Earl "Speedo" Carroll of The Cadillacs and The Coasters is dead at 75
Singer Earl "Speedo" Carroll, of The Cadillacs and The Coasters, has died of diabetes and a stroke in New York, according to an obituary in The New York Times. He was 75.
The death Sunday was confirmed to the newspaper by Vito Picone, the lead singer of the doo-wop group the Elegants and a longtime friend.
The Cadillacs were one of many doo-wop groups to come out of the streets of Harlem, but one of the first to choreograph dance moves.
Carroll got the nickname "Speedo" because fellow singer Bobby Phillips pointed at a torpedo on display in Massachusetts and said, "Hey Speedo! There's your torpedo!" because Carroll had a pointy head. Carroll responded icily, "My name is Earl."
They wrote that into a song called "Speedo" they recorded the next day. It was a hit in 1956. The Cadillacs also recorded the hit "Gloria."
Carroll also spent two decades with the Coasters before rejoining a new incarnation of the Cadillacs about 30 years ago. That group gave nostalgia performances throughout the country, mostly on weekends to accommodate Mr. Carroll's day job as a custodian at a New York City public school.
Information on survivors was not available.
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