Little Anthony and the Imperials

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on May 20, 2001

My husband and I saw Little Anthony and the Imperials perform a few years ago. It was an excellent show. Could you tell me about them?
—Ruth L., Missouri

Little Anthony and the Imperials were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. The group is known for such hits as Tears on My Pillow, Goin' Out of My Head, and Hurt So Bad. Group members "Little" Anthony Gourdine, Sammy Strain, Ernest Wright, and Clarence Collins reunited in 1992 after 17 years apart. They perform about 100 shows annually. They've sold out Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Palace. "We are not a nostalgia group," says Gourdine, 61. "We are as contemporary as anybody else who is out there today. We do songs from everybody just as long as they are good." Raised in Brooklyn, Gourdine began singing doo-wop as a teenager, landing his first record deal at age 17 in 1957. His group, The Duponts, had a hit with Prove It Tonight. After high school, he joined The Chesters, who were renamed the Imperials in 1958. Their first single was Tears on My Pillow, which went to No. 1 and sold more than a million copies. The group disbanded in 1975. In 1992, they reunited for a golden oldies show in New York and were such a hit that they decided to tour again.