The Fireflies' career spanned eight single releases on five labels from 1958 to 1967. They formed in Philadelphia in 1957 and went through several lineup changes, but the actual membership is somewhat of a mystery. Ritchie Adams (born Richard Ziegler) sang lead but wasn't an original member; it's believed he sang lead on their biggest hit, their second single "You Were Mine" (Ribbon 1959), which followed "The Crawl," which they debuted with in 1958 on Roulette. Fireflies co-founder Gerry Granahan sang background vocals. The romantic "You Were Mine" barely missed the pop Top 20, a height the Fireflies never scaled again. It spawned an answer record by the Paulette Sisters, entitled "I Was Yours," and was redone by Wayne Thomas.
Ribbon (a New York label owned by Alan Kallman) followed with "I Can't Say Goodbye" the same year, but without the same success. It bombed and so did "Marianne," released on Canadian American Records in 1960, which competed with a final Ribbon release, "My Girl." It's a good bet that Adams left to pursue a solo singing career and answer a songwriting calling before the Fireflies dropped their first single on Taurus Records in 1962. The first Taurus release was a play on the Fireflies' big hit called "You Were Mine for Awhile," which promptly flopped. So did "Blacksmith Blues" on Hamilton; likewise for three more Taurus platters.
After the Fireflies, Adams cut solo singles on Beltone, Congress, Imperial, and other labels, and wrote many of them, something he didn't do with the Fireflies, but never charted with any significant impact. He made up for it, however, with his songwriting. Adams has written nearly 375 songs and scored two mammoth hits, "Tossin' and Turnin'" and much later with "After the Lovin'." He wrote songs for the Banana Splits and the Archies, and also sang lead on "Love Is Living in You," the only Archies single that doesn't feature Ron Dante. ~ Andrew Hamilton