The group that would bump The Beatles off Billboard’s Top 100 was made up of three young teenagers, Joan Marie Johnson and her cousins Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins. The trio joined up to compete in a talent show in their hometown of New Orleans. While they didn’t win the contest, they did catch the eye of Joe Jones, a talent scout and producer who was in the audience.
He took the girls to New York and got them a contract with Red Bird Records. Legendary producer Phil Spector co-wrote “Chapel of Love” with Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. The song became a million-seller and toppled The Beatles “Love Me Do”to land at #1. “Chapel of Love” was covered by the Beach Boys and appears on the soundtracks of Full Metal Jacket and Father of the Bride.
The Dixie Cups had a few followup hits, but gave it up in 1966. While the Hawkins sisters eventually started performing and touring again, Johnson did not join them, although they would occasionally reunite for special occasions.