Here’s why this album should be in your collection!
Well, maybe not. But the O’Kaysions deserve credit for fooling music fans into thinking their original lineup was as soulful as their only hit.
The O’Kaysions began in 1959 as the Kays, with co-founders Wayne Pittman and Donnie Weaver, Eddie Dement, Gerald Toler, Jimmy Hinnant, and Steve Watson. Were the band names chosen to play deliberately on the fact that they were all Caucasians?
For “Girl Watcher,” their 1968 album’s title track, it didn’t matter. Weaver’s vocals were just earthy enough to fool listeners into thinking the O’Kaysions were a small time soul band. “Girl Watcher” hit the Top Ten (#6) on national R&B charts, and reached #5 on Pop charts. In some local R&B markets the song went even higher.
“Girl Watcher” is featured on dozens of vinyl, CD, and MP3 compilation albums. According to one web site, the O’Kaysions recorded an album with Marvin Gaye. That might be enough to send serious collectors to a local independent record store.
Here’s an interesting fact!
The O’Kaysions achieved pop immortality when the lyrics to “Girl Watcher” were revised to become the theme song for the legendary game show, Wheel of Fortune. The current band is broadly diverse and tours the country as performers in a genre called Carolina Beach Music.