Get A Job – The Silhouettes

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………on January 20th of 1958 “Get A Job” by The Silhouettes was released. The song will climb to #1 in the US and is considered to be a Rock and Roll classic, although the Philadelphia quartet who sang it never had another Top 40 hit. This song was written by group member Richard Lewis when he was in the US army. When Lewis returned to his Philadelphia home, he joined a church quartet, the Gospel Tornadoes, which evolved into a secular group, the Thunderbirds. Says Lewis: “When I was in the service in the early 1950s and didn’t come home and go to work my mother said ‘Get A Job’ and basically that’s where the song came from.” The Thunderbirds recorded for a local label (Kae Records) owned by DJ Kae Williams, whose first act as manager of the group was to suggest that they change their name. Group member Earl Beal offered The Silhouettes, (after the hit by the Rays, and also the Diamonds), which all concerned liked. When the single started to sell, the master recording was sold to Ember Records, which reissued the record for national distribution. It hit #1 – the only single by the Silhouettes to make the national charts. Kae Williams issued this as B-side of the ballad “I Am Lonely,” but Philadelphia record stations chose to spin the upbeat “Get A Job,” instead. The record was an immediate hit locally but gained national prominence when the group performed it on Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beechnut Show and American Bandstand. The song was not released as a single in the UK.