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Chapel of Love - The Story of New Orleans Girl Group the Dixie Cups

Chapel of Love

The Story of New Orleans Girl Group the Dixie Cups

By Rosa Hawkins & Steve Bergsman
Foreword by Billy Vera
Series: American Made Music Series

Hardcover : 9781496829566, 192 pages, 21 b&w illustrations, May 2021

A tale of three African American teenagers who conquered the music world


In 1963, sisters Barbara Ann and Rosa Hawkins and their cousin Joan Marie Johnson traveled from the segregated South to New York City under the auspices of their manager, former pop singer Joe Jones. With their wonderful harmonies, they were an immediate success. To this day, the Dixie Cups’ greatest hit, “Chapel of Love,” is considered one of the best songs of the past sixty years.

The Dixie Cups seemed to have the world on a string. Their songs were lively and popular, singing on such topics as love, romance, and Mardi Gras, including the classic “Iko Iko. ” Behind the stage curtain, however, their real-life story was one of cruel exploitation by their manager, who continued to harass the women long after they finally broke away from his thievery and assault. Of the three young women, no one suffered more than the youngest, Rosa Hawkins, who was barely out of high school when the New Orleans teens were discovered and relocated to New York City. At the peak of their success, Rosa was a naïve songstress entrapped in a world of abuse and manipulation.

Chapel of Love: The Story of New Orleans Girl Group the Dixie Cups explores the ups and downs of one of the most successful girl groups of the early 1960s. Telling their story for the first time, in their own words, Chapel of Love reintroduces the Louisiana Music Hall of Famers to a new audience.


"This is a compelling work that will interest music fans, especially those who don't know the Dixie Cups' story."

- Rebekah Buchanan, Library Journal

"Beyound the story of struggle, however, this book tells a story of the talent, energy, and resilience of these women and their supportive families and community that buoyed them. Against the odds, they succeeded in making their way to the top, recording some of rock and roll's most beloved songs, and telling their own story, their way."

- Connie Zeanah Atkinson, Louisiana History