Having performed in local shows since 1955, the Hanover, Pennsylvania trio of Midge Bollinger (lead vocals), Kaye McCool (low vocals), and Debra Swisher (high vocals) were signed to Mercury Records in 1963 by producers/songwriters John Madara and Dave White, who had discovered the group at a show in Philadelphia (among the group’s previous successes were two appearances on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour).
Their first single, "Birthday Party" was a big success regionally and made the Top 40 nationally (The b-side, "Our Love" was written by Kaye). After their second single, “442 Glenwood Avenue" / "Cold, Cold Winter” (in which both made the charts), Midge Bollinger left the group and was replaced by Bonnie Long, who assumed the high vocals while Debby Swisher became the new lead vocalist. The first single by the revamped line-up was a cover of The Crows’ 1954 R&B hit " Gee". This was followed by their debut album, Party With The Pixies Three, an early rock and roll concept album based on a Friday after-school party. The album did not chart, but it has become an often sought-after item amongst record collectors.
The girls' fourth single caused a bit of controversy upon its release. "The Hootch" (with live audience dubbed in) was intended to be a new dance concept. However, it was revealed that "hootch" was a slang term for "booze", so disc jockeys started playing the B-side, "It’s Summertime U.S.A", which became the A-side.
The Pixies Three continued into 1965 with two more singles, "Orphan Boy" and "Your Way". A few unreleased demos followed, then the girls graduated high school and went their separate ways. The following year, lead singer Swisher made a solo single: a cover of The Beach Boys’ “You’re So Good To Me”, backed with a cover of The Angels’ “Thank You And Goodnight”. Ironically, she joined The Angels shortly thereafter, replacing Peggy Santiglia as lead vocalist.
In 1991, The Pixies Three performed for the first time in twenty five years at their high school reunion. Since then, they have been performing several times a year, mainly in and around their hometown as well as Ohio, New England, and along the Atlantic coast.
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