Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Nov 26th 2012 10:20AM by Brittany Galla
Michael Ochs Archives
Carroll is best known for his part in the doo-wop 1950s group the Cadillacs, which he co-founded. Their hits included "Gloria," "You Are," "Wishing Well," "My Girlfriend," "Peek-a-Boo," a jive version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Speedo," which was titled after his nickname.
In a 1994 interview via The Daily News, Carroll explained how he got his nickname. "I always liked to take my time, do things at my own pace," he said. "Since I was a kid, the other guys would be telling me, 'C'mon, hurry up, Speedy.'"
In 1961, Carroll joined rival the Coasters and performed with them for 20 years before reuniting with the Cadillacs for a car commercial. He also worked as a janitor at Public School 87 in N.Y.C., where students loved referring to their local celebrity as "Speedo." A book, That's Our Custodian, was even written about Carroll.
The Cadillacs appeared in the movie "Go Johnny Go," where they lip-synched to "Please Mr. Johnson" and "Jay Walker." They're also credited with being one of the first groups to wear colorful performance outfits and a choreographed dance routine while singing.
Carroll reportedly retired from his janitor post in 2005 and continued to sing with the Cadillacs until his health forced him to quit.