Little Darlin' was written by Maurice Williams with
both melody and doo-wop accompaniment strongly emphasizing the clave rhythm. It
was first recorded by Excello Records in January 1957 and quickly released as a
rhythm-and-blues song by Williams's R&B group, The Gladiolas. The song is
noted for its spoken recitation by the lead singer ("My Darlin' I need
The Gladiolas, featuring Williams, were from
Lancaster, South Carolina, where they had been together since high school.
Their original version of the song was on the small Excello label. (Excello
primarily recording "swamp blues" songs in Crowley, Louisiana.)
Gladiolas song peaked at number 11 on the R&B charts in April 1957, but
barely dented the hot 100. By 1959, Williams' group became "Maurice
Williams and the Zodiacs" with the rock 'n roll- R&B hit Stay.