The Top Notes
In 1961, one year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic Records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming vocal group, The Top Notes. This was before Spector perfected his "Wall of Sound" technique, and the recording, at the Atlantic Studios on February 23, 1961, arranged by Teddy Randazzo with musicians including saxophonist King Curtis, guitarist John Pizzarelli, and drummer Panama Francis, with backing vocals by the Cookies, lacked much of the energy the Top Notes exhibited in their live performances.
The Top Notes included singers Howard "Howie" Guyton (also known as Guy Howard), a cousin of Dave "Baby" Cortez; and Derek Martin, also known as Derek Ray. Guyton provided the lead vocals on "Twist and Shout". Guyton, Martin and Cortez had previously all been members of vocal groups the Pearls (also known as the Five Pearls) in their home city of Detroit, and then of the Sheiks in New York; and Guyton and Martin later recorded as members of Jimmy Ricks & the Raves. Derek Martin later recorded a succession of singles, mostly on the Roulette label, in the 1960s and early 1970s, including a version of Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rollin' Stone", before moving to live in France where he has continued to perform. Guyton later sang in a touring version of the Platters, and died of a heart attack in 1977, aged 39, while touring in Argentina.
Songwriter Bert Berns felt Spector had ruined the song and went out to show Spector how it should be done.