Billboard #1 Hits: #54: “Quarter To Three”- Gary U.S. Bonds- June 26, 1961. #1 for 2 weeks. Released on Legrand Records. Written by Gene Barge, Frank Guida, Joseph Royster and Gary Anderson. Genre: Doo-wop. Time: 2:31. B-Side: “Time Ole Story.” Grade:A _
Born Gary Anderson in Jacksonville, Florida, Bonds was raised in Norfolk, Virginia. In the early 60’s he had 4 Top 10 hits- “New Orleans” #6, “”School Is Out ” #5, “Dear Lady Twist” #9 and “Twist, Twist Senora” #9 but his biggest hit was this one “Quarter To Three” which went to #1. A couple teenagers on the Jersey shore were fans of Bonds in the early 60’s and in the early 80’s Bruce Springsteen and his sidekick Little Stephen Van Zandt would bring Bonds back onto the charts- producing a couple of his albums and The Boss wrote a tune for him- “This Little Girl” which would be Bonds first Top 40 hit since 1962’s “Seven Day Weekend.”
“Quarter To Three” started out as an instrumental by the Church Street Five- titled “A Night With Daddy G. Part 1” Bonds supplied the vocal arrangement and it became “Quarter To Three.” The single has a very rough quality to it- it was accidentally recorded- no one knew that the tape recorder was on at the recording session in which it was made. Dion would state that “Quarter To Three” was the inspiration behind his “Runaround Sue.” During Bruce Springsteen’s “Born To Run” and “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” tours- “Quarter to Three” was regularly the show closer and he also performed it on the No Nukes film.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included “Quarter To Three” among their list of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.