The Safaris were an all-male pop quartet from Los Angeles that became famous during the early 1960s. Formed in 1959 and first known as The Mystics, this group went through several name changes before finally settling on The Safaris. The lineup consisted of Sheldon Briar (d. December 24, 1999), Richard Clasky, Marvin Rosenberg, and lead singer Jimmy Stephens. The Safaris released several singles on the Eldo label and also recorded as The Suddens before disbanding.
The Safaris made their debut on the Pop/Rock charts in 1960 with the romantic doo-wop-ballad, "Image Of A Girl," which opens with the sounds of a ticking grandfather clock that can also be heard throughout the song. Co-written by group members Clasky and Rosenberg, this song became a Top 10 hit and the group's best known song. The Safaris had a minor hit in late 1960 with the upbeat, calypso-styled "Girl With The Story In Her Eyes," which was their final chart entry. In 1961, Briar, Clasky, and Rosenberg joined with Lee Forester as The Suddens and released two non-charting singles, "China Love" (1961) and "That's Where The Difference Lies" (1963).
The group was reformed in 2007 under the name, The Safaris With Jimmy Stephens, after a PBS special from that year titled "My Music: Doo Wop Love Songs" sparked a revived interest in "Image Of A Girl." The current lineup consists of original lead vocalist Stephens and three all new members. In addition, original founding member Marv Rosenberg has his own incarnation of The Safaris that consists of a quintet specializing in a cappella doo-wop.
- For more info on the history of The Safaris, including the group's many name changes and current activities, see Jimmy Stephen's Facebook page.
- For more info on Marv Rosenberg's Safaris, visit safarisdoowop.com.
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- Image Of A Girl 1960
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