, which featured a group of black teens pounding on a piano singing in doo-wop style the song's title, chorus, hook; "Peep Peep Pop Pop." The Dearly Beloved gave in and recorded a superb version the song at Audio Recorders in Phoenix. Gates licensed the track to Bobby Boyd/Boyd Records of Oklahoma, who, incredibly, managed to mangle the band's new moniker, which appeared on the record's label as Beloved One's. Oops. Despite the error, the song topped the charts in Tucson, staying at NO. 1 for several weeks during the summer of '66. Boyd then made a deal with Columbia Records who re-released the 45 in September. And once again, someone in the process got the band's new name wrong, typeset as Dearly Beloveds on their debut Columbia 45. Wow.

click to enlarge LEE JOSEPH
  • Lee Joseph

In an article called "KOMA, a Record Breaker," touting the Oklahoma City powerhouse radio station which appeared in Billboard Magazine's Nov 5, 1966 issue, the record seemed to be on its way to breaking in several markets. The story quotes Boyd saying "KOMA, KRUX in Phoenix, and KTKT in Tucson, Ariz. all leaped on "Peep Peep Pop Pop," a record featuring the Dearly Beloved that Columbia Records had picked up. Boyd, who produced the Dearly Beloved, Lynda Lewis, Smokey Stover and Jimmy Velvet for Columbia said "It's the extra reach of KOMA that so important. It's heard in at least 20 states."

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"Peep Peep Pop Pop" became Tucson's No. 1 selling record of 1966 though it only bubbled under Billboard's top 100. It seems that Columbia didn't press enough copies for proper distribution.

Lee Joseph grew up in Tucson. He's a DJ (Luxuriamusic.com), marketer of cool shit (Reverberations Media) and founder/CEO of internationally respected Dionysus Records, an indie that has long specialized in releasing super-rare music, and more. He came of age in the first wave of Tucson punk rock and is an expert on Tucson music. He now lives in California.


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